Thursday, July 14, 2011

Putting objects in the layout

Journaling reads:
With two children, we can now be considered the all-American family -- a mom, a dad, a son, and a daughter. This is an achievement for us. A family doesn't come ready-made. It is built through a series of events. After our wedding, we were just a couple. When our baby girl came along, we were a couple with a baby. Now that we have a son, we truly can be considered a complete family. My family now mirrors the one I grew up in, with one girl and one boy. And with two offspring, we have reached the replacement rate for human reproduction. In fact, the average American family has 2.2 children. Since a fraction of a child can only exist in the realm of statistical averages, this is as close as we can get. And who knows? We just might surpass it one day (by 0.8 of a child, of course).

I've created over 100 layouts now, and I think this is the first one that doesn't have a face in it. Yet I've noticed that some of the most creative layouts I've seen do not include a picture of a person at all.

I got the idea to take a photo of shoes lined up from a layout I saw on When you walk into a house, seeing lots of shoes lined up by the door says that a family lives there. I loved the idea and I did a version of my own. An added benefit is that it is much easier to take a picture of shoes than it is to get two small children to smile at the camera at the same time.

Using a photo of an object rather than a person helps emphasize the journaling. Humans seem to be programmed to focus on faces. When there is a face in the picture, people's eyes are drawn to that and may overlook the narrative. Using an ordinary object rather than a face helps draw the viewer to the words, instead. I saw a layout that had a stack of pennies next to a story about her grandmother's frugality. It really made me focus on the journaling rather than the visual elements.

Now, when I have a story to tell, I look for objects that symbolize the theme. The possibilities are endless and they are all around me.

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