What’s the Story?

Two years ago, our family was on our six-week road trip. Our trip took us 7000 miles and to four national parks, the first of which was Badlands National Park. I had dreamed of going back there ever since I was twelve, when my family stopped for just a few minutes on our way to Yellowstone.

Our three days there were incredible. I loved every minute of it! It was hot, for sure, but we had such an amazing time exploring. One afternoon, with temperatures over 100°, we decided to spend the afternoon in the car (with air conditioning!). We drove all through the park.

One of the parts my children loved best was seeing all the animals. Bison, mountain goats, and more just wandered about freely, often stopping traffic. The kids loved to get out of the car with the binoculars and camera and just watch. They were amazed.

When I saw Connie Prince’s Roam Free kit in this month’s Digi Files, I knew it would be the perfect kit to tell this story.

As I started to put my page together, grabbing photos and parts of the kit, I had to stop and ask an important question:

What’s the Story?

The story matters. Choices of pictures, papers, and elements depend on what story you are trying to tell. It affects which photos go where and what sizes they should be.

As I looked at all the photos I wanted to use, I realized the story was much less about the animals themselves (cool as they were), but rather, about my kids’ reaction to them. They loved them and were totally mesmerized.

However, a week later when we spent six days in Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park, the novelty wore off and after a few days they declared,

“We hope we never see another bison….ever!”

And so, as I put my layout together, knowing the story helped me decide which photos to use and how much emphasis I placed on them. In the end, this was my result:

Although the photos of the park and animals take up much of the space on the page, the large bison and the enlarged photo of my kids are easily seen as the most important part of the page. In addition, the photo, bison, and journaling all work together to provide a visual triangle, forcing the viewer’s eye to the most important part of the page.

Once a viewer sees and reads the main story, he/she is able to let her eyes roam free (pun totally intended) on the page, looking at the smaller images.

Knowing what story I was trying to tell made it easy for me to decide on the design of my page. But what about you? Do you plan your page around a story or do you choose a story based on your page?