Take your pictures off your computer and put them back on the coffee table for all to enjoy!

 

Now that your pictures are downloaded, organized, edited, and uploaded the fun begins.  http://danville.patch.com/blog_posts/im-ready-to-dive-into-my-digital-pictures-but-where-do-i-begin  http://danville.patch.com/blog_posts/its-easy-to-share  You can finally take your pictures off your computer and put them back onto your coffee table!  There are several items you can create with your digital pictures including, photo books, wall art/collages, calendars, cards, etc.  This post will walk through the process of creating a digital photo book.  

 

Photo books are especially appreciated because not many people do photo albums any more and they miss having them.  Photo books are even better than photo albums.  They are thinner, sturdier, and you can add design and copy to make them even more personalized and memorable.  They can be done for anything like Holidays, Birthdays, Vacations, Family Reunions, Weddings, Pregnancies and Births, etc.  

 

Some sites that allow you to create your books include Snapfish, Costco, Ritzpix, Blurb, and Shutterfly.  My current preferred site is Blurb, but they all essentially function the same way.  (All of the sample screen shots are from Blurb).  If you are wanting your photo book to be more like a scrapbook with design on the pages a site like Snapfish is better.  If you want something clean and simple, a site like Blurb is a good choice.

 

Most of the sites usually have you start by choosing the pictures you want to include in the book.  If you haven’t uploaded your pictures to the site you are using for the book all of them provide easy options to do so.   (see attached)

 

Then you need to choose the book size and cover style (hard or soft cover).  You can also choose an overall design that is applied to the entire book, and the color and size for your copy and cover.  Once all of the aesthetics have been decided on, you can start putting the book together.   (see attached)

 

 There are several page layouts available that vary by the number of photos per page.  I find it best to choose the photos you’d like included on a single page and then choose a page layout that has that number of photos.  

 

These sites also offer the option of having them automatically making the book for you with the pictures you’ve uploaded.  I have not done this because I like laying it out myself, I don’t think the sites have the personalized touch or eye that I do.  If anyone has ever done this I’d like to hear about how well it worked.

 

Once the book is complete you can order one or multiple books for gifts.  I have been doing a book for my daughters covering a year from birthday to birthday.  I will give them to keep once they are adults.  I’d love to hear from you about books that you’ve created and sites that you’ve used.  

 

If you are still overwhelmed with the time it will take you can also look to companies like my new company based here in Danville called Digi-Gals.  I will do everything above for you, all you have to do is take the pictures!  For more information visit our website at www.digi-gals.com or call me at 925/786-8574.

Choose a size and cover style (Blurb)

 

Choose a theme/style (Blurb)

 

Pulling photos into your book (Blurb)

 

 

 

It's Easy to Share!

 

Now that your pictures are downloaded, organized, and edited there are many things you can do with them.

From Picasa you have options like uploading them to photo sharing and social networking sites where your friends and family can enjoy them. Although I said this post would dive into creating photo books I wanted to cover how to upload and share your photos first.

There are several ways to do this from Picasa. One way is to create a Picasa web album. In Picasa you choose the photos (or entire album) that you want to upload and click the “Upload” button in the bottom menu bar (see the attached picture).

Another option is to upload them to a photo-sharing site like Snapfish, WalMart, RitzPix,Shutterfly, etc. You do this by clicking the “Shop” button in the same bottom menu bar. Please note that you need to have your own personal accounts for any of these options.

All of these sites have a “Share” button that you can click to share the album with your family and friends. Some of the sites also have a way to share the pictures on Facebook or Twitter.

If you want to bypass uploading and sharing your pictures to any of the above sites and just want to post them to Facebook you have a couple of options. In your Facebook page click on “Photo” and then choose the “Upload Photo/Video” or “Create Photo Album”. It will lead you to your computer where you can choose the photos you want to post.

Once you’ve got all of your pictures uploaded to any of these photo sharing sites you can create a variety of different keepsakes like digital photo books, wall art, cards, calendars, etc. My favorite is the photo book that I will cover in the next blog.

If you are still overwhelmed with the time it will take you can also look to companies like my new company based here in Danville called Digi-Gals. I will do everything above for you; all you have to do is take the pictures! For more information visit our website at www.digi-gals.com or call me at 925/786-8574.

 

Editing tabs in Picasa.
 
Sharing in Facebook
 

 

 

I'm Ready to Dive into My Digital Pictures but Where Do I Begin?

 

First you need to figure out where everything is.

Are they in your phone(s), on flash drives, in your camera(s), etc.? Then you need to download it all to your computer hard drive. I recommend creating one folder to keep all of your digital pictures and videos. Mine is titled “Pictures and Videos” as shown in the attached screen shot.

Once all of your pictures are downloaded start organizing them into folders within your main “Pictures and Videos” file. I recommend doing this by month/year (i.e.“Dec. 2011 Pictures” and “Dec. 2011 Videos”), but you can also do it by event (i.e. “Christmas 2011” and “Christmas 2011 Videos”). An example is attached.

After all of your photos and videos are organized it’s time to start editing. I recommend using a program like Picasa or (iPhoto for Mac users). I am a new Mac user and am still finding Picasa easier to organize and use. It’s a simple download, http://picasa.google.com/.

Once you’ve got Picasa downloaded it will pull in all of your picture and video files that you just created. In Picasa go to “Tools”, and “Folder Manager”. Tell it to “Scan Once” for all of your recently added files. (See attached).

Unless you are a professional photographer, editing will really entail basic cropping, red eye adjustment, color enhancement or treatments (like black & white), and most importantly deleting. You don’t need five pictures of the same thing. Choose the best one or two and delete the rest. Delete all blurry and out of focus pictures, just keep the best of the best.

Then you can start playing with the editing features. Just click on a photo and Picasa brings up the editing options along the left side of the screen (see attached). Each tab has different editing options. Play around with them to see what they all offer.

Getting through the downloading, organizing, and editing can be a very daunting, time-consuming task. Just make sure to do it on a regular basis going forward so you don’t get backlogged again. If you can do this every month or after big events/trips you’ll save yourself a lot of time down the road.

Once you’ve got all of your photos downloaded, organized and edited you can begin creating wonderful keepsakes and art with them. I’ll discuss creating photo books in the next post. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to post any questions or comments.

About me: I’m a stay-at-home mom of two who has recently taken my hobby and turned it into my new business Digi-Gals here in Danville. I offer all of the above services to those of you who are strapped for time. I also create digital photo books, digital photo wall art, cards, calendars, etc. For more information please visit my website www.digi-gals.com.

 

Create one folder in your hard drive for all of your pictures and videos.
 
Organize your pictures and videos in separate, clearly named folders.
 
How to set up Picasa.
 
Mark your photo and video files to "scan once".
 
Editing tabs in Picasa.
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's A New Year... So What Are You Going to do with Your Digital Pictures?

 

For many people the answer to the question, "What are you going to do with all those digital pictures?" is “nothing."

Your digital pictures are spread out between cameras, phones, and computers, rarely to be seen and enjoyed. But let's change that.

I’ve started this blog to help people get more use out of their digital pictures. So let's start with talking about all of the great things you can make with your digital pictures. Let's get the creative juices flowing and maybe I can motivate you to get your pictures organized! (I'll have following posts that will cover more of the “how tos," so stay-tuned for that!)

There are so many different things that you can do with your pictures. My favorite thing is to create a digital photo book. I miss photo albums, but definitely like the fact that I don’t have to print out pictures anymore. These books look so much more polished, they are sturdier and thinner, and you can add copy to them. They are a perfect combination of a photo album and scrapbook.

The photo books can feature many things like a big trip, a big event, “a year in the life of," or a whole life to commemorate a major birthday or anniversary. Often these books will incorporate pre-digital days but don't worry. You can scan any old film photos yourself or send them to a professional scanning service to digitize them.

You can also create wall art. There are several formats that you can choose from, including canvas, foam core, poster, or a simple blow-up. There a many size options and you can feature one or several photos on these formats. I’ve created several sizes of collages that cover different seasons to decorate my walls.

Cards and calendars are also fun things to create with your digital photos. People are creating more than Christmas cards these days. There are cards for every holiday, plus thank you cards, announcement cards, etc., that all of your relatives and friends would love to get in the mail.

But the most important thing to know about doing these project is if you're photos aren't organized, you can't do anything.

In the next post will talk about how to get started.

About me: I’m a stay-at-home mom of two who has recently taken my hobby and turned it into my new business Digi-Gals here in Danville. I offer all of the above services to those of you who are strapped for time. For more information please visit my website www.digi-gals.com.

 

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