Scrapbooking Tutorial for Beginners:
How to Crop Photos Like A Professional
Learning how to crop photos is one of the first steps that should be considered in regards to scrapbooking for beginners. This tutorial will provide you with the basics on how to crop photos, along with tips on how to crop photos creatively for extra eye appeal.
Crop out the extras.
Learn when cropping is necessary and the best way to go about it.
Unless you have exceptional photography skills, chances are that you have a lot of “good” pictures. You’re happy with the main subject of a picture, but you’re disappointed that it’s off center or that the neighbor’s dog has decided to sneak into the picture. That’s where cropping comes in handy. You can trim a picture to the shape and size you want, containing whatever part of the original photo that you want.
When cropping a photo, if you’re choosing a rectangular or square shape, use a paper cutter. You’ll get a smooth cut and not the little ridges that you might end up with if using scissors. Avoid using decorative scissors. Scallops or zigzags can distract from the focal point. There are several cutting tools on the market, but as you begin scrapbooking, start with scissors and a paper cutter.
Before doing any cropping, decide whether or not you want to get a reprint of the photo first. If you’re putting together a scrapbook of old photos you might want to invest in reprints if other family members want the originals.
Enhance the layout of your page by cropping.
Rather than having a scrapbook page with four photos all of the size, crop three of the photos into the same size squares and trim a little off of the fourth photo, leaving it rectangular size. As you design the page, you can run the square photos horizontally or vertically and use the large photo on the opposite end of the page. The viewer will first be drawn to the large photo and then to the three smaller ones.
Experiment cropping with different shapes. For the most part, you’ll want to stick with the basic oval, rectangular and square shapes. However, sometimes for special effects, you’ll want to cut a photo into a particular shape. For example, if you’re putting together a layout of a trip to Marine Land and have lots of photos of fish swimming around, cut three of the photos into the shape of fish. Use an ocean patterned background for the photos.
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Crop photos creatively.
With basic cropping and a few embellishments, you can get super creative with displaying your photos.
Here are two simple tips that will make your scrapbooks ooze with creativity!
- Overlap onto picture frames. Choose two or three pictures that you want to display together. The pictures should have a common theme, such as flowers, animals, children playing, etc. Using a square template and a pencil, choose the portion of the first picture that you want to crop and begin to trace the template. As you’re tracing, find a section of the picture that you can actually trace around instead of cutting it off with the template. For instance, if you’re cropping a photo of your dog and part of his tail doesn’t show within the template, trace around the tail. When you cut out the picture it should have three solid straight sides and one side with the tail coming out of the side. Crop the other two pictures in a similar fashion. Out of stock card create one frame with three open panels to frame the photos. Carefully lift the extra sections (i.e. the dog’s tail) and adhere them on top of the frame. When you are through, this gives an added fun dimensional effect to your photos.
- Emphasize a portion of a photo. Sometimes instead of cropping all the extras out of a picture, it’s fun to zone in on just part of the picture. Let’s say your daughter is in the school choir and you have a photo of her with five other students in it. Use a square template and crop around the upper half of your daughter’s body. Carefully cut the square out. Adhere the photo (not the cutout section) onto card stock. Trim 1/4 inch off of each side of the cutout section. Center and adhere the cutout into the center of the opening of the photo. Adhere four tiny tacks into the four corners of the cutout. This gives the appearance that you have specially framed a portion of the picture. On the same scrapbooking page, include a close up photo of your daughter singing.
In this scrapbook tutorial for beginners, we’ve provided you with basic steps on how to crop photos. Remember that the main purpose for cropping photos is to enhance the overall look of your scrapbook pages. Whether it’s to remove the extras from a picture, to center the main focal point of a photo, or to draw special emphasis to your photos, let cropping help you create beautifully designed scrapbook pages.