There are no absolute rules when it comes to design, but I hope the following tips will help you get started and enable you to get a lot done in your albums. Remember, your own creativity will take over!
The Over-All Look: When your album is opened and being viewed, both right and left sides are seen at once, keep this in mind when laying out your page. While it isn't necessary to have exclusively two-page layouts (the same design or theme on both facing pages), it is more pleasing overall if the pages compliment each other and don't clash. The scrap in a snap Theme Kits come in handy here, as everything coordinates and facing pages will not clash.
Cropping: For quick pages, stick to one or two types of cropping on a page and use a paper cutter for most of your cropping. Using templates to crop your photos will add a fun element, but every time you pick up a pair of scissors, you are "eating time." Fancy cut scissors can add interest to your page, but be selective. Using the scissors on just the corners of your photos and/or photo mounting paper creates a fun look with less time. Generally it is better to use regular scissors on your photos and use the fancy cut scissors on photo mounting paper to frame the photo. Use only one scissors style on your page for a clean look.
Shapes: There are two general shape categories: soft/rounded & sharp/angled. For a coordinated look, keep all the photos on a page in one category. For example: if cropping one photo into a circle or oval the other photos will go better if a Corner Rounder is used to soften the edges. Or, if the cropped photo is a diamond or octagon, the remaining photos should be left with sharp angles.
Color: The quickest way to add impact is with colored photo mounting paper. For a clean look, stay within one color family or group when selecting your paper. A color family is various shades of one color (navy blue, sky blue, baby blue). A color group is various colors with the same basic intensity (primary, bright, pastel, neutral). You can highlight a special photo on the page by framing it with one or two layers of color. You can add splashes of color around the page by placing scraps (squares, triangles, circles) behind the edges or sides of photos. You can quickly add a lot of color and unify the pages by placing a large piece or whole sheet of paper behind all the photos. Don't forget the shape category and follow through on your paper colors.
Mounting: The Hermafix Glider is the fastest most efficient method for all photo and paper mounting. Before mounting your cropped photos, lay them on the blank scrapbook page, move them around and see what different looks are achieved. (Hint: Hermafix becomes permanent after 24hours, leaving plenty of time to correct mistakes). Balance is the key to classic looking pages. Generally larger items (photos, die cuts) will look better at the bottom of the page. Keep in mind what stickers you plan to use and where they would look best. ALWAYS leave enough room for documenting!
Documentation: Use "who, what, where, & when" and "quick captions" to label your photos. Bullet journaling is a fast way to get a lot more information down about a special photo. Using the ABC/123 stickers are great for quick and fun looking titles (top, bottom or down the side of your page).
Decoration: If desired, stickers and die cut shapes are easy and fun. Remember to keep it simple. Die cuts should be kept in the same color group or family as the other photo mounting paper. One or two die cuts on a page is a good rule. Sometimes too many stickers on a page may detract from the photos and overall look. Put them in all four corners to frame a page, group them in one or two corners for a less symmetrical effect, or scatter a few around the page or next to photos. Use a border ruler to create a fancy, yet easy border design. Again, with scrap in a snap theme kits, this is a no-brainer. Coordinating full color diecuts are all set and ready to go.