Digital Scrapbooking Made Easy!

You all know the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words”…but that doesn’t have to mean showing them off has to cost thousands of dollars! We all take tons of pictures of our little ones hoping to not miss a single moment of their lives. Their first tooth, first bath, first haircut, first playdate …they are all memories that we capture behind a lens so that when our children get older, we can look back at these moments and remind them (and ourselves) that they weren’t always so big! But what do we do with all of those pictures? With the invention of digital photography came the opportunity to take hundreds of pictures and not worry about how they looked because you could keep shooting your little one all day! We didn’t have to wait to see how the pictures turned out because we could look through all of them and awe at the ones we already know we love and delete the ones we already know we don’t. But what do we do with all of these digital pictures? Scrapbooking of course! Scrapbooking has become more than just a way to display your photographs. It has become an extremely expensive hobby for many, many parents. And don’t get me wrong, after the 25 hrs and $300.00 spent, the books look absolutely fantastic. But what do we do with those books after we are done with them? I know when I was scrapbooking, although I was very proud of my book, I was always so worried something would happen to them. I was worried that all of that time and money would be ruined if someone spilt something or the baby got to the book if it was left out. The books were always so fragile but yet I loved the idea of telling a story with words, stickers and cut outs!

Then I discovered what would soon save me hundreds of dollars, give me hours of my life back, and ultimately fulfill my desire to document my children’s lives as creatively as possible …Digital Photo Books! Digital photo books have made my life amazingly more efficient and all of those pictures that I spent downloading can now be share …the good, the bad and even the embarrassing ones! What’s great is that if something tragic happens to one of my books, they are saved and I can just re-order it and know that I can still enjoy my hard work and pictures. I have fit over 400 pictures in a 30 page digital photo book and can enjoy all of those amazing and unique moments in my family’s lives. And best of all, it didn’t cost me a ton of money or time. The average 30 pg scrapbook can take days to do. The average digital book can take about an hour and I fit so many more pictures! Let’s do the math …

Scrapbook_chart

So now that you know how much money and time you can save by doing a digital photo book, let’s look at our options. First, when downloading your photos from your camera, I highly suggest using a photo storage program like Flickr (both MAC and PC friendly) www.flickr.com or Picasa (PC only) www.picasa.com. Using these programs will easily allow you to transfer the pictures to the photo book programs. You can also do a ton of editing in these programs to really enhance your photos or make them unique. They also organize your photos by dates or faces or however it best meets your needs. Simply visit the website and download the photo storing software. These programs will also search for all of the pictures on your hard drive once you download it so you won’t have to add the pictures you already have on your computer to the program! When you want to download pictures to the computer just choose the photo storage program you downloaded and the pictures you select will automatically download to that program.

Now that you have your pictures stored and organized, let’s look at your photo book options. There are tons of programs out there available to us. It really just takes reading and understanding the programs to find out what best suits your needs. Here is a link which will be very helpful in deciding which site is best for you! www.photo-book-review.toptenreviews.com I have used several of the online photo book programs listed on this site and here are a few that I suggest.

mixbookI recently did my family’s Christmas album on the Mixbook website www.mixbook.com and found that it was a really easy website to navigate! One of the really neat things about it was that I didn’t have to download any software to my computer. It is all run through their website. I just had to download my pictures (they let me pull from my Picasa program) I wished to use. This website was just like scrapbooking. I got to choose my background colors, my cutouts, write my own texts, and even choose different ribbons! I could size everything to my liking and could even cut my pictures into whatever shapes I wanted using the photo cutting tool. Best of all it was so easy. I played around with it for a bit and once I got the hang of it – I was scrapbooking like mad! I even used their pre done pages as a guide and added and fixed what I liked. I ordered my book two days ago and it has already been shipped! I also found a coupon for free shipping so that was great too! I am definitely using them again since they just sent me a 20% off coupon code to use their service again!

PicabooAnother site I use all of the time is Picaboo www.picaboo.com. Now Picaboo is not as immediately user friendly as Mixbook but I have probably made 10 photo books from this website and love every one of them. Once you spend some time on this website it will become a lot easier to navigate it! Even my mom, who just recently learned how to email, uses Picaboo with ease to do all of her photo books. Picaboo is really great when you have ton of photos that you want to get into a book. Their page layouts are fantastic and you can even pull from their thousands of free online backgrounds to make the book that much more unique. I have really enjoyed using their software and if you are a first time Picaboo user you can get 50% off your first book (So make it a big one!) using this coupon code: Coupon Code 2PAKFY.

With so many choices, I can almost guarantee there is a right website for you! Always make sure that you search for any available coupon codes online before you checkout! I am almost certain there always are!

Ericka, Contributor

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Baby Gizmo founder Hollie Schultz is the proud mom of three adorable kids. This certified CPS (Child Passenger Safety) Tech and baby gear expert is the host of the Baby Gizmo video reviews giving moms the inside look at baby products before they purchase them. Hollie is also the co-author of The Baby Gizmo Buying Guide. A former resident of Los Angeles, she and her family now live in North Carolina where she is having a blast designing and decorating her new home.

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