Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Simple and Sophisticated

So my birthday just passed, and although I was not overjoyed to turn 32 I was happy to celebrate my first birthday as a mom!  I have the most wonderful husband in the world, and when I decided I wanted to take some spur-of-the-moment family portraits for my birthday he was all for it.  And I was so pleased with the pictures that I just had to scrap them right away!

I love black and white photos.  They just feel timeless and dramatic to me.  And they always hide a less than perfect color combo in your photo subjects!  I converted the focal photo to B & W in Picasa, the free Google photo editing program.  Because I had to crop it so specifically (more on that in a minute) I had to print it in the dimensions given so it is not your traditional 5 x 7.  I also cropped 2 other photos from out session and put a museum matte border around them in Picasa.  I printed these in color because I wanted to add some color to the layout.

I chose gray as my background color because I like the look of B & W matted on gray.  It is also a textured sheet of paper to add a look of softness.  I trimmed the gray down to 11 1/2 x 11 1/2  and matted it on pink to make it pop.  The remainder of my elements are all done with scraps from my scrap box and dies on my Sizzix as well as a thin piece of sheer ribbon.  

This layout started out as a sketch by Becky Fleck,
but took on a mind of its own.  I was chatting with some friends while I put it together and just kept trying out different things until I was happy with the results.  The only thing that remained of the sketch were the hearts!  But sometimes your inspiration is just a starting point.

 I frequently do photos in my house rather than going out to a studio to get them done.  In this case, all I did was drape a dark gray sheet over the back of my loveseat and position the camera so the sun was behind it.  This floods the room with natural sunlight but doesn't cause the photos to look washed out.  
Because the whole family was in the portrait (we even got one with the cat!) we used the self timer.  This was my first time using the timer...usually I am behind the camera!  So the result was a large amount of background clutter.  The key is to crop out all of that background.  However, I will keep practicing at this so the camera zooms in on us without cutting off heads!  But as you can see, photo editing makes a world of difference!

And there you have it...a simple yet sophisticated tribute to my fantastic family.  A layout like this would make a great Mother's Day gift, birthday gift, or simply a home decor item.  Mine hangs in my living room now and makes me smile every time I look at it!

Well, back tomorrow with another layout and some exciting news!

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