How Many Photos?

Earlier this week I talked about what you as a scrapper can do if you want to scrap a layout but don’t have any photos. There are a number of options. You should never feel that not having a photo prevents you from telling the story. As I looked through a new package of layouts that just arrived, I got to thinking about the number of photos on a page. Sometimes, just one photo is what a layout needs. Other times, twenty photos tells the story best. As we get started on a page, how do we choose how many photos to add?

I think there are a few important questions to ask:

1. What is the story I am really trying to tell?
2. What is the mood I am trying to create?
3. Will photos tell the story, support the story, or detract from the story?
4. Am I trying to capture an event or a moment?
5. Are similar photos going to make the page better or will they pull away from the main photo?
6. Does the page/story need more photos as “evidence”
7. Is there one main photo I want to share?
8. If I never have the chance to scrap this particular story again, will it have been told in full?


Different answers to the above questions can lead to very different pages. Some pages shine with one main photo…other pages need to be energized by lots and lots of pictures. Here are some examples of some of the pages I was looking through and the rationale for the number of photos.


As I mentioned before, not all layouts need a photo. Here are some examples of no photo pages


This page didn’t have a photo, nor did it need one. It was just a means of therapeutic journaling for me. A photo would have pulled away from what I was saying.


I didn’t have any photos of this particular incident, but that didn’t mean I shouldn’t tell the story.


Sometimes, a single photo makes the most impact.


I just adore this photo and to me it speaks all about my daughter’s growing love of fashion. Out of the bunch of pictures I had, this one told the story the best. Any more and the story would have been lost.


The title of this layout says it all…SERENITY. Having just one photo adds to the calm feel I was trying to convey. If I had cluttered the page with lots of photos it would have lost the emotion behind the story.


In this layout, I wanted the one photo to truly stand out. I wanted the reader to see the photo and then have the eye drawn down to the most important part of the page…the journaling. If I had put a lot of photos on, the eye wouldn’t naturally travel to the words, which are the heart of the page.


right-nowThis page was a “moment in time” layout. It only made sense to have lots of pictures since I had a lot going on in my life.


This layout was all about doing my daughter’s hair in hot rollers. The story was better told by showing all the steps of doing her hair rather than just showing the end result.

too-many_webThis layout is about taking too many photos and it only made sense to have “too many” photos on the page.


This layout shares about a fun moment at a park with the family. This was such a great series of photos and there wasn’t any one photo that stood out above the rest. A grid with nine photos worked perfectly to convey the energy and fun of the afternoon.


This layout was meant to be a recap of our summer. I didn’t have time to create lots of pages about a busy few months but by having 14 photos on one page it does a great job of summarizing our time together.


I had HUNDREDS of photos from this one night but I didn’t need or want multiple layouts or long explanations. A page with 20 photos told the story enough.

this-is-two2pg-for-webClick to enlarge

Birthdays, holidays, and other major events usually come with hundreds of photos. With four kids and LOTS of birthdays ahead of us, I knew I didn’t want to try to create multiple layouts for each year. A two page spread with 24 photos and some journaling told the story of my son’s 2nd birthday in such a way that more layouts aren’t needed.


One photo, lots of photos, somewhere in between. Different stories need different things. If you gravitate towards always having just one photo on a page, why not try a multi-photo page? If you always try to get as many pictures as possible on your pages, why not trying to let one picture shine? Step outside your box and try something new..something that fits.