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Weekend Creative : Creating Room To Write With Photos

Weekendpost

Last week I was browsing through Martha Stewart's Living magazine and was looking specifically at the way their designers use full-page photos to their advantage when designing the spreads for feature articles.

I love how they use "blank" areas on photos to create homes for the text of the article. I especially loved the example above with the chicken and the cool yellow wall. The wall is a perfect home for the story to be told. This is something that's super easy to do in scrapbooking and is the topic for this week's weekend creative.

This weekend's prompt is to take some photos that include specific space for telling your story. You're invited you to share the photos you take in the weekend creative group at Flickr. I'm totally looking forward to seeing your photos.

Here's a few things to keep in mind:

TAKE PHOTOS WITH INTENT : When you are looking through the lens of your camera, become aware of opportunities to take photos that will give you room to write/type your story. Walls, floors, the sky, looking down on a table, etc - these are all usually really great open spaces for text.

Walls tend to work well for this technique as they don't usually have many additional elements that will interfere with your text (too much interference makes it tougher to read). You could simply take a photo of a bare wall and use that photo as a part of your layout to hold text. Keep in mind that walls by themselves are nice, but add in a person (or a chicken as you see above) or part of a person (like shoes or hands or half of a face like below) and your results will tell an even more meaningful story.

SURVEY THE SCENE : Keep your eyes open when you are capturing someone or something for the chance to place your subject to the far left, far right, very top, or very bottom of the frame. By simply moving the focal point away from the center of the frame you are creating room for text to be added.

Here's an example: let's say I am outside taking photos of Simon on his bike. In addition to the regular shots of him zooming around, I will also include a couple where he is placed near the top of the frame where you might only see the wheels and his shoes. In this case the middle and bottom of the frame would be filled with cement - a nice open space for placing the words of my story.

This same affect can also sometimes be achieved after-the-fact by cropping your photo in a photo-editing program. See below for an example.

TELL A STORY: After capturing your image, journal directly onto your photo either with a pen on a printed photo or by using the type tool (T) in Photoshop.

Here's a recent photo of mine that had a nice space for my text. What you see below is what came out of the camera:

Family1

I actually love the proportion above but ended up cropping in tighter to make a 12x12 photo page.

Family12x12_web

I'm thinking that I will add a second page of collaged images of the three of them to create a spread.

CROPPING AFTER: Another thing you might want to do is take a look at the photos you already have and see if any can be cropped to achieve this same effect. Here's a photo I found that's one of those shots that comes from taking a bunch
in one sitting at our table:

Simon1

It's a funny, random of shot of Simon in the middle of repeating one of his current favorite movie scenes.

My goal with the crop below was to create a specific space for telling the story and move him drastically to the left side of the photo.

Simon2

I love this.

Here it is with text added. The text is in progress so I just copied and pasted to give an idea of what the text will look like:

Simon3

You could do something like this (sized to about 12 inches x 8 inches), print it out, adhere it to cardstock, and embellish with traditional products. I think that's what I will do once I complete the journaling.

Have fun creating room to write on your photos and enjoy your weekend!

[ Past weekend creative projects can be found here. ]

Dottedline

I wanted to take a minute and say a really heartfelt thank you for all the comments on the One Little Word post the other day. I've been holding that part of my story in for awhile, waiting for the right time to release it out into the world. It's so inspiring to me to read the comments and stories and words of support. Thank you.

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71 thoughts

  1. Dr. Sanjeev Nanda says…
    06/04/2010

    Nice idea...i love the concept..

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Esther (aka blue_eyed_pea) says…
    06/04/2010

    Great inspiration!! I love your examples. I must try that!

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  3. dawn says…
    06/04/2010

    Wow Ali you amaze me everytime I see your new posts. I love how you are always thinking of a new way to document your story, you always keep it fresh, new and exciting for you and for us. I love this idea and never thought to take pictures like this. I will give it a try but am not a great photographer as you are. I love the examples you used especially of Simon doing his own thing, that's real. I also clicked on your previous weekend creative and love love the idea with your typecase?? didn't know that's what they are called. I took mine down a year ago that had a few minitures on it because it was getting boring to look at. I love this idea though and am going to get it out of attic this weekend and work on it, thank you so much for the inspiration. I loved all your past ideas there too and am going to try them.
    Thanks again Ali you totally ROCK!!

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  4. Loretta Artful yogi says…
    06/04/2010

    Love the weekend crteative prompt. I plan to edit my Memorial weekend get away pictures today. I'll keep my eyes open for these opportunites to tell the story on the page. Loved seeing the chicken at the top of your post as we just stayed at a B&B with chickens. I fell in love with them; feeding them and gathering their eggs.
    So proud of your fitness goal. As a yoga instructor and a mom of four, i know how this goal can seem huge. But you are focused and are right on track. How fabulous. Really. I love the way you challenge yourself. Be sure to remember the, "I am enough" mantra during the process. :)
    Loretta

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  5. Sarah says…
    06/04/2010

    I like the "white space" examples. In fact, I had just taken a few photos this past week, leaving space for journaling, much like that. Have a great weekend!

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  6. Steph says…
    06/04/2010

    So inspired by you - always!

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Shelly k says…
    06/04/2010

    Great inspiration as always...Ali style!!
    Have a good weekend!

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Jean says…
    06/04/2010

    If the rain stops here in Seattle I'll try to get out to take some photos - great inspiration as always! Cheers me up just looking at your photos!

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. sansku says…
    06/04/2010

    martha's people really are amazing. often i buy the magazine just because it's so pretty.
    i'm going to do this! thanks for the fun assignment. :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. hannahk says…
    06/04/2010

    wow this was timely ~ I've had the thought to leave room for a title on images and your post has just added a whole new clarity to the idea. Thanks so much

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Heather H. says…
    06/04/2010

    MSL is one of my favorite places for scrapping inspiration. I also have a collection of magazine pages from a local magazine that does a great job with their layouts.

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Peaceliving says…
    06/04/2010

    I LOVE this Ali! Just the inspiration I needed today. I'm going to scour my photos and do some creative cropping and really get some stories told this weekend. I love the cropping you did halfway through Simon's face. Very graphic. Have a great weekend.

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Deb J says…
    06/04/2010

    This is such a great idea. Love the way you always have new ideas to share. Wish I had such great subjects to scrap about.

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Barbara says…
    06/04/2010

    I absolutely LOVE this idea! I am going to look for and make opportunities to use it in my pages.

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Rachel Smith says…
    06/04/2010

    Wonderful ideas and inspiration! Once again, you demonstrate just exactly why I adore you so much!! ;)

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Molly Irwin says…
    06/04/2010

    it's part of my approach to my summer project. might be sending you a snippet this week, if time permits.

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Gwen says…
    06/04/2010

    What a great post! I love that it really gave me inspiration focused on a 'physical' aspect of scrapbooking. Lately I feel like alot is about more 'mental' aspects of the hobby or of life. I'm overwhelmed by life so a concrete idea to act on feels great.

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Bonnie says…
    06/04/2010

    Wow, excellent inspiration, thanks so much!

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. radish says…
    06/04/2010

    I have been admiring Martha Stewart layouts for a while. I did notice though that she has a color scheme in mind before they photograph and that is somewhat is how they pull the piece together. I wonder if they do extracting to pull it together?

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Ali Edwards says…
    06/04/2010

    I would love that!

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Laura says…
    06/04/2010

    Ahhh, you know I love these pages. :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Krystal says…
    06/04/2010

    Ali, I'm confused how I upload a photo on this specific stream. I'm new to Flickr. I clicked the link but not sure what to do after... sorry!! :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Krystal says…
    06/04/2010

    Ok, I just read where it said add something new, so that's what I did. Hope you can see it :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Ali Edwards says…
    06/04/2010

    Yes I do :). You are awesome at this!

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Lisa says…
    06/04/2010

    great challenge ali! i have a super quick question regarding the U in your example above. is it a font i can find somewhere?

    Reply 0 Replies

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