Digital Photography Printing

Getting digital photography prints from the camera to an album takes organization, research, more organization, and creativity. For those who have hundreds of photos saved on a hard drive, the process also will take quite a bit of time -- especially if the multitude of photos are labeled with strange number strings and saved in only one directory. The initial organizing will require sorting through the photos and creating separate folders for them. An easy system is to create a folder for each year. Within that folder, additional folders can be created for special events or perhaps by the month. This is a good opportunity for purging the directory of blurry shots or ones that just aren't any good. There's no need to have a photo taking up disk space when it isn't worth keeping. The time-consuming task of replacing all those numbers with specific keywords will pay off later when certain photographs want to be quickly found. This initial organizing may take several hours, but once it is completed, future additions can be easily filed in appropriate folders. The hard part is getting the system in place in the first place. The organized photos can be saved to CDs so that a backup is available in case the computer hard drive crashes. Once the initial organization and backup are complete, it's time to think about digital photography printing options for the best of those photos.

The popularity of digital cameras quickly created the need for high quality digital photography prints. Using the home printer just wasn't good enough for even amateur photographers. To meet this growing need, both established companies and visionary entrepreneurs began offering digital photography printing services on the internet. This is where the second step in the camera-to-album process comes into play. Photographers will want to research the variety of companies competing for the digital printing market. Several criteria may go into making the appropriate choice, but perhaps the most important one is the print quality. Most consumers will probably prefer paying a penny or more per print to get high quality resolution. However, other factors should also be considered. For example, the customer will want to pay attention to how easy it is to navigate a specific company's website. Uploading the photos from the customer's hard drive to the digital photography printing website should be hassle-free and relatively fast. The organizing of the photos into the customer's personal directory should be an easy process. And placing the order, even a large one, should be a simple undertaking. The customer also should be assured that all financial information, especially the credit card number, is safe from any security breaches. In addition to these set-up and ordering factors, the customer will also want to pay attention to the turn-around time. How long did it take from the time the order was placed for the digital photography prints to be ready for shipping? Once the package arrives, the customer can evaluate the shipping time, the sturdiness of the packaging, and quality of the prints.

Some of the established companies, those with retail locations, offer an additional option for their customers. The digital photography prints can be ordered online, but then shipped to a nearby retail location for pickup. The cost-per-print may vary depending on whether the order will be shipped directly to the customer or shipped to a company's retail location. Here is another neat option: a customer can order a print, pay for it, and have it shipped to a retail store that is close to a relative or friend. The relative or friend is then notified that the print is at the store and available for pickup. This is a great way to share photos with faraway family members. Having this kind of flexibility in shipping and pickup options may give the retail companies an edge over the businesses that have only an online presence. All these factors will need to be taken in consideration for customers who want to upload all their digital photos to one online location. The Proverbs writer says: "The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning" (Proverbs 16:21). Prudent customers will take advantage of the free trial membership or tremendous first order discounts offered by online companies. By taking advantage of these special offers, the customer can evaluate one or more companies before making a final decision.

More organizing is the third step in the camera-to-album process. Once a customer has selected one specific online company, she will want to upload all her digital photos to the member account she has created. No doubt, the company will have a feature that allows the photos to be organized into various albums. The customer can opt to have the albums of her choice to be shared with family members and friends who have the password to access those albums. This way, other people can order prints of the photos. Online digital photography printing companies usually offer a variety of picture sizes from the common 4 x 6 to poster-size or even larger. Consumers may also choose pictures with or without borders and with either a glossy or matte finish.

The final camera-to-album step is creativity. Digital prints can be inserted into online pre-formatted albums that even allow personalizing. Once completed, these scrapbooks are sent to the customer or to the designated recipient. What a great idea for sending newborn baby photographs to faraway grandparents! And photos just aren't for albums anymore. Companies offer a variety of creative ideas. Photos can be placed on t-shirts, coffee mugs, keychains, even blankets and jewelry boxes. Digital photography prints can even be blown up and placed on canvases for a very special and meaningful piece of artwork. It may be time-consuming, especially at first, but with the four easy steps of initial organization, research, more organization, and creativity, digital prints can get out of the camera and into the albums where they belong.

Digital Scrapbooking Supplies

Thanks to online digital scrapbooking kits, almost any scrapper can create dynamic one-of-a-kind designs to preserve an endearing memory. Over the last decade, scrapbooking has become one of America's favorite past times, evolving from simply cutting out and gluing photos, letters, lace, buttons and tinsel to a two-dimensional surface; to digitally designing electronic images which can be downloaded, printed and shared on personal websites. Digital scrapbooking supplies, such as design elements, overlays, stamps and brushes, papers, and stickers open up a world of possibilities for creative and crafty scrappers. While electronic kits make creating and preserving precious memories easy, we sometimes struggle with life's challenges alone, not realizing that we can easily turn to God for the answer. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and by burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30).

Working with digital scrapbooking is similar to desktop publishing. Instead of traditional scrapping using backgrounds of construction paper, gluing elements in place, and mounting the finished product in a photo album; scrappers create pages on a computer screen and either print the finished product on a color printer, or email the end result to family and friends. Unlike traditional papers, lettering, and paints, digital scrapbooking supplies can be re-used again and again. Electronic images can be manipulated, recolored, re-sized, cropped, and shaded using graphic software programs. Photographs can be enhanced, enlarged, reduced, screened, softened, sharpened, distorted, aged, or dropped out by importing original color images into a photo enhancing program. Layout styles and arrangements are limitless and cyberspace colors cross the entire spectrum for unusual effects. Scrappers can choose fonts from funky and whimsical to sophisticated and serious to evoke certain graphic qualities to enhance each layout.

Today's scrapbooking kits contain paper packs developed and coordinated by popular designers. Themed papers, ribbons, stickers, frames, and alphabets are beautifully designed and coordinated to give scrappers a head start on building unique electronic pages. Themes include juvenile images, such as jungle gyms, playful pirates, or nautical sea creatures. Youthful pages to display images geared toward little girls or boys provide an array of papers in pink gingham, boyish blue stripes, or unisex solids. Paper packs for serious scrappers also include wood grain patterns, fall leaves, florals, grosgrain ribbon, stonewashed denim, or elegant shimmering silks. Romantic memories can be preserved with a combination of floral overlays, soft silks, and French-inspired calligraphy transposed over a delicate wedding portrait. Scrapper moms can use the newest digital scrapbooking kits to create electronic albums of baby's first year. Download a soft solid blue or pink paper pattern; import the infant's first hospital photo and candid snapshots taken over a few months; and add electronic lettering in a cute font, such as "Kids." Single e-pages or entire digital albums can be created and posted on a family website to share with grandparents, aunts and uncles, or coworkers as baby grows and develops from year to year.

The beauty of using digital scrapbooking supplies instead of traditional papers, trims, and lettering is primarily the savings in dollars and in time! Scrappers can spend a considerable amount of cash buying papers, lettering, glitter, glue, and developing hard copy photos. Not to mention the time it takes to sit down and assemble two-dimensional layouts. But even the greatest design can be easily ruined by spills, direct sunlight, or smudges. Inks, paints, and glues are not permanent and can dry out, fade, or crack over time. A typical scrapbook can run as much as $50 and up in supplies, photo processing, and materials. Once a book has been completed, the only way it can be shared is by passing it from one individual to another; and the cost of mailing an album can add up. In comparison, digital scrapbooking kits are relatively inexpensive electronic images which are imported into graphics software programs most individuals already own. Online paper packs average $3 to $5 each, while inexpensive templates, fonts, stamps and brushes, alphabets, and elements are also affordably priced. Once scrappers purchase electronic supplies online, they can be used again and again absolutely free. Ready made cards, templates, and frames take the guesswork out of designing layouts. Designer papers and elements add a professional look to each e-album. Completed designs can be emailed all over the world at no cost; and electronic albums can be digitally assembled in a fraction of the time it takes to complete just one two-dimensional page!

Online scrapbooking websites offer tutorials, templates, gift certificates, CD burning services, community blogs and forums, chat rooms, design galleries, and online catalogs to stimulate creativity and provide all the support scrappers need. Scrappers can burn electronic pages to a CD via online services and give family members and friends a permanent copy of wedding scrapbooks, baby books, graduation memories, retirement mementos, or vacation highlights. Scrapbooking kits can be used to compile portfolios for artists and photographers to land that next gig, or for vocalists, musicians, and other performing artists. Simply add sound or enclose a music CD with a digital scrapbook of still or animated images. Advertising professionals can build unique electronic albums using digital scrapbooking supplies to promote client products and services. And job seekers can easily email albums to prospective employers for an unusual but impressive resume and visual chronology of outstanding career accomplishments. Whatever the occupation, the occasion, or the opportunity, digital scrapbooking kits can make it memorable.

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