Using Oversized Photos

How do you make a photo really stand out on a page? Make it bigger! One of my favorite new trends in scrapbooking is to use one oversized photo on a scrapbook page. This instantly makes the photo the center of attention, and makes that page stand out against other pages in your album. I love using this technique with my favorite photos because it spotlights my favorite or most meaningful moments.

When I started scrapbooking, my goal was to get the photos scrapbooked— and that meant fitting as many pictures onto a layout as possible. I crammed photos in left and right. Now I try to step back and find the photos that really mean something to me. I may have dozens of pictures from a trip, but there’s always one that captured a special moment and just means more. This picture deserves to stand out and be recognized. It’s these photos I like to use when I’m creating a layout with one big picture.

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Using an oversized photo can result in a page that focuses attention on your subject.

By using only a single picture on a layout, that photo will instantly have more impact. This is a technique you should use sparingly (you do want to get your photos scrapped eventually!), but with those extra-special photos the result can be a beautiful, meaningful page that really stands out.

Some people like using oversized photos because they think it means they don’t have to journal; after all the photo takes up all the space, right? Wrong. (sorry!) Remember you chose to create a page featuring an oversized photo because that photo is so special to you; you still need to explain what that photo means. When working with an oversized photo layout, you should try not to use embellishments or journaling that take too much attention away from the photo; remember these pages are all about the picture.

The page to the right is one of my favorite pictures and it brings back one of my favorite memories. Snow in Oregon is rare, snow that accumulates is even rarer, and here it was New Year’s Day and we were greeted with 6” of fluffy white snow! This special memory deserves special treatment which is why I created a layout using an oversized photo with a much smaller photo as an accent.

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I used Busy Scrapper's Solution Vintage Papers and Vintage Embellish-abilities™ to create this layout of a very memorable New Year’s Day.

So, how do you enlarge the photo?

Digital: Enlarging digital photos can be tricky. Basically, the more megapixels your camera has the better your enlarged photo will look. In my experience, anything under 4 megapixels can end up looking grainy when you try to enlarge it. If this happens, there are various computer programs available that will help you enhance your image. If your photo still looks grainy, try changing it to black and white. This will make the picture seem crisper and clearer.

From Film: Just take your picture to any place that develops photos. They should be able to scan your photo and show you how large it can be made before it starts to look grainy. Most photos developed from film can easily be enlarged to an 8”x10”. If you’re scanning and printing the photo at home, there are various computer programs that can sharpen and enhance your image.

If you have picture CDs you can also take them to Kinko’s (or anyplace that’s similar) and use the Sony or Kodak machine to print oversized photos.

Try blowing up photos you wouldn’t ordinarily think of. Heritage photos can look great when they’re enlarged and placed on a page. If you have a tiny photo of your great-grandmother, trying taking it to any photo processing place to see how large they can make it.

Using oversized photos is one of my favorite techniques to create a page that’s really special. One oversized photo by itself or with a smaller complementary photo will have a big impact on whoever’s viewing the page and make it really stand out.


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