Using a Big Picture Background


The “big picture” background is a digital scrapbooking technique that I just love. A scenic photo can set the mood for the whole page and a big portrait puts the focus of the page squarely on the photo subject.

There are so many ways to use this trend:

  • Turn the photo into black and white and then layer colour photos on top of it
  • Use a mask to give the large photo some shape
  • Use blending modes to give the photo the texture of the background paper
  • Use brushes to add flourishes or paint strokes to the photo
  • Stack on some coordinating word art
  • Stitch the photo down onto the page
  • Journal on the negative space of the photo. You could even use your dodge and burn tools to make areas lighter or darker to make it easier to journal in those areas

Here are some examples of this technique that are inspiring me to scrap!

Negative Space

Gateausoso used the negative space on her image to layer papers and smaller frames.

Layout by gateausoso. Supplies: Hooray Add-on by Sabrina’s Creations and Say It! Template Set 02 by Che Yang Designs

Desaturated Image

Pom desaturated her image and layered coloured, framed photos on top. The green background paper and the addition of the green lined frame force the eye onto the centre cluster.

Layout by pom. Supplies: Created with Designs by Anita’s Secret Garden kit and Quick and Simple template set 4

Horizontal Focus

TanteEni’s large photo is framed by paper on the top and bottom which nicely highlights the beautiful photo.

Layout by TanteEni. Supplies: Nature Calls by Designs by Anita

Masks and Brushes

JustJen used a photo mask and brushes to accent her photo and fastened everything down with messy stitches.

Layout by justjen. Supplies: Joyce Paul Summer grab bag, stitches from awakening, staple


Yin kept the left side of her two-side spread entirely focused on her winter-scene photo.

Layout by Yin. Supplies: Yin Template 221

Image Toning

Morgane used a colour-toned image to be the background of this art page. The coffee-stain brush is the perfect, slightly messy touch.

Layout by morgane. Supplies: Travel Notebook Collab – The Bundle by t for me designs and Val C. Designs, and with some elements from the two freebies offered by T for Me designs and Val C, WA “fall” free (modified) from Anna Aspnes

A Bold Portrait

Ella_75 made the portrait the star of the page by journaling and title work in all the available negative space.

Layout by Ella_75. Supplies: Kit Fly High, by Val C. Designs

I hope you feel inspired to try something new!





P.S. Laurel was the random winner selected from yesterday’s feature on Roadside Designs. She received $10 in product from Roadside Designs 🙂