Archive for the ‘Album making’ Category

Hopefully you are enjoying the tips on taking better pictures, ideas for what to do with them once you take them and even the ways you should protect & back up your digital images. Today’s post will be slightly different but just as applicable to anyone who takes pictures whether it’s with a high-end camera, a portable point & shoot or even your cell phone. Today, I want you to think, WHY do I take pictures?

Do you take them to preserve a memory? Maybe it’s to be able to come back to that moment in time over and over again. Maybe you don’t consciously think about it but there is a reason you are taking that photo (unless of course you are a professional, then it’s because you were hired and it’s your livelihood!).

I’m asking you to ponder this for a moment because you may just fall into the HUGE percentage of the population that takes photos and then does absolutely nothing with them! I hope not, but if you are, I want you to really think about this.

Time is precious – there is a finite amount that each of us gets and the problem is that we don’t know when that time will be cut short. A friend of mine recently lost her husband after only 20 years of marriage. I cannot possibly understand the loss she is experiencing. It makes me think of all the moments my husband and I have shared and how many more we have yet to share. Those moments are and will be captured in our photos. But the photos come alive when we can truly relive them with the stories. Our memories fade, even with photos; details are lost to most of us. But by writing the stories that go with our pictures they become vivid memories again.

I encourage you today to think of an event that you have photos from that you treasure the most and go back and read my earlier post about what kind of album you could create – just click here. We don’t know when our finite period of time will end or when it will end for that of a loved one. I also know that for me, personally that if I already had completed albums with stories, that those photo albums & photo books would be of comfort to me. However, if I only had pictures, I can’t imagine being ready to tackle turning them into albums for a long time. And what if it was my time to be cut short? How would my family find comfort without those completed albums and stories of our family? I encourage you to make time today to do something with your photos.

Share your thoughts here by submitting a comment. Why do you take pictures? Are they in some sort of album or are they in boxes or on your computer? Would you find comfort in being able to look at a completed album of a loved one you recently lost?


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Research shows that 79% (click here for stats) of people


The pictures I'm using

do nothing with their digital photos. In this post, you will see just how quick & easy it can be to complete an album with your photos & stories. You will be able to see step by step the entire process and just how quickly you can create a book, one page at a time, or the entire book if your software has the added feature to auto-populate your photos like my software does.*

    Basic Black page

    Just add photos

  1. Decide which digital photos you would like to see in a completed album. I’m using photos from our recent winter storm (yes in October!). I’m going to choose two themes to show you the variety available to you. I’ll show the steps in each theme. You will see the page in the basic black theme which comes free with the software program I use and I will also use
    Predesigned jewel

    Again just add photos!

    the Jewel theme, which has more color in the background pages as well as added embellishments. Here are the photos & blank background pages I’ve selected.
  2. Simply select each photo & drag it over & drop it into one of the gray boxes that say ‘place photo here’. Here is the finished page.
  3. Look to see if you need to zoom
    Could be finished

    Finished page

    in any of the photos or adjust how they fit in the frames.
  4. Tell the story. A future post will be devoted to how to do this so that writing about your photos & memories is not such a struggle.
  5. Decide if you would like to add any ‘stickers’ or other embellishments.
    That’s it, page complete – from start to finish, the black page took me less than 2 minutes & jewel page
    Finished Jewel

    Option 2

    took 2 ½ minutes. Time for the next page!

Which of your photos or memories are just screaming to be told? Share some here or contact me, I want to help you get it done!

*To find out which software I used click on my website here or subscribe to my newsletter on the right side.

With embellishments

Some added touches

Final version

Time to make the next page!

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If you follow one of my favorite blogs, you already know that the person responsible for inventing the technology behind the digital camera was recently awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. (Read the article here) When I read this, I thought, just now? Our family has been taking digital photos since 2000. I will admit that at first I was hesitant until we found somewhere to print our digital photos the same way 35mm photos are printed. I’ve never looked back. I do still love and use my 35mm camera for certain things but our photos are almost exclusively taken with a digital camera.

I’ve found that almost everyone I talk to now is using a digital camera. What may surprise you is that 79% of people never do ANYTHING with those photos. (Check statistic here) Many not only never print them or make any kind of photo album but they never even download them from their memory card. I have personally had conversations with many that just buy additional memory cards.

Honestly, I ‘print’ very few of our digital photos. Instead I use my digital album making software* and design my pages and stories right on my computer. Then I save the book, upload it, have it printed, bound and delivered right to my door in a beautiful, hardcover, coffee table book for us to enjoy over and over. I save so much time, money and mess (I used to take over our dining table!) that I have been tempted to scan in all our past, already printed pictures so I can create those photo books on the computer too. The software I use has added an auto-populate feature so that all I have to do is pick my favorite photos, bring them into the software, and choose a theme for the page designs and POOF! It does all the work. I can go back, add some stories, maybe a virtual sticker here or there and I’m done.*

So, do I print our digital photos? No, not in the traditional sense but I do print them in another way so that we can enjoy them.

What do you do? Do you print your digital photos? What do you do with them?

*To see which digital software I use, subscribe to my newsletter or just click here to go to my website.

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Whether you are a part time pro or the family photo nut, there is always something you can learn to take better pictures. Sometimes it can be the simplest thing that will give your photos a different look and usually it just takes some trial and experimentation. To get even more fun tips and ideas be sure to sign up for my newsletter. You can also follow me on twitter and friend me on facebook.
Today, I would like to share something that will really help you critique yourself and see what to look for to make that great photo.

By moving to the right we could have avoided the tree in the middle of my head

By moving to the right we could have avoided the tree in the middle of my head

You may not realize that making photo album will actually make you a better photographer. It’s true. When you actually go to do something with those photos that you took, you will see the quality or flaws,
Here I should have had Robyn move to the left

Here I should have had Robyn move to the left

in your photos. You’ll suddenly see that exit sign in the background, the people you don’t know in the background, the tree or pole sticking out of someone’s head, the public trash can overflowing and the list goes on. I’m sure you can guess how I know this! Simply printing the photos did not always cause me to see these problems. It takes actually creating something that makes these a glaring, flashing, red light. It can be a scrapbook, slip in album or even a digital album that you have printed into a hardbound, coffee table type of book. It takes this step because during this step you are selecting which photos to use and which can be left out and you are looking with a more critical eye. This also happens if you are looking to enlarge a photo to frame.
Here I am at least standing in front of the sign to cover it up

Here I am at least standing in front of the sign to cover it up

With this in mind, I encourage you to take the time to create an album – your style – your way, so whatever you choose, just go do it. You will see things in your pictures you wish weren’t there and you will be much more aware the next time you go to snap a photo.

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I’m jumping back to the ‘Go From Overwhelmed to Organized’ post. I want to offer some solutions in case your photos are already printed and you would like to make an album from these printed pictures.

Click here to go to my website for this item

Use for photos or CDs

First get all of the photos from your event (child’s first year, wedding, graduation, vacation, etc) together in one place.

Decide if you would like the photos chronologically or by theme. For example, if I was to go back and put together an album of my childhood, it would be easier for me to put all the Christmas photos together, all birthdays, all summer/vacation etc. It would be difficult for me to figure out which holiday came before or after a certain birthday since those photos are all jumbled together. But if you already have them in some kind of an order or at least by envelope from where you had them developed you may want to sort chronologically.

Once they are all gathered together, it’s time to sort.

To find out what items I use & recommend, subscribe to my newsletter for more details. I use these dividers to keep months, days or events separated. Once I complete an album, I can re-use the box or keep CDs or negatives in it too. Additionally, the box is a safe home for my printed photos, negatives and memorabilia.

This Box holds 2400 photos!

This Box holds 2400 photos!

If you are in a pinch you can use Ziploc baggies to sort events and then put them in a Rubbermaid container or shoe box. IMPORTANT note here – these items can be harmful to your photos in the long term so quickly move onto the step for making your album.

Need more help on this step, subscribe to my newsletter and put that in the notes section and I will send more details on organizing printed photos.

Happy Sorting!

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It’s now decision time. Even if you are still gathering your photos together, you can begin thinking what kind of album

Traditional Scrapbook

Traditional Scrapbook

would you like these photos to be seen in. There are 3 main choices.

  1. Traditional scrapbook style album – this can simply be some photos, a little bit of color, stickers and the story.
  2. Slip-in style album – just like it sounds. You can simply slip your photos into pockets designed to fit 4×6 photos.
  3. Slip In Style Album

    Slip In Style Album

  4. Digital album – this is one of the newest to the market. It is a printed book, not one that you look at on your computer. It is created on the computer and then uploaded to a location that prints these books. The best books are stitch bound, hardcover, heavy paper books that look like a coffee table book you would buy at a bookstore. To make this book, you will need to have your
    Variety of Digital Style Albums

    Variety of Digital Style Albums

    photos on your computer. If they were taken with a 35 mm camera, you can either scan them or have a CD made when you have your photos developed.

That’s all for this step – visualize how you want to see the book. Imagine holding it in your hands and sharing it with friends and family.

Which style fits the occasion and which style tells the story YOUR way?

Digital StoryBook Album

Digital StoryBook Album

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In the last post, I asked you to release the guilt and just think about one album you would love to complete. Let’s build on that further. Be sure to read that post first and really think about what photos you would love to see in an album with the stories told and memories shared.

Here are some steps to take if the photos have not yet been printed.

  1. Start gathering all of those digital images in one place. Name a folder on your computer for that event (Wedding, Graduation, Trip to Europe, etc) and start putting all the photos into that folder. (If you have photos that are already printed check back for our next post on what steps to take.)
  2. Add a second folder within that folder labeled either ‘Favorites’ or ‘4 star’ and start looking at each photo and deciding if it makes the cut for being good enough to use in your book and put them in that folder. Often with digital cameras, we take twice as many pictures (or 4, 5 or 10x as many if your husband is like mine!) as we need so that we get the photo we want, so start sorting through and picking the good/great ones. If you have a software program that helps you organize and edit your photos* then you should use that to make this task go faster.
  3. Not every photo needs to be perfect, keep in mind that you can edit if you have an editing software*, just focus on selecting those you want to include for now.
  4. Once you have everything together, you need to decide if you want to make a digital photo album printed like a coffee table book or if you prefer to print the photos and make an album with 4×6 prints.

*For more details, click on the link to my website on the right and look at the software, or subscribe to my newsletter.

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