Are you new to Digital Scrapbooking and unsure of where to start? Have a read of this article and maybe I can point you in the right direction.
Digital scrapbooking is the creation of scrapbook pages using your computer. You can store these pages on disk or as a slide show to share on CD or DVD, print them on your home printer, or have them printed by a photo lab or as a photobook. The choice is yours. There are many advantages to digital scrapbooking, there is no mess as everything is right there on your computer. You can leave and come back to it at will without having to worry about cleanup making it easy to just do a few minutes at a time if you wish. You have a copy of your page on your computer or disk so if your hard copy gets destroyed, you can just print out a new one. If you really want to, you can go back and improve on your earlier pages as your skills improve or if there is just something you are not happy with.
What do I need?
- You need a computer that is capable of handling the processing of creating large image files.
- Photos in Digital format – whether they are scanned, taken with a digital camera, camera phone or on CD from a photo lab.
- Digital Scrapbook Kits (optional)
- A method of printing
- An album
- Someone to share your work with
What about the software?
You have many options when it comes to software for scrapbooking. There are many software programs available at retail stores that allow you to create basic scrapbook pages. These are great for beginners as well as anyone who wants something easy to use. If you want something that allows more options and flexibility and the ability to design your own elements, then you might prefer programs such as Adobe Photoshop Elements, Corel PaintShop Photo Pro, or on a more professional level Adobe Photoshop CC. Most of these programs do require a bit of learning, but learning how to use them is fun and very satisfying. There are many tutorials available on the internet teaching you how to use your software. Once you get started, you will soon see that the possibilities are endless!
Digital Scrapbook Kits
One of the most common questions I am asked is whether it is archival? It really depends on how you print it out or if you print it out at all! If you have your pages printed by a photo lab they will be of archival quality. You can obtain archival quality on your home printer by buying a printer which uses archival inks and by using archival papers. This is something that is worth researching before buying a printer for printing out scrapbook pages. You can also have your layouts printed into a book. Amazingly it is very affordable and there are many websites that offer the service.
Do I have to print my pages?
The digital age is well and truly here and if you don’t want to you don’t have to print out your pages. You can make a photo CD, put together a slideshow and share your images on USB, CD or DVD or even screencast them to your TV for family viewing. You can even share them on a laptop, portable DVD player, digital photo frame or even your phone and the list goes on. There are more and more options opening up every day for sharing your images. Gone are the days of old fashioned slide shows. We can now use a USB stick or screen cast from your phone or tablet to have slide shows on your TV.
What sort of album do I need?
Before you decide on an album, you have to decide on what format and size you want to do your layouts in, but when considering this, also consider the availability of album sizes where you live and how you wish to print your pages. If you wish to print them on an A4 (210x297mm) ink jet printer, your album will have to be A4 or smaller in size. A4 albums can be a little bit hard to find but they are becoming more popular. Printing 8x10” is an option but do check out the availability of albums in this size in your area as they are probably scarce (unless you are in the US). Square format layouts is the most popular in digital scrapbooking communities and so printing in 8x8” or 6x6” size will be an option for ink jet printing. Albums in these sizes are widely available, particularly online. The standard size for scrapbooking 12x12” unfortunately will only be an option for you if you have a large format printer or can afford to have your layouts printed in this size by your photo lab. You would then also need to find a lab that prints that size as not all photo labs do. The size however is lovely for displaying your work and allows more photos on a page and the assortment of albums in this size is amazing! Of course photobooks have become very prolific in recent years and a very popular method of printing, however the one drawback is you need an album full of pages ready to go before you can print your pages. The end result however is very classy and effective.
Sharing your work
One of the best things about scrapbooking, is sharing your work. You can share it with your family and friends, or with an online scrapping community or social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. It is very satisfying having others admire your work and forms a great part of the enjoyment of scrapbooking.
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