(Originally posted February 2008)
Recently I have had many “real life” friends express interest in digiscrapping, wondering how to start, so I’ve decided to blog some of the basics for everyone who is just thinking about starting out.
Let’s start with an excerpt from the Blue Flombingo website…
By now, the term “scrapbooking” is as well-known as the terms “knitting” or “quilting.” What started out as a small industry has exploded into something HUGE that is constantly growing, changing and expanding. You can see this at any local craft store – where there used to be a few racks of scrapbook goodies there are now rows and rows. There are the scrapbook albums. And the papers. And the embellishments. And the storage systems. And the cutting systems. And the list goes on and on.
Recently, however, there has been a new movement among scrapbookers. Many “scrappers” have decided to transition from “paper scrapping” (scrapbooking in the traditional style of photo prints, papers and adhesives) to digital scrapbooking (or “digiscrapping”). There are so many incredible programs available today that ones options are practically endless.
I was a “paper scrapper.” I was a strict paper scrapbooker for approximately 12 years. When I first heard about digital scrapbooking and saw some samples of what it looked like, I SWORE I would never make the transition. A few years ago, however, I began feeling very overwhelmed. I have four children and I am a photographer, which means that I have bazillions of pictures. I do not have space in my home to set up a scrapbooking table or area, as many people are able to do. While I enjoy getting together for scrapbooking parties with friends, I usually end up talking too much and hardly get anything done. So in April of this year I succumbed and thought “what would it hurt to do a few digital layouts?” I did one. Then another. And then another and another and another. And in one week, I had finished 5 layouts! This is compared to the 5 layouts I had finished over the previous 4 months. I was immediately hooked.
While some people really love the appearance of “real” scrapbook layouts, the digital designs that have been coming out recently are created with the intent of APPEARING real. I have seen some digital layouts that make me I feel like I could reach out and touch them through the screen (and have had people actually reach out to touch elements on some of my printed pages as well!).
One huge benefit of digital scrapbooking is the delete or undo button. Don’t like where you put that picture? Undo. Don’t like how you cropped that photo? Undo. Misspelled in your journaling? Undo. And then there are the limitless options available through the photo-editing software. Have a picture you think might look better in black and white? Change it. Have a background paper that doesn’t quite match the picture? Re-color it. Have an alphabet you’d like to use, but think the letters are too big? Shrink them. The options are literally endless.
For people who are unsure about making the change, there are so many digital scrapbooking freebies available online for download. All you need to do is download a free kit or two and play around for a bit. It may be awkward at first – you may not know what you’re doing and may need to practice a little. But once you have everything figured out, you’ll be amazed at how EASY it really is.
So with that out of the way ….
The first step is deciding on a program. There are a LOT of options out there – the best thing to do is download the free trials many of them offer and play around with them for a bit to see which one you like the most! Personally, I recommend PhotoShop Elements (PSE) to everyone who asks what they should use. It’s a fantastic program, packed FULL of features. More than everything you’d need to edit your photos and do basic to advanced digital scrapbooking.
Here are some links to some of the more popular programs out there…
Paint Shop Pro
ACDsee Photo Editor
Coming soon … I have my program - now what???