Welcome. This blog is my little home on the web. It's mostly about my favorite hobby, digital scrapbooking. You might also find some recipes, home decor projects, or parenting woes. But mostly digital scrapbooking.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Scrapping with poor photos? Storyboard them!

Here is a layout I made last fall.  When I showed this one to the scientist, he said, "Wow, placing bad photos together in a collage like that makes them look better."
Back to Journaling Temps 1 by Scrapping with Liz; Funky Basic Cardstock
and elements from Sweet & Simple Life Kits #7 and #10 by Gina Marie Huff;
CoffeeShop photo actions: Irish Breakfast Tea & Faded Daydreams

I am not a good photographer. I have a little point and shoot camera; it doesn't even have a manual mode.  I hate the flash and often try to take shots without it, but that frequently results in blurry photos.  And, my usual subject (my son) is not cooperative. So I take a lot of imperfect photos. But I still want to scrap with them, so I need to get creative.

The scientist's observation that my photos were improved simply from their arrangement and proximity got me thinking. A collage of photos might be called a storyboard by a photographer. It is an arrangement of several photos, usually in a very linear blocked style.  The photos taken all together tell a story that a single photo could not.  Additional text, or journaling, isn't needed because the photos tell the story.

I took those photos with the umbrella just because I wanted something to scrap. I did not necessarily want to tell any particular story, I just wanted to do something creative. But taking a closer look at these photos, I see that they tell me:

  1. It was warm and wasn't raining, and it was either early morning or late afternoon.
  2. The kid liked playing with that umbrella - hiding behind it and spinning it.
  3. The kid was on the move a lot, but also took a break.

    From this list, I can infer that a storyboard - even with "poor" photos (or maybe particularly with poor photos) - can do this for your layouts:

    1. Provide context and background for your story - location, date and time through clues in the photos.
    2. Create energy - the motion blur certainly indicates action and movement, but so do the shots that are cropped with part of a person's face cut off.
    3. Highlight change through the contrast of actions in the photos - getting to the nitty gritty of the "story" in storyboard.

      The wonderful conclusionThe photos that I felt were "poor" do not detract from the better photos.  In fact they support the stronger photos by bringing in energy and make the whole collection more dynamic.

      Here are two more examples from my gallery where I have used flawed photos within a storyboard.  In this first, the bottom right photo is the "bad" one, but I actually think it is the most exciting and interesting shot on the page - his expression is perfect, and his excitement and madness are so evident - yes, he was a little bit crazy.

      Fall Fun Templates & Tiny Dot Borders by Scrapping with Liz
      Word-art by DeCrow Designs; Stithes by K Studio
      Papers and Elements from various kits by Gina Marie Huff

      In this last one below, the photos were taken without a flash and were somewhat blurry. They are basically ordered in chronological order from left to right and step through the process of brushing his teeth.   Now that I've thought more about storyboards, I actually wonder if this layout would be more interesting without the journaling.  My writing was about the back story of  going to the dentist and how he has this problem with brown staining on his teeth.  But the photos tell an entirely different story: the multitude of emotions that teeth brushing can evoke from a three year old boy.

      Simple Square Temps by Scrapping with Liz; Papers from Letters of Love
      and word-art from Just a Note by Kasia Designs
      Bow from Life is Good by Gina Marie Huff

      I know that scrapbooking and photography go hand-in-hand, but it's nice to be reminded that being a top notch photographer is not a prerequisite for being a great layout artist. Give a storyboard a try, even throw in some blurry photos - they have plenty of story to tell.


      1. I think your photos are adorable. :D It's not always a perfect photos that catch a perfect moment. :D Thanks for sharing these..

      2. Great layouts - thanks for sharing. I also really like your tips about using less-than-stellar photos to show a special moment (or moments) through a storyboard.

        Also, thanks for commenting on my photography tips bloggage - looks like we're helping each other out, in the tip department. :)

      3. Storyboarding...great concept! Thanks for the idea...and your layouts look great!

      4. I think your pages are awesome! I love that the pictures are not all perfect because thats life! I have plenty of "bad" pictures from a photography stand point that I love and I'm going to try doing a storyboard for them now. Thank you!

      5. These are great LOs and such great advice! While I TRY to take good photos, I, too, have a p&s and sometimes it delays and I don't get the good shot or it turns out not great for some reason or other. This is such a good idea and it's beautifu!

      6. Hi there! These are great tips! I don't always get the best shot either - but I try to use them anyway. I got into digi-scrapping as another way to capture the memories... not to compete in photography contests! lol One day... I'll get to upgrade to a fancy camera! :) Until then - I still want to capture the everyday moments of life!
        Thanks for stoppin' by Get 2 Scrappin' the other day! I'm a new follower here now! Look forward to readin' more! :)

      7. I also think your photos are beautiful and they are so precious! Love how you put them in a storyboard, they really make them stand out!