Last week, I decided to start creating my own sketches. To make that process easier, I cut out lots of cardstock pieces (many more than pictured here) in the sizes I typically use for photos, journaling blocks, or any other elements on my pages. I have been using these pieces either with my sketches, or just on their own, to determine placement on my background page before I start working with my photos.
This is something I actually have thought about doing for many years but just got around to doing it, and now I wish I had done it a long time ago! Maybe you're already doing this or something similar. I know it's a really basic thing (actually, embarrassingly basic) and not at all an original idea (in fact, there are much more sophisticated page planning products on the market), but this simple process has been very helpful to me in completing layouts much more quickly than I normally do. This is the process I have been using:
* Select photos to be used.
* Select cardstock pieces in the same sizes as photos.
* Place cardstock pieces on my background page according to my sketch (or without a sketch).
* One by one, place the photos over the top of the cardstock pieces, cropping as needed when I'm sure I like the design.
If you're a visual person (and a planner!) like me, maybe this type of process would be helpful to you. I know from teaching classes that the most difficult part of scrapbooking is often the design process. If you struggle with that like I often do, this little system can free you up to just look at the "bare bones" of your design before working with the colors and composition of your photos. If you decide to give it a try, let me know how it works for you!