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Digital Photo Storybooks

April 20, 2010

I admit it–I am NO Martha Stewart–I did not inherit the artistic or crafty gene in my family. I think my sister got my share–she is a very talented graphic designer. So attending a scrapbooking event with my daughter for Daisy scouts was certainly not my idea of a great time but I knew she would love it and SHE is artistic so I signed up.

Now, I like to take quite a few pictures of my kids (what mom doesn’t right?)–but most of them stay in my camera for months at a time and occassionally get downloaded onto the computer and posted to facebook or picassa. But I hardly ever get prints made and even if I were to get them made the likelihood of them being put into albums is pretty slim.

The great news about this event is that it forced me to download what was on my camera and for a good couple of hours on Saturday I uploaded photos to Picasa Web Albums–which I absolutely love!! Then, I sat down with Brianna and let her pick out any picture she wanted to use for the event. I uploaded them to the Wal-Mart 1 hour photo and by the afternoon we had about 60 pictures ready to go.

So on Sunday–the morning of the event I remembered that my mom had bought a bunch of scrapbooking supplies when the twins were born. They were just sitting in a closet upstairs in the kids’ room so I dug them out and found there were all kinds of things–fancy scissors, all types of adhesives, papers of all colors and patterns, stickers and even some calligraphy markers. Who knows how much all that stuff is worth? And to think it’s been sitting in a closet for 6 1/2 years–at least now they would get some use.

So Brianna and I went to the event and I gotta tell you I could not believe all the scrapbook experts in attendance. There were moms there with rolling bags of supplies and papers and all kinds of embellishments. What had I gotten myself into? Honestly, we had a great time. I really let Brianna have at it–she is more of an artist than me and really this was her event. While I was there I learned about something called “digital scrapbooking”. Now I’m not artisitic but I can definately find my way around a computer–I figured this digital scrapbooking might be just up my alley.

There is quite a market for digital scrapbooking–and what a concept–No supplies, less expensive because there are no supplies and its gotta be easier and faster when the templates are already done for you. Plus you cannot mess it up–you can’t fix a photo that you cut incorrectly but I’ve never met a program that doesn’t have an “undo” button. There are a ton of choices to create digital scrapbooks and even the end result can vary from hardbound storybooks to soft cover flip books to online versions with voiceover options.

From what I learned so far the first thing you need is some digital scrapbooking software like My Memories Suite or Memory Mixer. Then you need some kind of photo editing tools–like I said before I like Picasa Web Albums because it’s pretty easy and does pretty much anything that I need it to do. But if you want to get more sophisticated you can use PhotoShop but if you’re a beginner I have been warned that it can be overwhelming. And of course you need template designs or kits which can be found on any number of websites both as free downloads and as paid items. There are also companies like Heritage Makers where you pay a membership to access a library of templates.

So I did a little research on which software to use and decided to download the software from My Memories Suite and a few free templates to try it out. So right now I’ve invested less than $40 to see if I can make a go of it and I’m kind of excited about the possibility of getting my photos out of the computer!! I have posted my first photo storybook pages so be sure to check them out.

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