5 Tips for Editing and Creating Beautiful Digital Photo Projects

At every event, party, holiday and random occasions, I am there with my camera. Ready to snap any and all photogenic moments and even some not so photogenic moments. I am THAT mom! (I come by it honestly, my mom is the same mom. And while I used to cringe at another photo by my mom, I cherish all photos she ever took. Yes, even the embarrassing ones.) My “office/craft room” is filled with photos, photobooks, scrapbooks and more and our home network and computer are chock full of pictures.

Files are great and sharing your pic on Facebook is fun, but there’s something wonderful about flipping through a photobook. Before my daughter was born, I printed photos and arranged them in detailed scrapbooks, now I am all digi. Hello photobook, my new best friend!

For the most part, I am proud to say that I am fairly organized with my photos. The digital photos are great, they save room in my “office/craft room,” but if I don’t turn them into projects then I miss out on enjoying my lovely photos. So, how do I create magical photo gifts?

  1. First things first, back them up. I can’t save it enough, you can’t create beautiful projects to cherish for all time if you lose your pictures because your computer crashes! Cheap, get a DVD and burn multiple copies of everything. A little more expensive, buy an external hard-drive and save your photos.
  2. In order to stay organized, stay on top of things. As soon as an event or holiday is over, plug those images into files on your computer right away and label the files by date. There’s nothing worse than allowing years to pass and suddenly you can’t tell if that picture is your first born or your second born’s milestone moment.
  3. Get with the program. While sites for creating photobooks have some basic photo editing tools, to really make your pics pop you need a photo editing software. Don’t let that scare you, you don’t have to be some sort of computer whiz or artist. You just have to have some patience to learn the basics. If my mom, who had never laid hands on a computer can go from 0 computer skills to fairly advanced editing in a few years, you can learn to remove the red eye and crop out that kid with his fingers in his nose in your background.
  4. Make a card. Tis the season for Christmas cards. Every year, I love to hear from my family and friends. Their well wishes and happy cards, make me smile. But my favorite cards, the ones I treasure, are the ones with pictures of the family. Watching the kids grow from year to year is a special treat that I save. Oh yes, in that “office/craft room” I save all of those photo cards, filed by year so I can go back and see how much the family has changed in a year. So if you want to make your Christmas card really shine, don’t be camera shy. Say cheese and turn that moment into a card to share with your loved ones.
  5. Pixels are cheap. Back in the days of film, you took a picture and hoped for the best. We didn’t have the preview screen and most of all film and processed was expensive, so shots were not to be wasted. Today, snap away! Don’t be shy. When taking group shots this year, don’t hesitate to take 2 or 3 or, if you are in my family, a dozen or so! When you get back to the computer you can delete the rejects and save the magical moments. No more missing the moment ’cause Grandma had her eyes closed. (For the editing experts, they can even merge photos together, but that’s a whole other lesson plan.)

The key to capturing the holidays is to snap, snap, snap. The kids grow up too fast, and before you know it you will be wishing you had photobooks and pictures to look back at. So this holiday season, make your New Year’s resolution to get organized, stay on top of things, get with the program, make a card and remember, pixels are cheap! Say cheese!!!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Adobe blogging program, making me eligible to receive a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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