Color coordination question

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Posted 1/2/2013 by pcrfn in General Scrappin'


PeaNut 36,328
April 2002
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Loc: southern IN

Posted: 1/2/2013 5:50:17 PM
Just wondering how you all scrap with this problem: the folks in your photos don't dress in coordinating colors with the papers you want to use. (Maybe Glitter Girl has an answer too.)
I just finished a gift sb and a large portion of it included l/o's from a Mardi Gras party. My plan was to use (and I still did) varying shades and patterns of green,gold,&purple, but lots of the pictures had people wearing reds,pinks, and colors that were really hard to use with the MG colors.
Also another instance: When you have some pretty Echo Park or MME picked out for Easter layouts and your grandkids show up wearing brown or orange.
TIA for any ideas you all have for working around "uncooperative colors". Maria

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PeaNut 43,536
July 2002
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Posted: 1/2/2013 6:20:58 PM
I don't pick my papers by the colors in the photos. One thing I MIGHT do is use an embellishment or two that will bring out and coordinate with a color in the pic and is also at least 1 of the patterns I chose and repeat it.

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PeaNut 413,587
February 2009
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Posted: 1/2/2013 6:25:52 PM
Could you change the pix to black and white? Or add a bit of colour from the photos as a layer or something.

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PeaNut 439,654
September 2009
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Posted: 1/2/2013 6:26:10 PM
Typically I do select my colors from the photo. I use the colors that seem the most dominate. So if most people are wearing blue, I'll use blue as one of my colors. Some colors are hard to ignore like a grandson wearing orange sports themed clothes; however I think it most stands out to you as something you wish they hadn't worn. So I don't think ignoring some of the colors in the photo is a problem.

It is easier to ignore the cool colors like blue and green so if you have a choice, pick up the warm colors.

For a mini album or themed scrapbook, I choose the colors that are most dominate in most of the photos and work with those. There will always be a few photos that don't fit the color scheme but they aren't a problem.

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PeaNut 252,090
March 2006
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Posted: 1/2/2013 8:41:16 PM
I don't pick my colors based on what they are wearing. I tend to pick them based on the embellishments I plan to use and the event or time of year.


PeaNut 489,418
November 2010
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Posted: 1/2/2013 9:22:03 PM
I do pick my pp based on the colors in the pics but I'm a very linear clean lines type sober, it's about the pics with paper,design and embellishments secondary.


PeaNut 36,328
April 2002
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Loc: southern IN

Posted: 1/2/2013 9:22:23 PM
Thank you all for your responses and ideas. In the past I have changed a few photos to b&w, but wanted to keep some color ones. I guess I have a hard time of "letting go" of the idea that I need to match something in my photo - I think it was one of the first things I remember from a class a looonng time ago. But this year I'm going to try to concentrate on using more of what I like and not worry too much about matching photos. Thanks for your help.
And KikiPea, thanks for the links to your l/o's - really great work.


PeaNut 41,525
June 2002
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Loc: Australia

Posted: 1/2/2013 9:53:32 PM
When I first started scrapbooking, way back in 2000 we were taught to match our papers to the colours people were wearing in the photos.

One day I was trying to do a layout where 2 little boys were dressed in bright orange and navy. Really weren't many nice oranges around then.
A girl who taught at out store and did beautiful layouts suggested using a terracotta/brown with the navy. Still one of my favourite layouts.

She also said to focus on the background more. So even if 3 people in the photo were wearing pink if they were sitting on the grass to use shades of green with maybe a tiny touch of pink in an embellishment.
Hope this makes sense! I find holding the photos up to paper helps you get a real feel for what goes well too.


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PeaNut 65,255
January 2003
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Posted: 1/2/2013 10:35:05 PM
Matting with a neutral shade (white, cream, black, grey even Navy) can help coordinate a non-cooperating photo with your desired embellishments.

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PeaNut 106,912
September 2003
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Posted: 1/2/2013 11:13:47 PM
Actually Glitter girl did a color picking video and I think she did a great job
glitter Girl adventure 42: your Favorite Color

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Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 268,201
July 2006
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Posted: 1/2/2013 11:17:24 PM
OP, Glitter Girl did this video on picking colors and patterned paper earlier last year. I remember thinking - "Huh - you're kidding?" when she started with those colors (my natural inclination would have been to use green somewhere at least - lol). But I LOVED the layout when she was done, and the "unique" color choose really makes the photos POP!

Maybe not quite what you are looking for but perhaps it will give you a few ideas?


PeaNut 572,598
November 2012
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Posted: 1/3/2013 5:12:26 AM
It's hard without seeing pictures but reds and pinks would go nicely with green, purple and least in my mind. Think rich jewel tones.

You don't have to use all the colours on the same page either. YOu could bring out at least one of the colours from the picture in your embellishments, title etc.

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PeaNut 18,334
July 2001
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Posted: 1/3/2013 6:35:42 AM
I try to not pick papers before an event. So I'm not thrown for a loop when I pick a nice pastel spring pallet and end up with people's clothing being "wrong"

Also, keeping in mind what my family and circle of friends are likely to wear helps... as in no one in my family wears pastels but several are fond of red and orange so I can almost count on at least one of those colors showing up no matter the season.

The complimentary color to red is green. So for the MG photos I'd have played up the green and gold colors the most with smaller embellishment splashes of purple. That would keep the MG color theme going without being a huge clash with the photos.

Final thing to keep in mind: most scrapbooking "rules" come from the graphic design world. Someone designing a layout for a magazine or ad has much more control over what is in the shot. Either they are able to have input before/during the photo shoot about clothing/accessory choices or they can pick a different stock photo that better suits their needs. We don't always have that luxury with our photos.

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PeaNut 36,328
April 2002
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Loc: southern IN

Posted: 1/3/2013 7:25:44 AM
Thank you all again for replying - it helps to hear how different people handle this. I have watched the Glitter Girl episode (well, ALL of them - LOVE her series) and she really has a talent for working colors together. I think that basically I'm just timid when it comes to matching colors; I'm gonna work on that this year.
And I'm so guilty of picking papers ahead of time with a l/o or project in mind! No photos in hand, just picking stuff I like. That's probably one of the reasons I have so much unused paper. Also something I need to work on this year...
Thanks again for taking the time to respond. Peas are the best! Maria

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PeaNut 70,644
February 2003
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Posted: 1/3/2013 3:48:01 PM
I do pick my papers by the colors in the photos, but I have a color-picking tool on another website. It shows what are about 20 dominant colors in the photos, and shows you combos you can make with any of them. So sometimes I pick papers that don't really match the colors of the clothes of the people in them, but do coordinate with one person's, or the sky or something.

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PeaNut 82,675
April 2003
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Posted: 1/4/2013 12:50:10 AM
You could change the photos to b/w and continue with your color scheme.


PeaNut 3,602
April 2000
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Posted: 1/4/2013 6:34:08 AM
I find if the papers and the photos match, the people in the photo don't pop. Instead I only notice the paper.

I think the people in pink and red will stand out - in a good way - off of Mardi Gras pages. The colors of the layout reinforce the theme to the viewer.

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PeaNut 551,978
April 2012
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Posted: 1/4/2013 7:01:09 AM
Thanks for the tips - I've wondered about this too... EllenPea, would you share the site you mentioned that picks colours from an image? My mom was talking about having trouble trying to pick colours for her home from artwork, rugs, etc, and I'm thinking this might help her... TIA

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PeaNut 36,328
April 2002
Posts: 3,874
Layouts: 7
Loc: southern IN

Posted: 1/4/2013 7:21:24 AM
So many ways to look at color! I never thought about the subjects dressed differently in the photo standing out more. Makes perfect sense. Thank you all for suggesting new tricks to try.
And yes EllenPea, that color-picking tool sounds like magic. If it's OK, could you post the link? Thanks so much. Maria


PeaNut 422,247
May 2009
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Posted: 1/4/2013 7:48:36 AM
i match my paper based on theme

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PeaNut 163,613
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Posted: 1/4/2013 9:07:44 AM
Have you seen the site that scans the colors in your photo and tells you what to use? I'll see if I can find a link to it and post it when I can get to a computer this afternoon

Or you could print your photo in black and white then use ant paper you want.

Or you could just use theme paper

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PeaNut 501,631
March 2011
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Posted: 1/4/2013 9:44:58 AM
I have a book called The Big Book of Color. Its geared toward web designers, but it is perfect for anyone trying to figure out great color combinations. If you buy it new it can be an expensive book, like $45.00 US. But I bought a used one from an amazon seller for about $4.50 plush another $4.00 for shipping. I love it.


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PeaNut 437,628
September 2009
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Posted: 1/17/2013 2:00:09 PM
I usually pick a color from the photo to work with.



PeaNut 36,328
April 2002
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Loc: southern IN

Posted: 1/17/2013 3:25:58 PM
I was so thrilled yesterday to see that Glitter Girl used my question in her video! And to hear the heroic narrator read my question! Of course her l/o was beautiful as always and she explained her color choices so well. I aspire to be able to look at photos and supplies the way she does and "see" the possibilities. I must be too one-dimensional or something. But I'm going to try to put a l/o together for this week's GG challenge if I can get my little digital camera to work right. I know I have photos where people are wearing colors not known to nature.
Thanks Glitter Girl for this week's episode! Maria


PeaNut 556,456
June 2012
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Posted: 1/17/2013 5:36:21 PM
This was an excellent question and a really great episode. I am getting ready to do my first 12x12 LO (unless you count putting squares of card stock behind photos for three pages a decade ago) and this was a huge question in my mind too. Thanks for asking it!
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PeaNut 81,992
April 2003
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Posted: 1/17/2013 6:16:59 PM
I have to admit despite watching so many videos when you are told not to match the colours in the photo that is still one of my go to ideas. I have to say with the penchant for neutral background this doesn't seem so problematic for me now if there is a wole lot of clashi g going on in the photos. Good question and great gg video


PeaNut 577,285
January 2013
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Posted: 1/17/2013 6:39:20 PM
Ahh something I've been pondering for a little while now. I have also found that program that picks the best colors to use with your photo but it still didn't look right to me. I think I'm conditioned to match paper and whatnot to the photos. I'm looking forward to watching GG's video! Thank you!!!

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