Tips for Trimming Photos

Any time you scrapbook, what’s one thing you almost always have to do? Trim your photos! We’d guess you usually have a stack of photos that you have to cut and crop to fit on your layouts. This is also true in our newest Story by Stacy™ workshop kit, Short Story, where you work with a large group of photos to create a 6″ x 6″ album. What makes Short Story special is the approach it takes for creating a visual story with your photos. Using this workshop kit, you learn how to trust your own intuition and take some of the decision-making out of how to use your photos. The secret is … trimming your photos FIRST!

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Before you create a page or a layout, you’re going to trim your photos. This might seem a little strange or even feel uncomfortable, but it’s so worth it in the process. Here’s how it works. You take your stack of photos and start trimming off the pieces that aren’t necessary. When you’re working with a stack of 4″ x 6″ photos, the photo trimmer is the perfect tool to help you. Trimming your photos before making pages will help you create visual impact in your album, and it keeps the focus of your album on the elements of your photos that are the most meaningful to you.

We know it’s hard to try to trim and resize photos BEFORE you know what your layout looks like, but that’s part of what makes this process so exciting and a great reboot for your creativity. Try these tips to get started.

  1. Begin by trimming just a little bit, then trim a little more.

If the thought of taking several inches off a photo is too much, baby steps are a great way to start. Try removing just a small piece off one side and then the other. Take a look at what you have left, and BEFORE you move on to your next photo, try to trim just a little bit more.

  1. Trim to focus on the most important part of the photo.

If the photo, for example, is of your kids playing together, think about what the most important part of that photo actually is. Do you have to see all the background, or is the point of the photo that they are enjoying being together? You can trim parts of people’s legs or arms, too. Don’t feel like you need to keep the entire person in the photo. Maybe there is someone you don’t know on the edge of the photo. It’s not necessary to keep them, either. Get rid of all the extra things that can distract from the focus of the photo.

  1. Trim some of the landscape out of the photo.

You don’t need several inches of water, grass, or sky. These things can usually always be trimmed.

  1. Trim your photos into sizes that are easy to use on a 6″ x 6″ page.

When you’re working with Short Short, try to trim your photos into sizes that fit nicely together on a 6″ x 6″ page. Use sizes like 3″ x 4″, 2″ x 6″, or 2″ and 3″ squares. This makes it just a little bit easier when you assemble your pages. If you are scrapbooking in a different format, you can apply this same concept. Consider how much space you have to work with and how many photos you’d like on the page. Then trim away!

  1. Not every single photo needs to be trimmed!

You could have two or three photos that you really love in their original 4″ x 6″ size. That’s perfectly okay! This is your album and your story. Keep in mind, the more photos you trim, the more photos you can include in your album. For a Short Story album, just remember if you leave every photo in the normal 4″ x 6″ size, you won’t be able to fit many on the 6″ x 6″ pages.

Now that you have some ideas for getting started, here are a couple examples for you of how the concept of trimming your photos first works.

We trimmed these two photos using some of the tips we’ve given you. In these examples, strangers in the background or the car they are sitting in isn’t really the most important part of the photo. Plus, as you can see in the layout below, we already had one photo that showed more of the car. It wasn’t necessary to have two photos with the same car. What makes these photos interesting and special are those facial expressions.

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By trimming photos, we were able to combine five photos on this one Short Story layout. Using this process takes some of the time and energy out of deciding how to resize photos and how to attach them to your pages. With the Short Story workshop kit, you will use your trimmed photos to create one page at a time, adding as many photos as you can to each page. Then you’ll pull it all together with patterned paper and embellishments.

If you haven’t tried the Short Story workshop kit yet, check out our Visual Storytelling with Short Story blog post for more details about this new Story by Stacy™ product. Then, grab a friend, and give this workshop kit a try! Whether you are scrapbooking your story with Short Story, an Everyday Life™ album, or a 12″ x 12″ page, these tips can help you focus on what’s important in the photos you take and the memories they represent. Do you have tips for trimming photos? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!

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4 thoughts on “Tips for Trimming Photos

  1. Enjoy your blog, but this disappointed me. Please consider the huge number of baby boomers with fading eyesight! The colour chosen for the headings in each step is way too light! I have been a scrapbooked for nearly 20 years & now at 63 realise what my age group have to put up with!

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  2. I like the tip about only needing one pix of the car the kids are riding. Another tip is you can usually cut part of a person’s arm off, as was done to the girl in the pix of three children.

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  3. Thanks for the tips. Sometimes we make a project into something bigger then “Ben Hur” in otherwords, huge and never to be completed. Trimming the photos can be difficult for many people but it is certainly a great way to complete the project quickly and not let it overwhelm.

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