Digital Schmidgital... Create Photo Books Instead!
Well, the answer for most of your photos is... you shouldn't. If you take as many digital photos as I do, you end up with lots that aren't really worth printing. But for those special photos and those favorites memories... there's nothing like having 'em on paper.
While it's wonderful to have your photos on a CD or on your computer hard drive (or Facebook, for that matter), there's nothing quite like an album that you can pull of the shelf and share anytime-- next week, next year, the next decade, and after your great-grandchildren are born. It's something accessible and forever... in a way that some bytes on a computer never can be.
This page provides a great overview of what making your own photobooks can offer you. But there are tons of other resources here that will help you to make your own photo books, including:
Create Photo Books with PersonalityBecause of the way in which photo book sites encourage personalization, there's going to be a lot of "heart" in most photobook projects. Remember that photo books are not just "one occasion" options. With a little inventiveness you can take a photobook in a ton of different --and sometimes really fun-- directions. Some people make funny books, or even books that highlight a personal talent. Or an obsession. Or a hilarious random day with the family. Or to record a birth or celebrate a wedding.
Ideas for Making Creative Photo BooksThere are countless things you can do with the photo book format-- and it's more than just remembering something special. For example, if you're a personal chef, how about making a book out of your best dishes to show to prospective clients? Or, if you family recently went on a vacation together, why not take moments from that event and turn it into a book that helps you remember the best parts.
Making Photo Books as a GiftPhotobooks are always wonderful gifts, too, for just about any special occasion.
College Bound. For a great present for a college bound student, for example, create a photo book filled with pictures of familiar faces and places. Fill it with pictures of family vacations, friends and even the family pets. A book like this will help to ease some of the homesickness of being away from home for the first time and remind your young adult that you are always thinking of them.
Wedding Album. It's also nice for a young couple getting married. They'll have plenty of wedding pictures... dare to be different.
Soldiers Stationed Away from Home. Another great idea is to create a photo book for a soldier who is stationed far from home. Photo books are easier to carry than single pictures, which make them ideal for soldiers, who often have to carry everything that they have in rucksacks. You can even make little pocket-sized flip books so the photobooks you create don't take up too much room.
For soldiers stationed far away from their loved ones, pictures of home and family are more appreciated than you can believe, and provide a sense of normalcy in situations that are often far from normal. In this situation the paperback option is lighter, but the hard cover option is more durable. Choose what's right for your soldier, and if you have doubts about what will work for him or her... ask! It's better to ruin the surprise than buy a gift he or she can't take along.
How to Create a Photo Book OnlineIt used to be that to make a photo album of any kind you had to search through boxes of pictures to find the right one, and paste it into the album, one picture at a time. The pages were all blank and the only way that you could write on them was with a permanent marker. Great photos, but unless you were a pro-scrapbooker, not a whole lot of personalization.
The Photo Book ProcessBut to create a photo book has become easier than ever. We all have digital cameras, and we all have the ability to take snapshots of... whatever we want! If you wanted to, you could walk into your living room right now, take images of your cute slumbering cat, load them into your computer, and move them into an album format like those on Picaboo, Snapfish and Shutterfly. After you've organized and tinkered, the company delivers the end product right to your door as a finished product ready to give as a gift or to savor for yourself.
Uploading Your PhotosNow, since most cameras are digital, up loading your pictures directly from the camera to your computer is as simple as plugging your camera into the USB port. Uploading your pictures to the server at an online photo sharing/photo book creation site is a breeze, especially since the websites use bulk up loader programs.
Want to learn more about getting great photos for creating your photo book? Check here to learn how to take better digital pictures, or this page for tips on scanning your photos.
Using Photo Book SoftwareWhether you're using an online program like Shutterfly, or a desktop photo book program like Picaboo's, what makes the photo book creation programs really nice is their simple drop and drag functionality. It makes the placement of your pictures easy and once you decide which ones you want to use, as you can resize them and move them around. Now there's no worries about gluing down a picture and never being able to move it again (or having to make the choice of cutting it out of a book for better placement).
Adding Special TouchesOther personalization you can add to your photo book are your backgrounds, colors, and specialized touches. With a huge variety of colors and patterns, you can create a photo book to suit almost any mood or situation. Each photo book is as unique as you are-- if you like, what you'll end up with is more of a digital photo scrapbook than a plain photo album. And don't forget comments! When you create photo books, use quotes, poems, single words-- convey what you're trying to portray by combining the best images with meaningful text, scanned items, and more.
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