Make a Photo Book and Share Your Pictures Online

December 31, 2009

Looking back over the year that has gone by, I’m sure you have many memories of milestones in your children’s lives, and in your own. You probably have photos of many of those special times, but have you put them into an album yet, to share with the whole family, so that the year is documented before it fades from your memory? If sticking prints into a traditional album seems too much like hard work, why not create an album, and share your pictures at the same time, online.

Sharing pictures online is free with many photo-sharing sites as long as you place one order per year with them. This could be for some straightforward prints, or for a complete photo book – a printed album that you have laid out yourself, with text and captions and whatever else you want to include. The theme and layout is up to you. All you have to do is to upload your photos to the site and work with them within the photo book interface.

The great thing about making photo books online is that you can see how your photos look together without having to print them out first. You can look at alternative page layouts, change your mind, replace a picture and play with all your favorite pictures for as long as you like until you have your book just right, before you have it printed. Some pages can have just one full-size photo taking up the whole page, others can have a selection of small thumbnails, so it is easy to put together a varied and interesting album to tell the story of your year,

Even better you can e-mail an invitation to selected friends and family to view your photo book online, so they can look through your photos easily and if they want to they can order themselves a printed copy. The photo books are printed on good quality paper, just like a glossy coffee table book, so look really professional too.

If it is taking you too long to put together your photo book, you can always invite your friends and family to look through your photos anyway by sharing your online album with them via e-mail. And as long as you order a few prints once a year, your photos can stay securely stored on the site until you next have time to work on your photo book.

Mum and Photographer

Mum and Photographer

Fun Photo Gifts

December 30, 2009

TonjaAre you looking for a Photo Gift that is different? I was shopping for a present for my Mother-in-Law, when I remembered that she had said that she does not have pictures of my sons. Since she lives in another state, I email her pictures to keep up with my sons’ lives. She is not the type of person to print the pictures or upload them to a photo site. I thought a photo gift that shows my sons’ past year would be an excellent idea. I came across a variety of gifts that are fun and useful at the same time.

Home and Office
Looking for a photo gift that is portable? You do not have to settle for a commuter mug; create a skin for a cell phone, camera, PDA, MP3 player, or laptop. This is one way to personalize your electronic device. The stationary department has a large selection to choose from, expand your mind from the photo holiday cards. Use personalized note cards, postcards, stamps, stickers, note pads and notebooks with your favorite photos. Do you want to give a gift that will help organize the office? Purchase a clipboard, desk organizer, clock or mouse pad that has the photo of your choice incorporated in the design. Placemats, trivets, aprons, serving trays, coasters and cutting boards with photos make perfect gifts for people who love to entertain in their home. Blankets, digital photo frames, plaques, photo posters, and photos on canvas are a wonderful way to decorate your home.

Personal Gifts
Ladies always enjoy receiving jewelry; make hers extra special with a photo displayed in the jewelry. Your favorite photos can be placed on t-shirts, boxers, ties and scarves ready to be given as a gift to be remembered. Photo puzzles and playing cards are fabulous gifts for all ages to receive. Most young children enjoy seeing themselves in pictures or their names mentioned in stories. Imagine their delight when there is a whole book with their picture as the main character. This will quickly become their favorite book and one you will treasure for years to come. Are pets a considerable part of the family? You can personalize their collar, leash or food bowl with a picture of themselves or you.

Several of the gifts I mentioned below allow for multiple pictures to be placed on the gift. Some offer the ability for your picture to be placed in a tile design, so the same picture is displayed multiple times on the gift. Since there are so many items that your photos can be placed on, you should have no trouble finding a very personalized gift for everyone on your list.

Top Tips for Buying a Digital SLR Camera

December 29, 2009

TonjaWhat style of photographer are you? When you come up with the answer it help determine what you are looking for in a camera. If you would like to have more control over your pictures, then a buying a digital SLR camera is right for you. D-SLR stands for digital single lens reflex it uses a mirror behind the lens to direct the light to the viewfinder when you are taking pictures. Now that you have decided to buy a d-SLR camera, what do you need to consider when comparing cameras?

Digital SLR cameras have a variety of features to offer, but you do not have to have a camera with all the features to have fabulous pictures. One item you hear a lot about is mega pixel. Mega pixels are the amount of data captured by the camera’s sensor; this does not measure the quality of the picture. Image quality needs to be addressed when discussing mega pixels, because the larger number of mega pixels does not always mean it is better. Most digital cameras will produce the quality and sharpness that the general public would be satisfied with when printing the most common size photos. Do you plan to take action or sports photos? You will want to take continuous shots so look into how many frames per seconds. The greater the number of frames per second the more pictures you will able to take in a small amount of time. Make sure the camera or the lens have image stabilization to help prevent blurry pictures from what is called camera shakes. In low light situations your lens is open longer to capture more light, this allows more time for the camera to be moved causing blurred pictures. Some cameras now offer the ability to shoot video; I personally would not use this option, so this would not be a determining influence in my purchase. I would review the software included with my camera for editing photos.

Regardless of how you answered the above questions, one tip still remains stick to your budget. Your budget needs to take into account the camera body, lens, batteries, memory card, camera bag, and if your budget allows a tripod. Depending on how you will use your camera, an extra set of batteries could come in handy since digital cameras drain batteries. Make sure the camera fits nicely in your hand and the buttons are easy for you to navigate. If you are uncomfortable with your camera, the less likely you will use it.

Buy A Leather Album For Safe Print Photo Storage

December 29, 2009

So Christmas is over for another year and you’re probably still clearing up tinsel and wrapping paper and feeling rather flat after all the rush of the holidays. Why not use this time to take stock of all your photographs. Download everything that you took over Christmas, select the ones you’d like to print, dig out all the prints from the year and start putting together a print photo album, for the safest possible photo storage, before the New Year is upon us.

Keeping prints in a traditional photo album is by far the best way of making sure they are protected, easy to view and accessible to everyone. You can leaf through the pages with your kids, remembering wonderful vacations, fun family moments, memories of when they were younger. If you take the trouble to source archival quality photo albums with acid free pages, your photos will be securely stored for many years to come, so that the albums you have lovingly created will document the family history for the generations to come.

At this time of year you can get some real bargains when it comes to buying yourself some really good albums to store your prints in. The sales have started online as well as in the shops and in particular Exposures have some great deals on their leather albums and photo sleeves.

Treat yourself to a gorgeous Italian leather album that at 14” square is large enough to fit your biggest prints with pages protected by interleaved tissue and which is currently less than half price. Or finally buy that baby album that you always meant to make before your baby turns into a toddler and all those precious moments fade from your memory. Because babies do grow and memories do fade, unless they are captured on camera and immortalized in an album that you can leaf through every so often to refresh your memory.

Don’t worry about creative scrap-booking unless you love that sort of thing. Just buy archive quality print sleeves of the right size for your album and prints and slip each print in. Or buy plain pages and an acid free photo adhesive to attach the photos to the page with a simple layout. Label them with a special acid free pen and you will have an album of memories that will last your forever and bring joy to your children when they are grown too.

Mum and Photographer

Mum and Photographer

Great American Baby Photo Contest

December 23, 2009

TonjaDo you have the cutest baby in America? Now is your chance to find out on the Great American Baby Photo Contest website. This is a fun, free way to share your baby’s picture or to look at other cute babies in America. The website launched in 2006 by a father who loves taking pictures of his two girls. In the spirit of friendly competition contestants are voted on by the public which has logged into the website. The contestant with the most votes will win $2,500.00.

How to Enter
So you are ready to show America that your baby is the cutest? First you need to create an account so you can log into the website. You will need to confirm your email address to have an account. The website states that this is to help prevent fraud in the voting process. The account is free and you need one if you are entering the contest or even to vote. Once you are log in you can upload up to 6 photos of your child but remember each photo is voted on separately. Your child must be between the ages of 0-48 months old to qualify for the contest. Only the parent or legal guardian who is over the age of 18 can submit photos of the child. The contest administrators do review each photo before allowing it to be posted for viewing. You must own the photo or have the rights to use the photo. The photo cannot be altered or you will be disqualified. Once your photo is approved, they will post your photo as a finalist for the month. You can a link to email family and friends that you have entered the contest so they can vote. A voter must be over the age of 18, a US resident and in a state that is allowed by law. Each contest is one month long as long as they receive 2,500 entries. If they do not receive enough entries they will roll those pictures into the next month’s contest but everyone’s prior votes are deleted for the new contest. You can vote once a day for your favorite photo. Are you wondering how they can afford to give away $2,500 per contest? They have sponsors that offer the money for the contest in exchange for advertising on the website. You are under no obligation to complete the offers by these companies. If there is a tie the prize money will be split among the winners.

Make sure to check out this contest and all the rules. This is an easy way to enter your child in a beauty contest without all the fuss.

Take Great Photos of your Children

December 22, 2009

TonjaDo you need an excuse to take photos of your children? Anytime is a perfect time. My children are my favorite subjects whether I am using the automatic settings or exploring the manual settings on my camera. No matter what the purpose of my photography, I want to the best pictures possible. As parents, we all have asked ourselves how can we get the same brilliant photos as the photography studios. Keeping some tips in mind when taking photos will help you achieve the photos you are after.

On the Move
Kids in general are always on the move this is a fact of life. You can use the busy body action to your advantage, so you will have natural poses. Make sure to get down on their eye level to shoot the pictures. They do not have to be looking into the camera for every pose. Some of my favorite photos are when my children are interested in something else, be it their favorite teddy bear or a bug crawling on the lawn. My sons are extremely active in sports football seems to be the one sport that they love to play almost year round. When taking sports pictures you need to move around the field, so you can take pictures at different angles. Keep in mind what pictures you want to get out of the game but always shoot a variety of shots. For example one of my sons is a Center on the Offense of course I want to capture him hiking the ball, but I know that the action does not stop there, so I keep on shooting. Make sure to lead your subject with the viewfinder. Make sure that your subject is on one side of the frame so that when the picture is shot they will have room to remain in the frame.

Remember the Age
You know your children and what they can handle. Some children love the camera and will pose for you. Teenagers especially boys think they are too cool for posed pictures, so be prepared to take the picture when you get a smile. Make sure your child is rested and feed so they will be in a better mood to work with you. A tired and hungry kid is not fun for either you or the child. Tantrums can be another obstacle you may come across you can either snap photos of your child’s “finest” moment or you can put away the camera. Sometimes the siblings’ picking on each other becomes a great photo.

Remember that professional photographers do snap a lot of pictures for you to review. Now that digital cameras are very common, the easiest tip to give you is to take a lot of pictures and delete the ones you do not want.

Take Time At Christmas To Share Photos Online For Free

December 22, 2009

The days are flying by and there’s still so much to do to get ready for Christmas Day, so why add anything more to the to do list? Some families manage to be together at Christmas, but more often these days we find ourselves at opposite ends of the country, or even in different countries, to parents and siblings. Sharing the joy of Christmas with them is easy if you take lots of photos throughout the day and even easier if you can share those photos online for free.

If you’ve never used a photo sharing service before it may seem too much to ask to figure out how it works, when there is so much else that needs doing right now. If you have even a few minutes spare though, take the time to sign up for an online photo sharing service and you’ll see how simple it all is to use. As long as you have a fast internet connection, your photos will upload to the service easily and you can e-mail a link to family and friends far away, so that they can view all your favorite photos of Christmas Day.

With this service you don’t have to re-size the photos as you would if you e-mailed them and you can include far more than your would in an e-mail, so you can show all the fun moments from the day: your kids opening their stockings with eager anticipation; the baby crawling under the Christmas tree to sit in a box amid the wrapping paper; each child opening the gift sent by grandparents who can’t be with you; the kids wearing a special new outfit; or just helping get Christmas dinner ready.

It is simple for your family to view the photos too, even if they aren’t very internet savvy.  You can e-mail them a direct link to access your photo album and they can view the photos at their own pace and even order prints of them if they wish.

Start sharing photos online and it will become a simple and easy way to keep the rest of your family in touch with your children’s lives however far away they are. And it’s a great way to encourage yourself to take more photos of your children as often as you can. When you have an appreciative audience of grandparents and fond aunts and uncles viewing regularly, there’s even more reason to get out your camera and document the fun times and the everyday moments, which pass so quickly unless you catch them on camera.

Mum and Photographer

Mum and Photographer

Get Cards Printed and Share Photos Online

December 17, 2009

If you are one of those people who are well organized you will have already had Christmas cards printed and sent out weeks ago… but if like me and many others Christmas has crept up on you and you’ve suddenly realized that it’s too late to get your own personalized photo cards printed in time to send out, what can you do? Well there may not be time to print out Christmas cards, but you can still upload them to a photo sharing site with a special greeting message and share your Christmas photos online or by e-mail for friends to enjoy.

Many photo sharing sites offer a lot of other services too, including Photoworks who offer a huge range of photo cards in all sorts of designs. It may be too late to get personalized Christmas cards printed, but what about sending New Year’s greetings cards instead. Or making a personalized set of thank you cards to send out to family and friends who have sent you gifts this Christmas.

The great thing about sending late non-Christmas cards, is that you can use some of your best festive photos from Christmas to put on the card, so they still have a seasonal feel, but you don’t have to be in such a hurry to get them sent out. You can take your time writing individual thoughtful messages in each card, instead of just hurriedly signing your name. It may be more traditional to get all your cards to the recipient before Christmas Day, but they’ll have more time to read and appreciate your thoughtful greetings after the Christmas rush is over.

I suggest a combination of e-mail cards or photo sharing and a printed personalized photo card as a solution to last minute Christmas greetings. An e-mail shows you re thinking about the person, but once looked at it will be lost in the e-mail inbox and maybe never looked at again. A printed card with a photo of your kids may take pride of place on grandma’s dresser for months to come, or smile down from the refrigerator for the rest of the year. You could even have a set of cards printed especially for your children to write their own thank you letters to grandparents and family.

A personalized photo card is much more meaningful and lasting than an e-mail, even if it does come late. Plus there is something about handwritten messages, especially in this day and age of typed e-mails, that is so much more personal and special.

Mum and Photographer

Mum and Photographer

Archival Photo Storage Supplies

December 16, 2009

No matter what your photo storage needs, they can be met with the numerous kinds of archival photo storage supplies. There are storage systems for those who want to use boxes, albums, scrapbooks, or hang your pictures like file folders. There is a national standard for having a product be deemed archival safe. The American National Standards have given the recommendations on film and print storage.

Photo Boxes
Photo storage boxes come in a variety of sizes. Will you be storing your photos permanently in boxes or do you need a place to store them temporarily until you can store them differently? Do you need a place to store unfinished scrapbook pages without them getting messed up? Look into scrapbook size photo boxes. The photo storage boxes allow you to file your photos in a variety of manner, so they can be easily customized to your personal taste.

Albums and Scrapbooks
You can still have your photos in an album without have to scrapbook them. The album should not be the magnetic page style if you want your albums preserved for future generations. The adhesive on the pages will lead to yellowing and premature aging of the photos. You can make your own album placing archival grade pages in a three style binder that is archival grade. Scrapbooking is a fun way to tell the story of your photos. You will need storage for your photos that you are not currently using in the theme of your scrapbook. When shopping for scrapbook supplies make sure that they do mention that they are archival safe. True quality scrapbook supplies will be archival safe.

File Folders
You can put your photos in archive quality folders that can hang in your filing cabinet. Wondering where you should put all those negatives that you have floating around? There are specifically designed archive quality folders to store them, where they can be enjoyed for years to come. You can place slides you might have in these types of file folders.

Some exciting things have come out of the mass public is looking to store their photos long term. The scrapbooking world has become so large to accommodate all their fans. The supplies have come down in price. They are also offering more colors to match your décor. The supplies are easier to find and
there are more supplies to choose. Now that the general public knows how to preserve their photos, we just need to remember to identify the people in the pictures.

Capture The Joy And Share Your Christmas Photo Album Online

December 15, 2009

When you have kids, the magic of Christmas comes back into your life again. Seeing the  awe on their faces as they gaze at the myriad of sparkling lights on the Christmas tree, enjoying the ninety fifth rendition of Away in the Manger just as much as the first, loving all the secrecy and suspended excitement over the wrapping of presents, going wild with the glitter glue to create Christmas cards for everyone they know, all these moments are ones that you want to capture to create a special Christmas photo album that you can share online with your family, so they too can share your kids joy at rediscovering Christmas.

Make sure that you take enough time out of the adult stress and rush of Christmas preparations to share this innocent joy with your children. Camera in hand you can rediscover that childhood awareness of Christmas as a special time and step out of the stress of crazy malls and too much to do in too little time.

Make time to photograph the quiet moments as well as the big events: your child patiently drawing a special card, or working hard on making an angel out of silver foil and string, helping make cookies with flour all over them, hanging the first ornament on the tree or secretly feeling the presents to try and guess what is in each one. All these things have a place in your photo album, alongside all the bigger events like the nativity play and carol concerts. Even babies get some feeling of Christmas as a special time, as they lie watching twinkling lights or crawl into a mass of wrapping paper to enjoy the rustling sounds.

Now is the time to concentrate on capturing the moments, both special and ordinary. Take lots of photos of all the preparations for Christmas. We all know that the day itself goes by in a flash, but the excitement is here already with every breath of frosty air, every scent of cinnamon wafting from the kitchen.

No-one expects you to find the time to make albums in the midst of all the Christmas preparations. But by taking all these photos now you will have all the material you need to create a gorgeous photo album when Christmas is over and things start to feel a bit flat. You’ll be able to relive all those special moments, which you hardly had time to enjoy at the time, as you work on putting together an album that you can send out to family as part of a Christmas thank you e-mail, or you can just put your album online for invited friends and family to view.

Mum and Photographer

Mum and Photographer

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