Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Can you believe it’s time to start thinking about this ALREADY? I (Casharina) can’t…this year has seriously flown by, and I know I’ve heard all my life that “the older you get, the faster it flies,” and I can truly understand that now! My little ones are growing up before my eyes; it’s amazing how fast the years have passed with them.
Okay, let’s get back to the Holidays right! I LOVE Christmas; it’s my most favorite time of the year. I love what Christmas truly means and what it represents to me and my family, I love the magic of Santa and the fun it brings, as well as the lessons we learn about giving to others, the bright colored lights found inside and outside our homes…oh how I love this time of the year!
This year I’ve been focusing on taking better everyday pictures, and with that I have been focusing on the fact that this year I want to get better Christmas morning pictures. So after practice I’m going to share with you some of the pointers I’ve learned along the way and hope that they will enable be me to get my best photos yet! ;)
First of all, to be fully prepared for the hustle and bustle of Christmas morning (or any special event) we need to ensure we’ve got things ready the evening before. This includes:
- checking that the camera battery is fully charged
- having new/clear memory cards (have another available in case you need it…I always keep an extra one or two in my bag!)
- get your camera settings ready by adjusting all of your dials to the appropriate settings for Christmas morning fun!
- if you have an external flash, make sure you have new batteries in it or extras handy. I have had batteries die so many times during a photo shoot it’s not even funny!
Without a Flash:
For us we usually get up EXTRA early in the morning…honestly I can’t sleep due to excitement for my kiddos so I’m up all night waiting for the morning, and have had to wake my oldest up for a few years! Hah. I know sad right! (My mom was the SAME way when I was little!) We’re those people who have eaten and opened gifts by 6:45 am at the latest, although this year I’m going to let em’ sleep til’ at least 7!
OK, I kinda got sidetracked! I told you about our early mornings because many times I don’t want to wake the girls up with flashes in their face, I can’t say that’d put them in a very good mood! I also don’t love the look of straight on flash so there are many options you can choose to help your photos look fantastic without the use of flash.
With a Flash:
If you find that you need to use a flash, there are ways you can help avoid the harsh lights in the face, just like we’ve learned before in Rosy’s last Focus on Photos post
dealing with the challenges of indoor photography
. In addition to using a piece of cardstock you can also place a business card under the popup flash. This allows the light to bounce off the paper before hitting your subject head on. When using an external flash, you’ll want to bounce the flash off a wall or the ceiling to prevent the harsh light hitting the subjects face.
One thing I’m going to really try to avoid this year is worrying about “the perfect shot!” If you’re like me, you try to get the kids to look at you, wait on that perfect position of the lighting, gift, perfect little smile, all while trying to not include the trash and clutter of the morning??? Not this year. This year I want to focus on what we’re doing, in the moment. Honestly, when I look back at Christmas pictures from when my husband and I were young, it’s the clutter that really takes me back. It allows me to remember the “other” gifts and things going on at the time. I might be holding a new Barbie accessory, but in the background I can see a glimpse of a baby doll and clothes that I also received. Just because they’re in the background, I’m able to recall those special toys, those special things that didn’t make the “picture” or scrapbook, but because they’re in the background I can go back and see what I was like as a child. I want my kiddos to have the same opportunities. I plan to just keep memories this year and by that I mean taking the picture in the moment, not waiting, worrying only about getting pictures of what’s happening, and I challenge you to do the same!
Now, if it comes down to Christmas morning and your pictures just won’t look the way you want them to, forget it all and turn on Auto. You will never forget pictures you took, but you may regret the pictures you missed because you were focusing on technical details and not the photo.
To get some more great tips on photographing the holidays, check out Beckie’s posts – HERE and also HERE!! I used her tips to create the first picture in this post! I’m hoping to come some shapes to try the bokeh look too!
Don’t forget to stop back by tomorrow when Kylie updates us our November ProjectSCRAP check-in and shares the NEW December templates!!
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Hello everyone!! Aubrey here and I hope this find everyone in a happy holiday mood! This is such a crazy time with all of the events and programs and gift buying and everything else that it is hard sometimes to remember to slow down for a moment and take it all in. I have a hard time with that, but that is why we take lots and lots of pictures so we can go back and smile while remembering the good times we had!
Today I am here with a Tips and Tricks and a bit more of a serious one at that. It has to do with preserving our pictures forever without risk of losing them. I am actually writing this because of a very recent and painful experience. Several years ago our laptop died on us and we lost all of our info on it, including a lot of pictures. Luckily we had most of our pictures on CDs. We decided to get an external hard drive for safety sake. Well…and here comes the painful part…I was not so smart and ended up keeping everything on that including around 10,000 pictures (all of them since we have had digital cameras), all family videos, ALL of my digital scrapbooking stuff (kits, pages, EVERYTHING!), and much more. Lately I have had the feeling that we needed to back it up and put it into “outer space” as my mom puts it (online), but we have had a crazy fall with a wedding, 3 birthdays, 4 trips out of town, church stuff, and so much more so I kind of put it in the back of my mind. Well, 2 weeks ago we were at my in-laws and the hard drive dropped. It stopped working. No matter our efforts and other’s efforts we couldn’t fix it: the hard drive is what is damaged. We lost everything on there. It took me 3 days to come out of the depression I felt from that and then decided I would write my post on this very thing to keep other people from this same loss. It hurts a lot!
So why write all of that above? So you know that it can happen at any time and it is really best to act sooner than later! So…onto my tips.
My husband and I while talking about this decided that 2 or 3 storage areas are ideal. There are so many options out there: your computer, external hard drive, CDs, online storage facilities, photo printing facilities, and many more. I don’t know about you, but my computer storage is just never big enough so it just houses our software programs. External hard drives are great because they act like your computer’s hard drive and easily accessible, but as shown above are not a fool proof solution and need to be backed up continually. CDs…well, with trying to back up 10,000 picture onto discs that could potentially get damaged easily, it’s not a good solution and definitely not permanent. I would suggest that after your computer and any other external source to have an online spot where you download all of your pictures and other files.
There are many different options out there. Let’s start with online photo storage facilities where you can possibly print off your photos. Once they are downloaded they will always be there (unless otherwise stated). These are free, but may be limited in space and you will only have pictures. Plus, to download high res photos takes a LOT of time! Options like this include:
There are also a ton of online storage facilities that have different features at different prices. These are more like your computer’s hard drive. Here are just a few examples I found when researching. (Please note that offers/prices may differ depending on when you might happen to look them up):
- Dropbox: It starts off free for 2 GB of space and after that is $9.99 for 100 GB and goes up from there
- Livedrive: $7.95 per month for unlimited space, it backs up your files as you work on them, and you can view your files anywhere (including smart phones and devices)
- Carbonite: $59 a year, it backs up your files continually as long as you are connected to the internet, and you can view your files anywhere (including smart phones and devices)
- MediaFire: Free for up to 50 GB of storage space (with limitations) and starts at $1.50 per month, you can have access anywhere
There are a TON more, but that would make for a very long post! Lol! Different features work better for different people so do your homework and see which one out there works best for you! All I did was Google ‘online digital storage sites’ and came up with tons of different options. A lot of them even offer a trial version so you can try it out for free.
Gotta love the digital age, but you need to back everything up for the “just in case” moments in life! Sorry for the not-so-exciting post, but I felt it was necessary to save someone else from the same heartache!
Thanks for checking in with the blog today, Casharina will be with your tomorrow with a seasonal photography post! :o)
Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized
Monday, December 10, 2012
Happy Monday, everyone! Lindsay here to announce the next Layout of the Week!
This week’s honor goes to the talented lala777 and her cute & totally boyish page Puddles!
I love the slanted photo frame here, that bright and fun paper from Wonderful, and especially all the little star and word embellishments clustered along that cool cardboard frame! And those pics are too cute!!! Oh little boys – they just cannot resist a good mud puddle! Thanks SO much for sharing this fun page with us, lala777, and be sure to check your email for your $10 gift certificate to the Shoppe!
Thanks for checking in with us today! Be sure to head over to the gallery and leave some love and congratulations for lala777 and this super-cute page! And drop back in tomorrow, as Aubrey will be sharing some great tips & tricks with us all! Take care ~ hope everyone has a fabulous week!
Layout of the Week, Uncategorized
Saturday, December 8, 2012
Hello to all of you on this Saturday! Kim here to bring you an “extra” weekend post! It’s my turn to share a hybrid project with you, but I must say I was a little unsure of what kind of project I had it in me to do this month. At our house, Christmas decorations have gone up, food for parties is being made, and of course the secret shopping is also going on. And speaking of shopping for gifts, we recently had family pictures made that will be given to some family members. I thought it would be nice if I could find a little bit different way to frame them, so I was out there looking for ways to make a picture frame more unique. One idea I saw was to use strips of fabric to wrap the frame. Now since I can’t sew, I decided I would try to make this project a little more up my alley. So… here is my frame wrapped in strips of scrapbook paper!
I’ll admit that I kept this project as simple as possible, but it still has a bit of flair with the wrapped frame. I like it! And here’s what you need to create your own:
- Frame (This one seems so simple, but it was the trickiest part for me. You need to remember that you are going to wrap the edges when you pick out a frame. So, the kind of frame where the glass and backing needs to be slid in from one end won’t work. You need glass and backing that goes straight in from the back. I hope that makes sense! And in truth, you may not be able to fit the glass back in the frame anyway. In my example, I couldn’t. You may have to experiment a little to see what works best for you.)
- Scrapbook paper (My example uses the plaid paper from Once in a Blue Moon. I printed it on my home printer on 8.5×11 inch paper. No need to have 12×12 inch pages for this project.)
- Tape or other kind of adhesive
- Printed out embellishments of your choice
Follow these steps to wrap the edges of your frame:
- Remove the glass and backing from your frame.
- Cut your scrapbook paper into strips. Mine were about 1/2 inch thick, but you can experiment to see what you like.
- Use tape/adhesive to attach one end of a strip to the back edge of your frame.
- Wrap the strip around the edge of the frame, being sure that you have some overlap each time you wrap.
- When you get to the end of the strip, cut it so that it ends on the back edge of your frame and tape it down.
- Repeat the last 3 steps until you have all the edges of your frame covered. Just go as close to the corners as you can because you’ll take care of those next.
Now for the corners. I wasn’t sure what I’d do about this part, but here’s what worked for me. I cut out a square of the scrapbook paper, then cut a little bit into one corner of the square (shown below). I taped the two corner pieces down on the inner part of my frame (where it wouldn’t show), then wrapped the rest of the square around the corner like you’re wrapping a present (with more tape to hold it down).
You’ve done the hard part at this point! You’re all ready to put your pictures and the backing in the frame and add any embellishments you’d like.
There are a couple of other things I’d like to mention from my experience with this project. Number one, the hardest part is going to be finding a frame that you will still be able to fit the picture and backing in after you wrap the frame. You might try wrapping just a few strips of paper, then seeing if it’s going to work. Using regular weight paper (not a thicker cardstock) to print out the scrapbook paper will allow the paper to bend and form more to the frame. I’d recommend not trying cardstock. That said, I did use cardstock to print out my embellishments.
I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing this little hybrid project! And I hope you have a lovely rest of your weekend!! Be sure and stop back by the blog on Monday as Lindsay will be here to announce our next Layout of the Week. Bye!
Hybrid Projects, Uncategorized
Friday, December 7, 2012
Hello fellow digiscrappers! Rosy here.
Today I’m sharing a simple hybrid project idea that would also make a great gift for a special person in your life. I was inspired by this project and decided to put my own spin on it.
First I opened a new 8×10 document in Photoshop and designed the image just like I do my scrapbook pages.
I used stitching to make the blank lines at the bottom to be fill in with a dry erase marker later.
I had my image printed and inserted it in a frame, and then I completed the message by writing on top of the glass with a dry erase marker. Now I have a great way of displaying a favorite picture plus a little love note that can be erased and changed as often as I want to.
I’m not very happy with the quality of my print and will probably have it reprinted, but I thought I’d share the photo anyway so you can envision the end result.
This would make a fun little gift to let the special people in your life know just how much you love them.
Kim will be here tomorrow with another fun hybrid project for you!
Hybrid Projects, Uncategorized