Monday, 4 February 2008

I take around 100 photos a month - and even more if I'm on vacation!

(I’m warning my four readers – I’ll be getting on my soapbox again and ranting about single photo layouts!)

WHAT is the big idea with these one-photo layouts taking over the (scrapbooking) world? I do go on and on about this but it really does irritate me that they are everywhere. Case in point: in my latest UK scrapbooking magazine, which shall remain nameless, I counted 19 layouts in their reader’s gallery yet only TWO had more than one photo on them. And out of those two, one had a large photo and several other photos so tiny that they are really more embellishments than photos.

What’s going on?

I am starting to believe that the industry, fuelled by the media, is trying to propagate the idea that single-photo layouts are the way to go. This means that it takes scrapbookers a lot longer to work through those mountains of photos, using a lot more paper and stash along the way which means more shopping which of course means more revenue for the scrapbooking industry!

I am not a really artistic scrapbooker and mainly want to get the story and the photos down for posterity. But I do look enviously around at other scrappers that manage to put together simply stunning layouts that are more like works of art… but somehow a part of me thinks that single-photo layouts are easier to put together in an artistic way. One large photo leaves a lot of space for embellishments and of course, that all-important white space that balances things out. So, for me at least, single photo layouts are sort of like cheating.

It is harder to create a layout with three or more photos that still looks balanced and artistic and trendy. I have few layouts that have only one photo and generally these tend to look a LOT nicer than my multi-photo scrapping efforts! But if I scrap one photo at a time I will never catch up (and my photo mountain is more of a molehill) and I find it very difficult to tell a story with just one photo, even if I support it with lots of journaling.

I do think that special photos deserve a place of their own but a whole album of single-photo layouts? I just can’t do that, I would feel that I was writing a story using only nouns and leaving out all the adjectives and adverbs. In fact, most of my layouts are double spreads because I tend to use around 8 to 10 photos per event!

When I finished reading my UK scrapping magazine and it dawned on me that most of the layouts featured include only one photo I felt strange, almost as if the magazine had left me down. Where are the layouts made “in the real world”? I’ve been feeling dissatisfied with this magazine for quite a while (not just because of its love for single-photo layouts) and I found that I was annoyed enough to actually cancel my subscription. Which I did, the very next day.

I feel that magazines – in all areas, not just scrapbooking – need to have the right balance between aspirational and realistic. So I had to face the facts that it wasn’t pleasurable any more and I had to cancel my subscription. I’m sure they won’t miss me either as there are plenty of scrappers out there that seem to love those blasted single-photo layouts!


Rachael said...

I think I agree with you on this one! I do create one photo layouts , but only because the photo is particularaly special or has a story to it that requires only one photo to be used. Mostly I do multi layouts because otherwise I would never get through all my photos! You are right about single photo layouts being easier too!

Jane said...

Couldn't agree with you more about the one-photo layouts.... I do them very occasionally, but usually because I only HAVE the one photo. Otherwise, it seems a waste of stash. And the real rub is when they have a 12x12 page with only ONE 4x6 photo and a ton of blank space all around it! I don't get it!!!


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