How To Take Perfect Photos For Scrapbooking

how to take the best photos for scrapbooking
Photos by Kara Layne


Every one of your pictures – no matter how dark or smudged or inclusive of a finger over the lens they may be – seem like treasures. But some photos tell a story or capture a moment better than others. Even if you’re not a professional photographer, how do you take the right photos for scrapbooking?

In her CreativeLive class, Project Life creator Becky Higgins invited lifestyle photographer Kara Layne on to explain how even non-photographers can make sure they’re taking the kinds of pictures that are perfect for scrapbooks.

Here’s what she had to say.

It doesn’t always need to be faces. Shoes, tops of heads, backs – not every one of your photos needs to be of a smiling face.

“When I talk about telling a story in photos,” explains Kara, “I’m wanting to show the people, I’m wanting to show the details, and I’m wanting to show the scene.”

Often, photos of a trip or other memorable moment are all variations of the same shot. Instead of simply asking the family to pose in front of landmarks, look for other details that will remind you of the overall ambiance and mood of the day or moment.

…But people should be in it. Scenery is good, but it’s not everything. Try to take a mix of photos of your family and friends and also the scenes and details of where you are. Bonus points if you can include both.

Remember to include yourself, too. As Sue Bryce always says, “exist in photos.” Your scrapbooks are for your kids, too, says Kara, and “they’re going to want those photos of you later.” So even if you’re usually the documentarian, ask someone else to take a few of the photos to ensure that you’re in there, also.

Kara’s best advice: Remember the three pillars of telling a story, which are the people, the scene, and the details.

“There’s more to what happens on a trip than just the big stuff,” she says. Remember to capture the little moments and, even if the photos aren’t perfect, they’ll still tell the story of what you did, where you went, and how you felt.

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Hanna Brooks Olsen is a writer and editor for CreativeLive, longtime reporter, and the co-founder of Seattlish. Follow her on Twitter at @mshannabrooks or go to her website for more stuff.