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These layout suggestion and layout re-do's were done as a part of Course 1, Lesson 8A, on Visual Weight. I invite you to be brave and participate by senidng me a layout. It is how I learned to grow in skills, with others giving me suggestions.

Here is my layout improvements Lesson 8A - Visual Weight which I will put in for suggestions on Visual Weight:

1. contrast - The dark paper matches the darkness of the background of the photo, but the off-white border around the paper frame matches the brightness of the face, so this actually works rather well for contrast. I can read your text and give you kudos for the journaling too. It isn't much, but it is all that is needed to tell the story.
2. size - Your focal photo is certainly large enough and my eye did go to it first, which is our main goal and if that happens, you can always consider a layout successful. Size of swirls could be problem too - combined with other things--read below.
3. color - pleasing - the off-white and blue are pulling a lot of visual weight, especially because of the size of all those swirls, etc. It is nice the way it is, but my personal tastes would have me lowering the opacity of applying a blending mode to all of that stuff. I think that may be a personal taste thing of mine though as what you have is nice too. If anything that off-white mat behind the title draws too much weight and I would change it to the dark brown background color.
4. shape - Yep, certainly applies here! All those swirl shapes and the size of them are grabbing a lot of focal weight. So the size, color, and shape of all of that great stuff is actually giving them the second focal weight over your supporting photo. My eye goes to the large photo first and then to all the swirls and gets stuck there and confused. I have to struggle with my eye to get back to the supporting photo and journaling. My eye doesn't move freely about the page.
5. texture - not applicable.
6. isolation - not applicable.
7. value - The arrow has some value, but not a problem.
8. balance - Balance is good overall, but having the large photo at the top with no "white space" or what we also call "negative space" pushing down, it is almost top heavy. It could be considered center heavy, with no bottom heavy-ness working. I hope that makes sense. Your blue ribbon down the side is small, but yet it grounds everything nicely and is a very necessary part of the layout.

So, my only suggestion really, would be to change the title mat to dark brown and then lower the two photos, journaling, and the arrow down on the page a bit. It is okay to let them be layered over some of the swirls.