Cropping pictures is one way to help improve the quality of your baby photos before you add them to your child's scrapbook album.
Cropping Baby Photos
The primary goal of cropping pictures is to remove distracting background elements. This includes things like road signs, trees, furniture, or general household clutter. Sometimes, scrapbookers even crop pictures to remove other people from the photo if they are not part of the story being told within a particular layout.
When cropping pictures, ask yourself what you want to be the focal point of the photo. Is it the sweet expression on your newborn's face during his afternoon nap? Is it the interaction between your niece's face and baby cousin when they meet for the first time? Knowing what you want to convey with the image will make it easier for you to determine if cropping your baby pictures is necessary.
Always Have a Backup Plan
Cropping photos can be a wonderful way to enhance the quality of your baby scrapbook layouts, but you want to make sure you have a plan to fall back on in case your efforts don't turn out quite as well as you had hoped. If you're working with digital pictures, make a copy of the original baby photo in a separate folder before you start cropping. If you have traditional film prints, never crop the original without easy access to the negatives.
Using the Rule of Thirds
To successfully crop a photo, imagine a grid drawn over the top of the image. For most people, the natural instinct is to place the focal point of the picture directly in the middle of the grid. However, images are more visually appealing if the focal point is at one of the intersections of the squares on the grid. This means, for example, that a picture of your daughter getting her first haircut might be cropped to have her hair in the upper right hand corner of the photo.
Cropping Into Shapes
Many novice scrapbookers find themselves enthralled with templates and punches that let you crop your photos into hearts, stars, and other novelty shapes. However, you should resist the temptation to go overboard with unusual cropping techniques. Generally, it's best to stick to squares, rectangles, and the occasional circle or oval for your photo shapes. Simple designs have a timeless appeal, which means you'll love your baby scrapbook album in five years just as much as you did the day you created a particular layout.