Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Tips with Tracy: Matting your Photos

Hi Creative Scrapbook Fans! Tracy McLennon is sharing some tips that will work for you with any kit you use! Here's Tracy:

Tips With Tracy: Matting

For those of you that may follow along with the My Creative Scrapbook design team, may notice that each of us have a certain 'style'. Each of us have things that ALWAYS go into our creations. So I thought I would start a series of tutorials on just that. What makes a 'Tracy Layout'.

Today's tutorial is on matting your photos. I ALWAYS mat my photos and here is why...
I think it starts from my days working in a pro photography and framing shop. I believe that matted photos stand out from the layout far better than non matted photos. The photo is what my layouts are all about. So I would like you to think about framed and matted paintings or photos you may have seen or even have in your home. The purpose to matting paintings is to bring the focus of the eye to the painting itself. That is exactly what I want to do with my photos on layouts.

Then there is the choice of colours to mat your photos. This too for me is very calculated, and often similar from layout to layout. Here's how it works, and again this comes back to my time in the custom framing shop. Your first mat, the mat that is closest to your image should be a neutral colour. Neutral colours are: white, cream, black, dark brown, navy or grey.
I very rarely put anything but a neutral right next to the photo, as it becomes far too distracting and will in turn only pull that colour from the image.
Take a peek of some of my sample images of matting from my October creations.

So, how do you know which neutral to chose for that first mat?
That depends on your photo. If the background of your photo is very light, then I will choose a dark neutral for that first mat. More often than not for me, my background is darker and a white or cream mat will look best.
When it's between white or cream, then I look at the collection of paper and embellishments I'm using. The collection will almost ALWAYS use white or cream in some of the patterns or backgrounds. I base my choice on that.

The second mat is often where I will bring that pop of colour.

Most of the time I will have at least 3 mats on a photo. But that depends on the size of the photo and how much space I have on my layout for the photo.
If I have the pop of colour as my middle mat, then I will usually have another neutral for the third mat. But that second and third mat will often get switched, depending on my mood.

Your final mat has a purpose too. Again you want it to have a pretty good contrast from your layout. So if your background is darker, you might want to choose a lighter final mat. Or if your background is lighter, you may want a darker final mat.

I hope this makes sense, a sneak peek into my calculated matting mind of papercrafting.
Thanks for stopping by!