by Debbie Hodge

In Organizing Events Photos I share a step-by-step process for winnowing down the photos you’ve taken to a manageble number for scrapbooking events. In the last section of that article, I suggest going through your photos relatively quickly to select those you really like and think you’ll put on a page. Here I’m offering more guidance about what photos make good “keepers.”

What photos make good “keepers” for events pages?

Essentially you want photos that tell the story of the event and that document important particulars.

Good candidates to include on your page are photos:

  • of people key to your event (both posed and candid)
  • of interesting and relevant items (the birthday cake, the pumpkin, the valentine card)
  • of event activities (the champagne toast, the three-legged race)
  • that convey a sense of place
  • that you just plain like

Remove photos that:

  • are close duplicates of others
  • are of poor quality
  • don’t really add to the story you’re telling on this page

I took 200+ digital photos at my friend’s 40th birthday party, and I was happy to give her all those prints. For my albums, though, I wanted to get her party onto one layout. During the winnowing process I selected two strong focal photos (of the birthday girl and her cake). For supporting photos, I chose three shots of when she received a motorcycle from her hubby and four posed shots of the guests I know best.


From those keepers, select one (or two) focal photos

Each photo on your page can have the same emphasis as the others on the page OR you may choose to highlight one (or more) photo(s). Selecting one photo to highlight above all others results in your page having a focal-point photo.

Why have a focal-point photo?

A focal-point photo can help make your page clear and appealing because it gives the viewer’s eye a place to start. When this starting place exists, so, too, does a hierarchy that lets the viewer understand levels of importance–some photos take on more importance than others. The result of this is that your viewer can better understand just what went on at your event and what it meant. Be sure to check out Creating A Focal Point on Pages for design how-tos on focal points.

When my son had a lead role in “Aladdin” there was no way I was taking only a few photos. The problem with having 100 photos, though, is that it can be hard to really make sense of what went on. The four supporting photos here show the progression of the play, but they’re busy. A photo of just my son, after the play with flowers, helps draw the eye in and make the story one the viewer can settle in to.

What makes a good focal-point photo?

  • a photo that is engaging (like a great shot of one or two people looking into the camera or engaged in a relevant activity)
  • a photo that represents or triggers an association with the holiday or celebration you are scrapping
  • a photo with great photographic quality

When your focal point photo includes  people:

  • show them in a relevant activity or looking into the camera
  • understand that in most circumstances a photo with only one or two people works better as a focal-point than one with multiple subjects; it’s just less complicated and more clear.


On "Party Surprise" I included two focal-point photos -- one of the entertainment and one of the cupcakes. These are supported by four photos of the partiers.


Let’s see your events pages and tell us how you chose your photos. Share them in the Get It Scrapped Gallery and link us up here in the comments section.