Wednesday, October 19, 2011
“Why be perfect? Nobody else is.” – Julienne Beasley.
Hi everyone. It’s Jenelle here, with my very first Shabby Shoppe blog post. (Can you hear my knees-a-knocking?! I’m a bit nervous!) Today’s post is not going to be a ‘technical’ style focus on photos (they are best covered by our photography expert Beckie!) but I do hope you enjoy reading along and that it inspires you to continue scrapping and preserving your precious memories. Most of all, I hope it encourages you to keep posting your layouts in our wonderful inspiration gallery.
We all know that scrapbooking and photography go hand in hand, but I don’t believe that being a first-rate photographer is a pre-requisite for creating eye catching layouts. A photo doesn’t have to be perfect to touch our hearts, capture a memory or tell a story.
When I scrap my photos, I naturally choose the pictures that are visually powerful – colourful, bright, in focus and sharp. Great photos make great layouts, right? But what about the not-so-perfect pictures? You know the ones – out of focus, poor composition, bad lighting, too far away, not everyone looking at the camera etc. We all have them! Sometimes our lives are recorded by more ‘not-so-stellar’ photographs than ‘stellar’ ones. This is especially true for me, with two little boys who don’t like to sit still and the fact that I don’t have a top of the range camera. I have so many imperfect photos on my hard drive, but I just can’t bring myself to delete them. I love some of these bad photos I have – they’ve captured a memory that is dear to me and they’re part of the story I’m trying to tell through my scrapbooking. Sometimes they’re the only picture I’ve managed to capture at that time. So… I’ve decided to scrap some of them – warts and all! And I think you should too.
Let’s look at some tricks that might help you to scrap some of those imperfect photos stored away on your hard drives.
Of course, the first step would be trying to manipulate these photos in your software editing program and seeing if you can improve some of the flaws. Some ruthless cropping, using the unsharp mask, making adjustments to lighting and/or a bit of extraction work can vastly improve certain photos (and no-one would ever know the difference). However, if you have a really poor quality image (or you’re still learning how to master these editing techniques like me) you may have to call upon a few other tricks to help mask the imperfections.
I’d say the most common issue would be blurring in our photographs. Agree? Don’t be shy, we all have them in our stash! How do you keep a toddler still for long enough to take a good photo? What about an energetic pet? Photographing a sports game? Trying to get a good family photograph when everyone is fussing about? Blur, blur and more blur!!!
Here are two blurry photos I took of my sons and nephew chasing the waves at a surf beach during a recent holiday/vacation. I took lots of photos this particular day, as the kids were having such fun. So many blurry images resulted from this cavorting with the waves, mind you… and I was really disappointed. I still got some other great shots, but I really liked some of the blurry ones (particularly the one where all three boys are in the frame because that didn’t happen again) and I wanted to include these pictures in my album of our trip.
For both photographs I set the blending mode to ‘overlay’ and the opacity to 100%. (For more information on blending modes check out this Tips and Tricks post.)
As you can see, the raised texture seemed to give the photos the look of a painting, even a bit like a watercolour and the blurriness (although not gone) seemed to work here! So I added some frames and other Shabby Shoppe goodies to come up with this layout of my blurry beach photos.
I’m so glad I didn’t leave them out of my album and hidden away on my hard drive. They’re not perfect, but much better than the images I had SOOC (straight out of camera) and I was happy with my final layout in the end.
Here are some more ideas for helping disguise bad photos in your scrapbook layouts:-
Play around with the artistic filters in your photo editing software to give your photo a completely different look. Try converting it to a sketch or a watercolor.
Leave the main focal point in colour and desaturate the rest
Play around with masks and gradient blending to help hide imperfections
Use a large title and lots of journalling to detract from poor photo quality
Strategically place an element or cluster over a particular part of a photo that is distracting (like a bin/trash can or stranger passing by in the background, etc..)
If the bad photos are of a famous place or landmark, consider finding stock images to mix in with your good photos (always check copyright first). It is often difficult to get good photos in museum exhibits, but museums often have great images on their web site
Blending an image into a different background is another great way to minimize negative issues. When you blend a low resolution image in with a high resolution image (a background paper for example), many of the flaws are hidden
When an image is beyond repair (eyes closed, silly face, fuzzy picture) why not just go with it and incorporate a funny title or theme to match the photo or accentuate the imperfection. Here are some examples:- ‘Blink and you’ll miss him/her’, ‘You’re growing so fast, sometimes you’re just a blur’, ‘Fuzzy Memories’, ‘When Life Rushes By’, ‘The photo may be blurry, but your beauty is crystal clear’… (can you think of some more?)
Sometimes you may have a layout in mind for a particular event but when you get your photos off your camera and onto your screen, you find that some of the shots aren’t so good. This also happened to me recently. I had a mix of good and bad photos from the one outing but wanted to include them all to help tell the story. Here’s one of the blurry photos I took on this outing at the park.
It’s blurry and badly composed, but I wanted to include it as I remember the boys laughing so hard as they ran away from their cousin (who was about to throw grass all over them)! I recalled reading about using storyboards in your layouts and how they can often help minimize the flaws in your photographs. So I decided to make all my photographs smaller and add lots of them to my page, giving that storyboard effect. I also ran an instagram action over the pictures, added in a big title, large elements and widely spaced journalling - all helping to distract from the original blurred photographs.
Tucking away these photos because they weren’t perfect would have resulted in missing this moment in our family album. I’m so glad I scrapped them in the end – the boys think they’re great pictures anyway and really, they’re my main audience aren’t they?!
So, next time you are scrapping a memory or special story and find that you only have bad photos, don’t get discouraged. Why not consider using some of the ideas I’ve mentioned in this post to still create a great layout. You will still be preserving those precious memories and may even be surprised with your end result. We’d love to see how you scrap some of your imperfect photos in our inspiration gallery soon.
Thanks for joining me today for my very first post! Kylie will be here tomorrow to share the latest Project SCRAP templates!
Inspiration, Photography, Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Hey guys…SP here today with a fun AND huge HALLOWEEN PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT! I wanted to feature all THREE of our Halloween-ish kits So, they are ALL THREE on SALE this week for 25% off! Not only that, but ALL of our Halloween products are on sale – YAY (be sure to CLICK HERE to see all of them)!! So, it’s a great time to ‘load-up’ on all of these sweet and whimsical goodies! So…a little about the KITS! My first Halloween themed kit was SMELL MY FEET (still a fave)…then came BOO…followed by GOOSE BUMPS! As I’ve said before, I truly LOVE all three kits and find that you can mix and match them together quite well (i think you’ll see that illustrated in some of the inspiration layouts below)! So, no NEW Halloween kit this year – but I will definitely try to come up with something fresh and creative for you guys next year! Sometimes, with the holiday and themed kits – it feels like ‘re-inventing’ the wheel as there are only so many colors and patterns and shapes you can work with without being completely repetitive, kwim? :o) but…alas – I shall try, next year, lol! Until then – I hope you will enjoy what we currently have ‘in-stock’ for ya…so, here goes! Again – it’s a HUGE post with LOTS of inspiration, so bear with me :o)
Speaking of being repetitive, lolol – this next little bit is pretty much a copy/paste of what I wrote last year…and it still stands true…so why change it, right? :o) When it comes to designing halloween kits – I always have one thing in mind….and that is FUN! I like to keep the kits cute and whimsical and not creepy or scary, lol! So, you’ll find that each kit has a little touch of whimsy and silly-ness! I really try to keep any of our themed kits as versatile as possible, too! I know I have said it many times, but when you purchase a kit…I like for you to be able to use it (or at least parts of it) for everyday pages, too – over and over! NOT just one page and that’s it, know what I mean? So, you’ll find that I add in lots of items that will work for any page :o) This also helps you to be able to combine the kits together!
OK, so now for a few kit previews…and then some AWESOME inspiration from the girls! In the event you missed it…we just welcomed four NEW team members to our little Shabby Family…and couldn’t be happier! You’ll see some of their gorgeous work below…along with plenty of ‘goodness’ from the rest of the girls, too! For more info about these layouts/projects, please visit the SHABBY ARTIST GALLERY . Most of the layouts combine all of our Halloween kits (along with other Shoppe products) – and you’ll be able to find out more on the individual layout pages in the gallery! Here goes…
While I didn’t get to make a brand new layout this year (YET, lol) – I thought I’d would share my fave two from last Halloween :o) Man – they grow up quick, don’t they?
Can I just tell you how much I adore Kylie’s HEAR ME ROAR layout? LOL…it just totally makes me SMILE! love, love, love :o)
The rest of these pages are just pure sweetness as well :o) All of the girls really out-did themselves – these are all so fun and seriously inspiring…
Casharina, Jenelle and Kylie even worked on some ADORABLE cards and hybrid treats, and I’m so happy they shared their creativity with us! From Casharina’s use of one of the calendar toppers…to Jenelle’s clever and fun card…to Kylie’s incredible treat bags (along with the perfect props) – it’s all just soooooo cute and perfect! I really want to work on a few hybrid projects this holiday season, too – and the girls are definitely giving me ideas and inspiration :o) THANKS!
WOW, that’s a lot of inspiration…AMAZING girls – thank you :o) I know I am ready to get scrapping (gotta get the little man his Halloween costume first though, lolol)! I can’t wait to see all of the HALLOWEEN layouts in the gallery…we sure hope you’ll share with us :o) THANKS for visiting today…and be sure to come back tomorrow for Jenelle’s very first post (I took a peek, and ladies – it is FANTABULOUS)! Until then – have a BEAUTIFUL and BLESSED day/night! xoxo – SP
Product Spotlight, Uncategorized
Monday, October 17, 2011
Hello Shabby Shoppe readers! Rosy here with my very first post on the blog! Eeek, I hope I do this right!
I’m here to announce the Layout of the Week!…which goes to abyhunter and her wonderful Family Tree layout! I love the way she made a landscape scene and then tucked the photo into it! The lace border just adds that perfect touch!
…and this is only half of a two-page spread for her son’s book. Here’s a look of the two-page spread together – beautiful and so cool that she made her own tree too!
Congratulations abyhunter! Enjoy your $10 gift card to the Shabby Shoppe ( be sure to check your SPAM folders if you don’t see it)!
Thanks for stopping by today! SP will be here tomorrow with a fun and very cute Product Spotlight that can’t be missed!
Layout of the Week, Uncategorized
Friday, October 14, 2011
HAPPY FRIDAY everyone!! :o) It’s Kylie here…and it is my absolute pleasure to share some extremely exciting news with you! I’m soooo excited I can hardly type straight, LOL!!! ;o)
We have four amazingly talented, super-creative, and very special ladies joining our already FABULOUS Shabby Artist team! You could say that each girl is already so much a part of the Shoppe family…we have been admiring their beautiful galleries for quite some time now and they never cease to inspire us all! Each of these ladies brings something unique and fun to the Shoppe…and are all total sweethearts. We are sooo lucky to have them!! Sooo without further ado please join me in ‘officially’ welcoming Kim, Jenelle, Rosy and Casharina to the team! YAY!!
SP has done a gorgeous job of updating our team page…be sure to check it out! You will learn a bit more about the AMAZING girls that make up our gorgeous little team and are sure to be inspired by what you see in each artists’ gallery!! :o)
The girls will be posting here on the BLOG soon! (Also…with more team members comes even more FUN and INSPIRING blog posts for everyone to enjoy each week…joy, joy, joy!!) And you don’t have to wait long at all…the lovely Rosy will be here on Monday with her first Layout of the Week.
Thanks so much for stopping by today…have a wonderful, wonderful sunshiney weekend and we hope you all get to scrap a page or two!! :o)
Shoppe News, Uncategorized
Thursday, October 13, 2011
hi there :o) SP here today…back from a WONDERFUL family vacation…and trying to get back into the swing of things, lol! Of course…you’ll see LOTS of vacation pics on my October layouts…but for today – we are here to ‘check-in’ on the SEPTEMBER pages :o) Are you guys up-to-date…falling behind…just joining us?! Wherever you are with them – I hope you are enjoying and having fun! As I say just about every time (sorry, lol) – it is such a GREAT feeling to be caught-up and scrapping CURRENT memories (instead of getting farther and farther behind) :o) So…do your best to keep up with us…and in the end – you will be SOOOO happy to have 2011 scrapped, promise! Trust me…there will always still be ‘older’ photos to scrap and catch-up on…but my philosophy is…HEY – at least i’m NOT letting that (virtual) stack of unscrapped photos get any taller, lol!
Alright…back to our SEPTEMBER check-in for project SCRAP :o) If you haven’t started your September pages yet…it’s time to get scrappin’ (and uploading, lol)! September was another FULL and FUN (albeit busy, as per usual) month for us…seemed like we were running around, nonstop – especially trying to prepare for vacation (ya know how that goes!)! But, we certainly still managed to fit in all kinds of great activities…from the trip to the Grandparents…to LOTS of reading…back to school…baking…and so much more! These templates were just perfect to showcase it all – and the scrapping was just plain FUN (though I challenged myself to use NO flowers…and that wasn’t easy for me, lolol)! Here’s what I ended up with…
And, as you probably already know, I always enjoy sharing more inspiration with you…and there were some great September ‘spreads’ in the project SCRAP gallery - love it! Be sure to stop by the gallery to see all of the fabulous September pages AND more!
So…moving on to aforementioned inspiration, lol! Here we have Kylie’s GORGEOUS layouts! As per usual…she , she worked her magic with the Darling Paper Collection – perfectly coordinating them with her beautiful photos! As those of us in the States are entering into the fall season…Kylie (and so many of our sweet blog friends) is currently enjoying the beginning of spring…as you can see from her pages :o) She had a special month…and scrapped it beatifully! Thanks Kylie :o)
I always LOVE Kim’s (Five17Creations) pages…and this month was no exception! I so enjoy getting to ‘watch’ little Samuel grow…and it’s always fun to see all of the great activities their family shares together! As a little side note…you’ll be seeing lots more from Kim here at the blog (Kylie will have more on that tomorrow…sorry, Kylie – you know I just can’t keep a secret, lolol)! Anyhoo…FABULOUS pages…adorable family…perfect every time…thanks :o)
And last…but far from least – we have these PRECIOUS pages by scrapmomma :o) Adorable little Brielle turned one…and these pages ‘tell the story’ perfectly…just so, so SWEET! Also, fabulous use of the An Affair to Remember collection…and did you notice how she ‘tweaked’ the templates to accomodate more photos (similar to how Kim did above!)? LOVE it! Thanks so much for sharing with us!
K, I think that will do it for this project SCRAP check-in! Keep on scrappin’…and don’t forget to upload your layouts so we can all see! I truly enjoy seeing what all of you guys do with the templates…and just love knowing that we’re all in this project together, lol :o) Oh…and the new OCTOBER project SCRAP templates will be shared here on the blog on the 20th…so stay tuned for that :o)
Enjoy the end of the week…and have a BEAUTIFUL weekend! Be sure to stop back by tomorrow…as Kylie shares a FUN blog/team announcement! XOXO — SP
project Scrap 2011, Uncategorized