How to create a sophisticated heritage album: scrapbooking layouts

When you use contemporary black and white photos, more emphasis is placed on the subject. There are no colors to compete with or distract from the main focus of the picture. Black and white photos also make choosing paper colors easier. Since the photos don’t dictate any particular color scheme, this could be your chance to experiment. Test out different patterns, colors, and texture, but remember that a little goes a long way. Don’t use so much patterned paper, or extreme colors that the focus shifts from the photo to the background.

But how should you handle older black and white photos? Eventually almost every scrapper will come across a one-of-a-kind heritage photo and wonder just what to do. You may feel safer not using the original in your scrapbook. Have a copy made, one that you can crop and handle without fear. Any local or mail film developer should be able to make a print without a negative. Other options are to scan the photo onto your computer, and then print it out on photo paper, or to use a copier.

If you’d like to give certain areas of your photo a little extra emphasis, you could experiment with tinting pictures. Use photo-tinting pens or chalk to lightly color an area. If you are computer savvy, you can tint your photograph in a photo editor before you print it out. Choose a complimentary color to mount your print on and you have a sophisticated look for any album.

If you are completing an entire album of black and white photos, it’s best to choose a unifying background color. Avoid using white, as it tends to make black and white photos appear dingy. While dark background may work for more formal pictures, it’s best to stick to medium or light colors. Choose one color to use throughout the book as a basis for all of your layouts.

For each individual layout, keep in mind the subject of your pictures. If you are working with heritage photos, using bright colors and wild patterns just won’t fit the theme. To achieve a more classic look, stick to muted and pastel colors. Don’t forget to try out subtle patterns. You may need to hold your photo against many different colors and patterns before you find one that works. You can lay out your entire page, without adhering it to the page, then rearrange it until you are satisfied.

There are many stickers and diecuts made especially for heritage albums. One or two coordinated items can enhance a layout, but try not to go overboard. Using multiple embellishments could also detract from the overall appearance of your page. Also keep in mind the look and feel you hope to achieve. Do your embellishments fit that idea? It’s best to err on the conservative side.

The most important part of any scrapbook is the journaling. Make sure you leave room to write the important facts and feelings about the pictures, even if you plan on completing this step at a later time. With many heritage photos, this may only be names and dates, but sometimes talking to older relatives can provide some insight that goes beyond these basics.

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