That when scrapbooking, the NUMBER ONE thing that takes me the longest is getting my pictures ready. Why you ask... well, using the photos shown on the photo below as examples, here's why:
Step 1... Select the photos I want to scrapbook. With a topic like my hubby's Lemon Garlic Shrimp I only had 10 photos to choose from, so it was easy to select a few that told the story and would fit a one page layout. For a topic like my son's 13th bday party, I had 179 photos to choose from, so this was a far more time consuming task and honestly because of the subject matter the photos selection was more important in my mind. I knew his bday party was going to be a two page layout, so I selected 15 to 20 photos.
Tip... I copy all the photos from their appointed folder (20130830 lp's 13th bday party) to a sub folder named "print". I view the photos one at a time in the Windows Photo Gallery and delete the photos I don't want. Remember this folder has copies, so I'm not deleting the original photos. Sometimes I loop though the photos several times in order to end up w/the least amount of MUST scrapbook photos in my "print" folder.
Step 2... Edit selected photos. This covers cropping pictures, adjusting colors and lighting, adjusting image size, etc. I do this step in PS Elements.
Step 3... Planning the individual photos' printed sizes, keeping in mind how many photos I can fit on my layout. It's during this process that I sometimes decide to collage some of the photos. For collages I used Picasa.
Step 4... Creating print sheets in FotoSlate, so I don't waste any of my 8.5x11 photo paper sheet. In most cases, a print sheet will have photos for different layouts. This step is all about maximizing my photo paper, so I spend a lot of time manually arranging my photos. This step is also for photos that are not 4x6, since those I just print directly onto 4x6 photo paper.
Step 5... Printing the FotoSlate print sheets and collaged 4x6 prints.
I hope now you understand why photo selection is my NUMBER ONE time sucker when it comes to scrapbooking and honestly certain parts of the process are not my favorite part of scrapbooking. I try to do layout photo selections in batches, so that when I feel in a scrapbooking mood I can just get my printed photos and start having FUN.