Many people think that they need a lot of equipment to scrapbook but a beginner can get by with only a few essential items. Here's a list to get you on your way at very little expense.
Ensure that whatever scissors you buy are sharp and easy to use. I find a small sharp pair for cutting around lettering and small shapes useful. Also it is handy to have a larger pair for general cutting.
Choose eiither double-sided tape or photo stickers. Photo stickers are easy use and are suitable for photographs. They come on a runner which makes them easy to handle. Glue dots can be useful for sticking down heavy card. What ever adhesive you choose make sure it is acid free and archive safe.
Acid free permanent scrapbooking pens are readily available and relatively cheap. A fine tip and a thicker tip for journalling and decorating pages will be enough to get you started. There a range of colours available but black is probably the most useful colour.
Trimmer or Guillotine
A guillotine is useful for trimming card and cropping photographs. You will get much straighter edges than what can be achieved with scissors.
Card and Paper
Make sure that any card you buy is acid and lignin free to prevent deterioration of your precious photographs. If you don't you will find your photographs turning yellow and fading as the chemicals in the card and paper eat away at them.
Albums are available in different sizes. For a beginner the standard 12x12 album size is a good choice. Scrapbooking albums are acid free, photo-safe and are usually marked archival quality. They are a bit more expensive than other kinds of photo albums but it is worth paying a little more to get an album which will protect your photographs from premature aging. Don't try to economise on this. It really is not worth it.