There are events I’ve scrapped with several pages that each stood on their own. Lately, though, as it’s become easier and more affordable to make photo books, I’ve found myself preferring to make a series of layouts that are unified.
I unite pages with story OR design OR both story and design
Unite with story
To me, story is synonymous with narrative flow -- a logical movement from one page to the next. Thus, I make:
- A strong opening page
- Pages in the middle that flow logically
- A strong closing page
- Identify the event. You could do this with an obvious title and/or a focal photo that signifies the subject.
- Convey the tone of the event. Do this with color, motif, design (i.e., linear vs freestyle).
- Invite the viewer in and make them want to see more.
My openers usually have minimal journaling and
rely on photos, title, color, and motif to signal the topic and set mood.
"Labor Day," shown here, has an obvious title, an engaging enlargement with my subjects looking straight into the camera, and motifs that support the riverside party setting.
When I was scrapbooking a weekend trip to Boston, I was faced with the problem of not having a really good opening photo. SO . . . I contrived one (which you can see below) by purchasing an inexpensive stock photo of Boston Commons in the winter from IStockPhoto.com. And then . . . I grabbed photos of each of my family members that winter and "stickerized" them. You can do this digitally or with your scissors. (How'd They Do That? No 11: Sticker Art -- digital tutorial by Cassie Jones)
pages in the middle (the story!)
Getting a good flow in the following pages is like determining whether the layout of a scrapbook page is well balanced: you play around with it until you know. You could put them in chronological order. OR, you might make pages that cover the event by subject: the people, the food, the activities. OR perhaps you have a mix. Play with the order so that it feels right.
I've included several pages from a Boston trip below and the order is not chronological--primarily because I needed to get one-pagers on spreads and so I looked for what worked. "Riding the T" made sense to start out with, since that's how we got around the city. And "Quincy Market" is a well-known must-see destination for us whenever we go to Boston. From there "Fanieul Hall" is the next page --- since it's part of Quincy Market. Once the subject and flow was established, it didn't seem to matter which museum page I put next - Science or Art. And then finally is my closing page.
a strong closing page
Good closing pages will give the viewer a sense of closure and signal that the series of pages are complete (this is especially good to do if these pages are integrated into a larger annual album). Try to find a photo that represents the event -- and if it represents the end of an event that's even better. Photos like doing the dishes, hugs goodbye, and loading the car all do this.
From the moment, I began going through the photos, I knew I wanted to use the photo of my sons next to the hotel Christmas tree on the final page. I love how Joshua has his hand on Iz's head. I loved how Iz was holding (and presenting) his stuffed animals. love how it signaled season and place. Notice I "stickerized" the boys again --- This time I didn't have to do that since I had the actual photo, but I wanted to for a sense of coming full circle with the first page.
Unite with design
In addition to creating pages that create a strong flow in order to unite an event album, you may also use design.
unite with layout/composition
- use coordinated sketches. I'm including a link here to a "sketch bundle" that I used to make these Boston Weekend layout.
Take a look at the template sets at Designer Digitals, also. Katie Pertiet and Anna Aspnes have many products that include multiple coordinated templates/sketches, like Katie'sBlocked and Framed Layered Template Book and Anna's MultiFoto Layered Template Album
- create your own layout and repeat design elements throughout. These include: title style, borders, rounded corners, margins. Take a look at the pages from my Boston Weekend album and you'll see many of these elements repeated.
unite with product
use: coordinated paper and embellishment lines, the same title stickers throughout, a common product type (i.e. buttons, ribbon tabs, overlays, paint, stitching)
unite with color
You could use the same color scheme throughout your pages. Use the gallon-quart-pint principle, but vary which color is the gallon, etc. Select one color to be present on every page. Select a common background color. I'll cover more options in a future post.
Are you interested in more scrapbooking lessons and sketch bundles? My online class, "Scrapbooking Your Everyday Life," has just begun and is full of prompts, journaling and photography lessons, and 3-sketch bundles.