Probably the #1 piece of advice I would give to a new scrapbooker would be:
Focus on picking out papers that compliment your photos with supporting colors. You want them to compliment, not compete with your photos.
I know this is a topic I've mentioned more than once, but it's one that is definitely worth repeating. It took me a long time to figure out how to pick the best colors for my photos. (I started to say, the "right" colors, but I really don't like using the words right and wrong, because in creating right and wrong isn't as simple as black and white. You know what I mean?)
It took me a long time because I was focused on using themed papers and limited myself to using a single collection on a layout instead of mixing and matching different papers from different collections. As my style evolved I learned more about how I create and the layouts that I seemed to be most happy with all had a common thread, the colors complimented the photos.
So how do you compliment with colors?
These are a few methods I like to use:
For my main colors I find colors that are minimal in the photo. Looking at this layout, I used red, gray, orange, the darker blue, and green (all of the banner strips colors) based on the colors on Jackson's shirt.
For an accent color I find a color or two that you see a lot of in the photos. For this layout I went with black as an accent based on Jackson's black shirt. I only added two smaller black strip and added black paint to outline the photos.
In simple terms:
A lot of a color in the photo = a little bit of that color on my layout.
A little of a color in the photo = a lot of that color on my layout.
And, did you know that you can highlight and bring attention to certain elements in your photos with the colors on your layout?
Since the layout is about Jackson and his sunglasses, I used a light blue to match the color of the sunglasses to create several large stars going across the layout.
A three of these methods have worked really well for me when it comes to picking out papers. Of course, like I mentioned earlier in this post, there are no methods that are a hard rule. There are always different ways to play around with the colors of your layout. This just happens to be a no-fail option that I turn to often.
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