Friday, August 19, 2011

digital picture dilemma.

These days everyone is taking pictures of everything.  I can’t remember a time in the last few years that I have left the house without some kind of camera on me. Whether it be on purpose or not, most people have a camera on their phone or a pocket sized Canon in their purse.  Pretty much everyone owns a digital camera of some sort!

My question is, what is everyone doing with ALL of those pictures they are taking?!?  If you are anything like me, most of your photos are probably either still in your camera or saved on your computer next to your college essays and your very first resume (which consequently I have never looked at either).  At one time or another we must have really valued these memories because we felt the need to take photos of the experience.

So how can we get the most out of these photos and really enjoy the memories that they have captured?  I have a few, very obvious, ideas for you!

1. Buy a digital picture frame for your home or office.  Max bought me one of these for my birthday last year.  There are probably 1,000 different kinds you can buy ranging in price.  Mine is just a really small one that would have only been $30-$40.  I keep it in my office next to my computer.  When I remember to turn it on (which is most days) I often catch myself watching it, thinking about the memory flashing on the screen.  It makes me smile and think about the fun I have had with the important people in my life. I have also been known to actually laugh out loud when some pictures come up and jog a particularly funny memory in my mind.  Either way, it is a really great way to display your photos without having to change them out everyone five minutes.
I am also the unfortunate winner of an office without a window.  This digital frame allows me to enjoy the scenery that I miss for 8 hours a day… 5 days a week.  Tragic isn’t it!


2.  Create a scrapbook.  Growing up, my Aunt Marcy sold Creative Memories scrapbook supplies.  Whenever we would travel up to Michigan to visit Aunt Marcy I would always sneak down to the basement where her scrapbooking room was and check out her new supplies.  She had everything!  Crazy scissors that cut waves on your photos, funky paper in every color you can imagine and a little tool that made the corners of your photos perfectly round.  I will never forget the time she asked me to help her make a page about our summer tubing adventures on Grandma and Grandpa’s lake.  When she handed me that special pen and told me to write my story I just about died!  I think Santa (or maybe Aunt Marcy) gave me my very own scrapbooking supplies that Christmas.  Over the following years I managed to make some of my very own handmade scrapbooks… but they were never as good as Aunt Marcy’s.

Since moving to Brisbane, my ‘supplies’ and I have been separated by the great Pacific Ocean.  While I have obviously picked up some new hobbies over here, I do miss the days of sitting cross legged on my bedroom floor covered in brightly colored paper scraps, chopped up photographs of my latest adventure and fingers covered in acid free glue until my legs went so numb I could no longer feel my butt.  I LOVED IT!

So go on.  Print those digital pictures out and start a’ scrappin’ until your butt goes numb… all the cool kids are doing it!

3.Create a digital PHOTOBOOK. While paper scrapbooking until you butt goes numb is appealing to some, others might find it a bit hard and time consuming.  Paper scrapbooking is tedious.  Paper scrapbooking is expensive.  Paper scrapbooking can take up a lot of room and be quite messy (at least it was for me!).

A few years ago I started using Snapfish to create digital photobooks.  Not only is it less expensive than traditional scrapbooking, the only tools you need are a computer and your photos!  Now a days, there are so many different options, companies, and programs out there that you can be as creative or noncreative as you wish.  The choice is yours! 


I would say the easiest way to create a digital photobook is to use the ‘auto fill’ option. You upload your photo, select your theme and VOILA- you have a photobook full of your pictures.  While this option isn’t as creative, it does allow people who don’t feel so crafty to create really beautiful books full of memories with just a few clicks.  I usually create each individual page- changing the layout, number of pictures, background color, caption, etc. 


Right now we have two of these books sitting on our coffee table.  It is amazing how many people look through them when they come over.  Unlike a traditional photo album, these books allow you to create your own story by adding captions.  Also, the photos are printed on to the page so you don’t have to worry about them falling out as they age.  Overall, I give the digital photobook five stars for being so easy and user-friendly.


4.Create a digital SCRAPBOOK.  Now, you may be wondering what the difference is between what I call a ‘digital photobook’ and a ‘digital scrapbook’.  Digital scrapbooking is a cross between the traditional paper and glue scrapbooking and the digital photobook.  It allows you complete freedom to create your own pages however you would like.  It lets you do cool things with you photos like add embellishments, photo mats, stickers, stamps… anything you can do with paper you can do with digital (and even a little more!).  Now, this option is much more time consuming and tedious but just look at what you can create! 



I LOVE this because it is just like my Aunt Marcy’s scrapbooks (well, almost) but I don’t need all of the expensive supplies.  So far the only thing I have spent any money on is the program I use- which I was already using to edit my photos (Photoshop Elements 9).  All of the other things you see I have gotten as FREE downloads online.  There is SO much out there for free and to purchase but since my hobbies seem to change every few months, I am going to stick with the free stuff for now.



My layouts are really simple compared to most of the ones I have seen online.  If you want some ideas or are interested in making your own digital scrapbook, start here or ask me about it.

Well, that is all my rambling advice for today.  Happy Weekend everyone… we are off to celebrate our first wedding anniversary!  

1 comment:

  1. You have always been so creative! I'm so jealous! But it did bring a smile to my face to see that picture of us at Piedmont Park and the one of Max, you, me and JM at Evan's wedding. :)


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