Scrapbooking – Cropping and Matting

You’ve looked over several magazines, websites and books about scrapbooking, and you feel like you’re ready to go. However, in all these articles you’ve looked over, you realize there are a few words that you’ve heard your wedding photographer talk about…words that scare you a little bit…and cause you to doubt yourself with the thought, “I’m not a professional photographer…what have I gotten myself into?” These frightening words you will find aren’t so frightening after all, and putting them into use will really spice up your scrapbook.

The first word is Cropping…which, simply put, is cutting off the boring, messy, or distracting parts of photos. For the most part, photos look best, and professional, when they have straight sides and clean edges, like a square or rectangle. Sometimes even a circle or ovals will work well. Another way to crop photos is to cut along the edges of an object or a person, like an outline, and remove the background altogether. If you’re really feeling creative, cut a portion of an object out of a photo, leaving the rest of the photo intact. This will give you a ‘jack-in-the-box’ effect.

It is important to use the proper tools when cropping your pictures so you get crisp, 90 degree angles. This may mean buying something else when you head to the craft store. There are numerous small, inexpensive paper cutters to help you with this job. Try to avoid cutting photos with the fancy-edged scissors from your child’s craft kit. Your best bet is to cut the photo with smooth edges and use the fancy scissors on a colored paper mat around the photo.

Speaking of mats…that brings up the second intimidating word…matting. Matting is basically giving your photo a background with a separate piece of paper. But, you may think, “Why waste the time doing that?” by having a narrow edge of colored paper around the outside edge of your photo, you can ‘bring out’ a certain color in photos. This can enhance the visual impact of the photo. Try using more than one color mat at a time. Don’t slack off with matting, rather, be creative, and you will find a little cropping and a little matting can really go a long way with your scrapbook.