Project PL | Spice up Your Life!


As many of you know, this is my first year tackling a Project Life album for my family, and I’m not going to lie – I kind of love it.. 😉  I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve had to force myself to work (designing, around the house or otherwise – aka right now) when all I wanted to do was scrap. I’m always behind, so I’m not scrapping chronologically, but I’ve noticed that all in all my life isn’t that interesting and sometimes it’s a bit mind-numbing to scrap 800 photos of my boys at the park, or 90,000 pics of a playdough creation – who’s with me here? … That’s what I thought… 😉  So I wanted to share some SUPER EASY tricks I’ve found myself doing to help “spice up my life.” (Am I the only one with that song running through my head now?)


We love to go on leisurely bike rides as a family, and back in April I came to the realization that I’d end up with 25 bike photos every week if I wasn’t careful. Now, I’m all for spending quality time with the fam in the great outdoors, but I was pretty sure I didn’t want to look at 4 billion blurry biking-in-action photos as I flipped through our family’s album. Enter the CLOSE-UP SHOT.  *Click thru for full credits on all images.*

amber_perspective^^ Check out my day 16 up there. ^^ I love this photo for so many reasons – mainly because I feel it really captures my life right now – living in the flat midwest after growing up in the mountains of Utah – blue skies, green grass, corn fields as far as the eye can see and lots of time with the family outside – in fact I’m considering printing it to add to a yet-to-be-fulfilled gallery wall in our home. 😉 BUT, for our purposes here I think it’s a great example of changing things up and making something “mundane” and “ordinary” into something visually exciting.

Here are a few more pages with close-up photos of my boys’ creations that are a bit more interesting to look at than the kid just playing with the legos or playdough..




Another way to add some visual interest to your other-wise ho-hum photos is to find a way to frame the subject naturally within their surroundings. Sometimes it even helps tells the story, like in this awesome shot of Maribel’s son behind the Christmas tree. What a sweet moment to capture of him in his own little world – what is he thinking? what does that trinket mean to him? – and had she shot it from the side, without the tree “blocking” him, it would have been missing that part of the story.maribel_frame for depth

See how the lines of the fence below create a visual frame around Maribel’s daughter riding the bike? (Also, I’m pretty sure she had to get low down on the ground to get that shot – don’t be afraid to get down and dirty while you’re documenting.) 😉

maribel_frame and perspective


The last tip I want to share today is of taking photos from unexpected angles. Shoot things from above, below, behind, far off to the side – anything that’s out of the ordinary for those “normal and boring” day-to-day activities – and it will liven things up in a jiffy! For example, I know what my youngest looks like, and I have the 28 other photos of him at the park this day to prove it. Adding this one of him from behind is a nice change of pace from the typical cheesy smile I usually plaster all over our PL pages.

amber_new-angles2(Also check out how much more interesting Maribel’s photo of her daughter playing on the Leapster is (above) compared to my son reading – similar activity, but switching up the angle of the shot really enhances the visual appeal of the image.)

maribel_perspective and movement I hope these three tips have given you some food for thought and the next time you’re about to snap a pic of your cat taking over your keyboard for the 500th time or your little girl playing dress-up in mommy’s shoes for the 12th time today, take a moment to ask yourself, “What will make THIS photo stand out from the rest?” and see what happens!





Do you have any other tips to share? I’d love to hear them in the comments – goodness knows I’ll need all the help I can get this year!  😉


Amber has been designing in the digital scrapbooking industry since 2008, and for the paper industry since 2013. She loves reading, board games, and all things chocolate!

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