Designing with Photos and Mini Photos

Amy Jussel

I Took A Challenge

As a photographer, I have a hard time designing a layout with the photos in mind. I know some people can do it and do it well. But I struggle every time I try.

The result is that I’ve wondered, why are the photos, photo mats, and mini photos some of the most popular sets at Kiwi Lane? Why would you want to use them? Just use your actual photo. Man, was I wrong!

I took the challenge this month to use the Photo Designer Templates when using this month’s Customer Specials Sets to create a layout using the Play-To-Create system.

I’d had the idea for a large background piece that had scalloped edges, and because I was certain of that element, I went ahead and created it using the Scallops Fun Border (1A,1B) so I could visualize it clearly.

Next, I used the Photo and Mini Photo templates to create a composite of photos that I knew (because I could see them!) would fit perfectly together on top of my scalloped box.Once I had a good arrangement, it was time to choose and crop my actual photos. The first photo was easy because it was a 4×6 and didn’t require cropping at all.

Easy To Crop

One of the greatest things about the Photo and Mini Photo Template Sets is that, because they are transparent, I was able to set them on top of my photos, line them up perfectly, and crop down my photos without any fear of ruining anything! It was so simple and satisfying!

Personally, I like to just set my photo and the template right on my paper trimmer, line it up with the template and then remove the template and make the cut. This cuts out the step of marking the photo first, although occasionally–when it’s very important to be precise–you can make a mark on your photo to indicate where to cut.

I simply worked through my photos one at a time, cutting and replacing them, and watching my layout come to stunning life right before my eyes!

This was so FAST. Much faster than it normally takes me to design because it took the guess work out of where I wanted my photos, which photos would work where, and took the fear out of actually cropping them. I am now a firm believer in using photos and mini photos on my layouts!

Designer Templates Used:

Clara Lane (1A,1B,2A,2B)

Scallops (1A,1B)

Nature (1,6)

Nature (6T)

Photo Set & Mini Photo Set

Have you discovered how useful the Photos and Mini Photos can be?

Do you have a layout that uses a lot of pictures?
We would love to see it, so please share!

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  1. I love the photo templates but… I have to admit I am still guilty of trying to use the photos in the design process if I am not cutting them down much. I love using the templates for figuring out how to cut the pictures down…. they are INVALUABLE!!!! <3