My Corner Online


fun extras

The Fun Extras - Set One

14. What Photos do you Struggle With?

For this lesson, I ask some difficult questions.  Please take this lesson seriously in your answers as that is how each of us will learn from each other's experiences.

What is one picture or set of pictures that you cannot come up with an idea for scrapping them? (or struggled with in the past) 
How do you get past this brick wall?

If you finally managed to scrap them, share your layout and tell us what you did.


Here are your comments!


I don’t think I’ve ever consciously encountered this problem – probably because I have sooooooooooooooo many photos to scrap with, there’s always something I can work with. I find so much depends on my mood and what I ‘feel’ like doing at any given time. I’ve sometimes looked at a photo and thought: that’s just not inspiring me right now, and then, a few days / weeks / months later I’ve looked at it again and thought: great, this is perfect for scrapping! So I suppose my suggestion if you are finding it difficult to scrap a particular photo or subject, then don’t stress over it – just put it to one side for another time. Perhaps the nearest I have come to a ‘block’ was some pix of my father, who sadly died suddenly a few years back. There was a time when I wasn’t emotionally ready to scrap with one or two of these, because of the memories they evoked and the rawness of my feelings. But I simply accepted that the time wasn’t right. I knew that time would come, and sure enough, it did, a year or so later. Sometimes, I think it’s right not to hurry too much! Mole

My mom has wanted me to make scrap layouts of my Grandma. I did make one layout of her, but that one was more of a quickie. I have not had it in me yet to get a photo album out and scan pictures in. Gram passed 4 years ago, and to me it is still hard to look at pictures without crying my eyes out. I really don't know how to get past the brick wall that is keeping me from taking the photos out and scanning them. Dawn

My daughter became very ill, required multiple surgeries, and had to be taken out of school for the last two months of the year when she was in 9th grade. I took many photos of her good and bad days, but I wasn't able to scrap them for almost a year. I didn't know what I wanted to say so I just started writing. The theme of the pages was "I wasn't prepared..." It talked about how we rode the roller coaster of good days and bad days, emergency surgeries, and severe complications from mono. Each page talked about how the illness progressed and the resulting complications. The final page talked about her road to recovery and all the love and support we received during that time... that was how the mini album concluded. "I wasn't prepared" for all the love and support we would receive. I uploaded the pages here... please have a look when you get a chance. DigiDeborah

the photos I find hard to scrap involve my grandson. He was diagnosed with leukaemia aged 2yrs and spent over 3yrs on the treatment. I have photos of him during this period and would love to record his courage throughout but I still find it too emotional to do. I would like to add that with the skills of the doctors and the prayers of hundreds of people he is now doing very well I'm so glad your daughter is ok Deborah and perhaps if I look at your pages it will encourage me to do some Janen

I scanned some old family photos, some of which I have scrapped. I have tried to scrap some photos of my sister, who died just a few months short of her 4th birthday (when I was a year and a half). I don't remember her, but she was still there in my growing up, as my mother spoke often of her and never stopped mourning her. I just can't seem to find the sort of layout that seems right. JanetMM

Hmmm, this is a tough question. I haven't had this come up yet. I try to work on a layout shortly after I take photos to remember why it was worthwhile taking. On my more organized days, I jot a quick note to myself in Evernote to remember layout ideas. To those of you who have struggled with feelings of loss or hurt - my love and heart goes out to you. So glad for those of you who have loved ones who recovered - may they have many healthy, happy years. g_robb53

I'm trying to think of some I have been putting off...I think I have put off Christmas from the last 2 years b/c it's just so overwhelming. A few years ago while I was still paper scrapping, I did 4 years of Christmas in a weekend and I was so tired of green and red, ha! But b/c we have 4 Christmas's each year, I just get tired of doing them. Funny enough, I always have trouble w/Thanksgiving too b/c there are so few photos taken but I want it to be remembered. I tend to just skip over it for a few years until I'm in the mood. Digital scrapping does help me get those "ugh..what do I do w/these" pictures done faster b/c I can search through my templates, then make the pictures fit and it seems to move faster from there, finally choosing paper, etc... Templates help me get over the humps ALOT!!!!! froggymamma

Interesting topic to discuss. I'm sure that all of us have SO many pictures to scrap. I can't really say that there is any one type of picture or subject that I've had trouble scrapping. There have been times when I'll want to scrap a photo, but I just can't seem to make it work. I just put it away and save it for another time. I've had relatives and friends ask me to make layouts with certain pictures and that seems to block me. If I spontaneously make layouts of some of their photos, I do okay, but if it's something they ask for, I freeze. lol And there's the matter of making a book of my daughter's wedding.... she's been married since 2002 and I still haven't done that. I think that's just because it would take so much time and I have so many other photos to scrap. It would be a fantastic Christmas gift for her, though, so maybe I should get my butt in gear. pammyj

I tend to have a problem with scrapping something about my children or grandchildren that is going into the gallery. I don't like to put children especially, on the internet if they can be identified. I look for something where you can't really see their faces and I don't like to put their names in. Since I still have the layout with layers, I can always change it for our own use. jatwin

I haven't actually not ever been able to come up with a layout. In paper scrapping I sometime manage to do most of a layout then when I get stuck, pop it away in a bag and come back to it at a later date. I haven't really been doing digi scrapping that long and thus far have not gotten stuck. But I expect sometime that I will and I think I will apply the same rule to that. Pop it on one side and come back to it. Paper-wise I have just finished off two layouts that have been sitting in my to do box almost finished for at least a year. lynnedbears

With me, I always get hung up on layouts someone asks me to do. I procrastinate because I always feel it won't be good enough. I seem to be able to whip out great layouts of my family members, but when it is someone else's and I want to please them, then I hit the brick wall. I have an album here that I have been working on for over TWO YEARS now for a friend. They are photos of her cruise!! (Oh I'm so ashamed!!) I can't tell you how many times I have redone one of the layouts! Now another friend has just asked me to do her 50th wedding anniversary. I have knots in my stomach!!!!! And I honestly don't have an answer as to how to get past the brick wall. NancyP

For me, every layout is a challenge as I am so focused on following the lessons and doing the techniques and trying to retain what I have learned. So when I eventually choose a photo, I try to apply it for the lesson that I am doing that week. I just completed a lesson for Reflections and 3D text, and even though it was not the usual way to reflect text at the top of the page, I had to do it that way regardless of how it looked, and truthfully, I loved the way it came out. ccynden

I think I get hung up if someone else wants me to scrap a photo. I always feel like it won't be good enough. So, I usually won't do them just because someone else asked me to do it. I'm too self conscious and I suppose I lack self esteem... hate to admit it, but it's true. But.... having said that.... If I just scrap a photo for a friend without having been asked to, they always seem thrilled with it. Of course then I'm asking myself if they are just being polite. Wish I'd get over that!!!!!! Jaclin

I haven't had that problem yet as mainly I've been scrapping my grandkids' pictures into albums for their families. My problem is choosing which photos to leave out of the page/album. I tend to try to use most of the photos I take or they send me, so most of my pages are multi-photo layouts. I've seen some great single photo LO's and wish I could just do that on some of the pages. I've done that mostly for lessons but not necessarily for myself. Belle33

I don't think I've ever had a 'block' on any photos, but I find I don't like to do old photos! I seem to take new pics, scrap some of them, and then move on. I sometimes go back to a set and do 1 or 2 pics, but generally have to keep moving on! Also, my scanner's all packed away in storage atm, so I can't scan in any old old pics to use. My dad has loads which I'd like to do one day. That I may find harder, as I haven't done much heritage stuff! I am SO inspired by the photos, it's that that is my real driving force I believe. But if I do ever just dry up with ideas on placement of elements, I'll go with a template to get me all creative again, LOL!! Or a sketch! Once I start with one of those, I usually can't help myself adding in bits here and there, which then gets me back to 'normal'!!! Bernie x

I would have to say it is with heritage pictures. I want them to reflect a by-gone era and sometimes I think my pages look to modern. If I can't seem to get it right then I just file it away and come back to it in a couple of weeks and most of the time that helps. If not it goes back into the file and waits. T5454

I have a problem if it is for someone else. I have an retirement one to do and still have not done it from may Dawn Miner

i havent really had this problem because i am such a scraplifter. i take tons of pics and then wait for someone elses scrapbook page to strike my fancy and then i scrap it. Debbie46

Sorry, seem to have missed this one. Because I am not a true scrapper and just scrap to do my lessons and learn more about PSE this doesn't really apply to me. Most of the photos I use are of my roses and some are of my great-grandchildren on the rare occasions I see them. Cheers Eileen

I agree with froggymamma! Christmas is always the most difficult for me because I take soooooo many photos and it becomes overwhelming! Jesska

I have 28 years worth of photos to scrap so I just pick ones I want to do. I have run into a dilemna though when doing holidays. My son was married a year and then his wife left him. I have several years of holidays with her in it that haven't been scrapped, do I choose pictures without her or go ahead and do them as I took them? If I would have scrapped on schedule they would be included so I am not sure what to do. The other photos I have are several years with a girlfriend, do you include them? I would really love everyone's thoughts on this! tlcmom

I am so new at all of this that I haven't come across this problem yet. Sometimes I will look at a photo and not really know what to do with it but I find lots of inspiration at looking at others LO's. It helps to get my creativity going. I also like taking a lesson here at Hummies world and then going and looking at my photos to see which one I feel would go well with that lesson. I feel it helps me to have something to focus on like an assignment for a lesson to help get me going on the LO. April

I usually focus on the lessons and find pictures to use for them. I am waiting to learn my lessons before I really get started. There is so much to learn and remember . Jules

Picking the right photo has not been a problem as much as journaling and presentation. I have a tendency to put to little and or too much. That include the wrong colors, wrong elements, or too many elements. 204cg

I have that very problem once in a while. I generally put them aside and scrap something else and then go back to them. It may be due to conflicting emotion, or just not in the mood to scrap them. Sometimes I'll see a kit that I feel is perfect for them, and that helps, or I may need to finish up that time period and force myself to do it anyway. lulubelle

I actually had this problem with an LO i posted today, Stone Castles. I have problems with them because i don't think the pictures are perfect, and i always have to wait a whole year before i can go back and try to get better photos. They have very little color, so it's been hard for me to try to put the photos into something bright, but then when i put them in something that's not so bright, they're still lost. The thing that helps me get them done are challenges at my home site or this one or others i visit. Sometime a template will do the trick, but more often, i look at sketches from Scrapbooks, etc, online. They have TONS of sketches, and although i RARELY follow one exactly, the sketch is a great starting place for me. When i hit a brick wall with scrappin', i put whatever is giving me the agita aside, come back to it later. Like someone else said, it's not like i don't have 20,000 other photos that are also holding me back! (ok, i am taking the question seriously, but it really is so painful sometimes that i have to inject a bit of humor!). Or, if i took the photos for a particular purpose, i ignore it until it's too late to do it, and problem solved. And you have just reminded me that i have a project that i have been avoiding for a year--time to get busy on it. But then, how will i be able to get my Hummie Homework done? lovinlifegurl

My problem is the poor quality of a lot of my photographs even though we have hundreds. When the kids were born digital photography was unheard of and we considered ourselves lucky to have a Kodac Instamatic. The photos were also very 'posed' , I can remember telling the kids to 'stand by that chair' or 'sit on Dads lap' etc. Consequently they look very false and I reject many of them for this reason. If there is one of these photos on the reject pile that I particularly want to scrap then I try to manipulate it in some way. Perhaps I will convert it to b & w or add a filter and I find that a frame or mask will get rid of unwanted backgrounds. However if I cant get it to look how I want it to I'm afraid to admit I usually give up on it - lifes too short to spend time on something you're not really enjoying. I can do this because I only scrap for myself and so am able to choose which photos I want to use on my lo's. and I'm not certain how I would deal with a total lack of inspiration from another persons photo. I think I would most probably scraplift a lo or use a template. As an aside, if I had my time over again I would enrol on a photography course and be reeling off thousands of unposed, natural photos. a1bjm

I have a bunch of photos that were taken of my family on the same day a family friend. She was an amateur photographer and we had her take a bunch of family photos. There are pictures of the whole family, some of the boys together and some of the girls and some individual pictures. They all have this beautiful tree in its fall colors in the background. I've tried 3 times now to scrap them and I just can't get it to gel. I've been avoiding the issue for several months now. I need a story or a theme or something to tie them together Craftmomma

The only ones I tend to have any real trouble with is those that I feel I HAVE to do. If I don't feel it from the heart, I have a hard time scrapping it. Lately, I've found it a whole lot easier to scrap being in the Template Class. I am working on my son's baby book and I have been lucky enough that the templates are going great with the photos that I have. Justamommie

My first instinct here was to say ..I don't have problems with any pictures. I have heaps to choose from. But after reading through all the comments by the other girls here, I decided there are some pics that I have a problem with. I have a lot of landscape pictures that I have taken that I love, but often stop myself scrapping them as I feel that they do not/will not show to their best advantage in a layout, (too small in the layout). For this reason as well I prefer to scrap single pictures rather than multiple on a page. I like to be able to see the details in the pictures. Originally I had a problem scrapping someone else's pictures, but now if I do this, I just make something I like. I HOPE they like it. but we all like different things and it is impossible to predict if others will feel the same about what you have done. You just have to be happy with it yourself. JodyT

I have problems scrapping pictures that I am in. I hate having my picture taken. Generally I am the one behind the camera taking the there are very few pictures of me. I just don't think I photograph well. Other than that, I seem to always enjoy scrapping with any photos I've worked with. Usually the photos in my layouts are of happy times and events and I enjoy the memories of those times as I scrap. Georgia

I can relate to Georgia; I just don't like having my photo taken and I don't like to scrap them. I love scrapping landscapes and children. However, I am finding it difficult to scrap my mother, who died about three years ago, and my father, who is dying of a degenerative disease. I think it is just too painful. I am thinking of having someone scan in the photos to save them because a lot of them are just older prints and need backing up. I have not been able to do that myself. Otherwise, I think I get held up on the layout more than photos. I want to scrap a particular photo but just don't seem to be able to come up with a layout that works. When this happens I usually wait a day or two, or more, and start with a template to get me going. Kimm23

I don't have too much trouble scrapping anything...I don't *like* to scrap photos with me in them, but I am getting a lot better at it because I realize that even if I don't like seeing myself others do, specifically my boys and my husband and I'm not scrapping for me, but am scrapping for them! Tammyshere

I hate to scrap pics of myself, I hate having pics of me taken. I just stare at them and can't come up with a thing as to scrapping so I generally scrap of hubby and the pets etc. not me. Wingz

The pictures I have of my mom that are not digital which are most of them, are scanned in and they come out so small and low resolution it's difficult to scrap them. So that's one way to look at this question, but as far as which ones do I struggle with, hmm I guess it's having so many pictures of the same thing. Like 20 pictures of my son eating, or jumping into leaves. I want to keep them all because he has a certain face or whatever in the picture and I'd love to sometime do multiple layouts with similar colors of them. NewEnglandMomma

I started a paper scrapbook of my niece's wedding shortly after she married in 2002 - I have a few pages done, but my aspiration of finishing that paper book were well beyond what I ever completed. In 2008, one of the first album projects I did after I started digital scrapping was my niece's wedding album (they had only been married 6 years!) I was really pleased with the way it turned out (although compared to where I am today ... not so much) I find it really easy to work with my vast collection of landscape, flower and butterfly photos, but I'm not so good with people. (I don't take as many portrait style shots or even group shots so I don't have as much experience there!) Poki04

Pictures of myself. I almost always hate picture of me. There are a random few good ones but I usually freeze up in front of a camera. I tend to avoid most of those pictures. DeAnneK

I'm still new to scrapping not alot of experience yet so I have many struggles. My first struggle is finding a scrap that looks good with my photo's. Another is...I'm such a girly girl & when it comes to scrapping my boys, I struggle with making it boyish & not girlish lol. A recent struggle is my sister-in-law asked me to scrap a page of her dog who recently passed away. I am nervous in which my mind goes blank, not to mention the photo's aren't the greatest. I'll spend some time fixing the photo's to the best of my ability, find a scrap & look through the gallery to find some inspiration Willogem

I have boxes of photos and albums full, too. Everything I have I want to scrap! The only ones I sometimes difficult to scrap are the ones of me (esp. recent ones) LOL. I have been married over 40 years, have two grown kids, 4 grandchildren, several grand nieces and nephews, so I can look backward and forward in my scrapping. Backward triggers memories and forward makes me clap my hands with glee at another adorable photo to scrap for that parent's Christmas photo book. I do confess to be more interested in the layouts, colors, papers, elements, than in the photo itself. The photo is either the catalyst for a layout or the filler that I need to do a certain scraplift or challenge. It probably is more the filler. I get an idea and then remember just the photo that would be perfect. The only roadblock I have had is any photos of a highschool boyfriend of whom I do not have fond memories. LOL. I threw out most of those pictures years ago but a few survived. I thought I scrapped a couple of them, but, interestingly the other day I uploaded all the digi pages I had made (over a two year period) with the pics I had from my growing up years, including high school dance pics, to Snapfish. When the book came and I was looking at the highschool/college dances page layouts, I realized I had left those of me and him out. Oops. Not even sure where those layouts are on my hard drive. I DID intend to scrap them, I know I did............. Nanscraps

I have some problem with the photo of my beloved cat, Luna, who passed away some months ago. I have some amazing photo of her, but can't decide how to scrap them. I don't want to do a sad layout. I think I would like to do a joyful, because she was such a joy. I will think about it. Chiara

humm were do we start with this one, I have so many pictures I can never decide which ones to do so that is a toughy one there but recently I lost my best friend -my dog he was 15 yrs and 3 months he was always with me and not sick until the day he past away -it has been 7 months and I was able to get thru it with scrapping him alot of tears and at first I would start and not be able to do it but then after a while I would work on his pages and it helped a lot and the memories would come back and I would cry thru a smile if you know what I mean. to some they would say he was just a dog but to me he was a big part of my family-he always was glad to see me and never demanded anything from me and no matter what he always wagged his tail -we did get a new dog and he has helped but I still miss my best friend and my scrapbook shows it confettirose

My struggle is trying to scrap my kids since the day they were born to present. so much has happened and trying to scan all the old pics takes forever. I have sorted all my pics then I choose 1 year to scan for each kid, then I scrap 1 page for each, thinking it might be easier to just do 1 kido start to finish..... scraphappee

Copyright Cheryl Rutledge-Brennecke
Thank you for visiting.

Follow me: Substack | Facebook | Instagram | Youtube | X | Pinterest | Facebook Group Rutledge | Facebook Group Boyer & Marechal | Etsy Store