22 November 2009

Lessons in Scrapbooking - Photo Preparation

Here's a few ideas which I have learnt since starting scrapbooking that I thought I would share. I won't even touch on how to take good photos as that is a whole other area in which I never cease to be learning!

1. Remove all the photos from your albums especially “sticky” ones. If you have trouble doing this, try applying some heat, such as a hair dryer (held 12cm away from page) or dental floss. If any photos have deteriorated badly, scan and/or reprint them. I know this sounds drastic, but it's necessary - the acid in the adhesive in these albums eats photos, makes them yellow, etc etc.

2. Keep all your photos together, ideally in a small box with dividers. (Checkout SU!'s Forget-Me-Not Keeper, click here to see the one I decorated.) If collating all your photos at once is too daunting, try doing the last decade, or a particular event/individual first.

3. Sort your photos the way you plan to do your albums, i.e. chronologically, theme, individuals, etc. For hardcopy photos which you don’t want to scrapbook (for whatever reason!) but want to keep, either put in a non-sticky album, or scan them into computer and save with your regular photos, then discard original if you wish (making sure you still have negative though).

TIP - Store memorabilia with your photos too. Anything that is no thicker than a coin can be stuck to your pages such as lock of baby hair, restaurant menus, postcards, theatre tickets, foreign money, birthday cards, invitations, certificates, school reports, recipes, calf club ribbons, etc.

4. Previously photos were always kept in hardcopy and negative form. Make sure digital photos are stored in at least 2 different ways also, i.e. memory card, hard drive, memory stick, CD, hardcopy. Keep 1 copy separate from your photos, i.e. store them in a different room or even at a friends house.

5. Get into the habit of regularly printing the photos you wish to scrapbook (i.e. every 3 months so that memories for journaling are fresh in your mind), sort them into your album(s) and scrap these first before moving back in history. We don't have a photo processing shop in Paeroa (other than the chemist which sends them away, or standing at the Kiosk which I don't have time to do!) so I upload my photos to Frogprints and they post them out to me. For photos from digital cameras, 5 x 3 3/4“ is a good size for scrapbooking (or 6 x 4½“), if you print them out 6x4 size, you are actually loosing ¼” top and bottom due to the ratio which digital cameras use. See here for further info on this.

TIP - A good free photo editing programme is Picasa (www.picasa.com). Use it to crop, fix red-eye, retouch, lighten/darken, make b&w/sepia, etc.

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