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I'm a newbie and this is one of my first layouts.l What can I do to make it better? I feel like I should add a paper mat under the photo but I don't know how or what would look good. I welcome all your comments. I need to learn so I need all your suggestions and tips.

    I think you did a lovely job! Your photo is great too! You are two little cuties!!! You can slip a matt below your photo if you like. You can slip it in and adjust the size down to just larger than your photo, or you can use the rectangular marquis to 'cut' a matt from a paper & 'paste' it on the layer below your photo. I'm not the best to explain. Check out the tutorials here...they're awesome!
    Maybe a small white photo mat behind the photo would help pop it out a little more. Have you seen the lifted photo templates? Those are pretty fun for adding some quick dimension to a photo. But I don't see this layout as lacking anything. You've done a beautiful job!
    This is just beautiful! I wish my first layouts looked this good!!! Lovely photo!! I am addicted to the lifted photo templates. They really add a lot of dimension to a layout, but really, this looks awesome!!

    This is great! You did the shadows very well. That (for me at least!) is a hard thing to master. You pulled it off! Good job!!
    This is just great for a first try. For that matter, it's great for a 20th, too. :)

    I've been adding "strokes" to my photos for a matted look. I think it's because I'm a bit lazy some days.

    If you really want something constructive, the only thing I would really change is the flower embellishment at the top. One thing I've learned through the years is that design elements should be either all the way in your page or obviously partially off the page, not touching the edge. I would make it just a touch smaller and lower it so that it didn't take your eye off to another world above.

    This really is a sweet LO! Can't wait to see what you do when you really get going! :D
    another SG newbie
    what a wonderful cutie. :0 I am partial to the orchard color. The only thing I might add is a mat of some kind,paper or transparency..I sort of learned that from looking at other LO's. I'm a newbie too.. and it just takes practice,time and alot of fun!! keep on scrapping:)
    You've mastered some cool things here for a newbie!!! I agree with you and a mat under the photo maybe a good touch either a stroke or a marqucee (?sp) tool. How about doing it the same colour as the purple in the flower and also do the date in that colour as well. Just my two cents worth. I play and play and play!!! :disappearing-smilie: and then I still play after that!!
    I love the choice of kit and colours you made for this one. Its a really lovely layout. The only feedback I can give is to make sure you give credit to the designers you use on your layout in your comments. That way if I really like a paper you have used I know where to find it.
    This is a great LO for it being your first..You should see my first *L*....Keep it up your doing great...I love the shadowing ( i cant even do that yet...Great Job
    Lovely LO, photo and colors!
    The only thing you might need is something small around the photo.
    I agree with others about the "Lifted Photo" - I love that one!
    Or just give the photo a small white stroke to give it white edges, and then
    a subtle drop shadow...