Thursday, October 18, 2012

Photography: Books, Prints, Tips. Oh MY!

Passing notes today:  Mrs. Gosling

Hi ladies!

Have you two been taking photos for years but haven't figured out what to do with them?  Have you saved every single one on a flashdrive or CD, in hopes of loading your bookshelves with photo albums?  If you are like me, you have.  If you are also like me, you haven't printed half of them, you haven't edited any of them and you have empty frames sitting on closet shelves.  

Well, I have the BEST solution for this problem.  It's not shutterfly or snapfish (even though they are amazing), it's not CVS or Rite Aid (equally as great), it's called Blurb. to be exact.  

Blurb is a one-stop shop for photo storage, book making and more.  Online photo publishing at its finest.    I was introduced to this idea about a month ago.  My sister and I were talking about how to chronicle pictures and major events in our lives, in a way that is not time consuming and where the end result would be neatly organized.  She mentioned to me that her friend has a personal blog - PERSONAL.  She only gives the site to her immediate family, so they can check in from time to time, to see what she is up to.  What an amazing and simple idea!  I would have never thought to do this.   BUT now, I am.  Incidentally, I may be a little late to the party on this one.  If you already have a personal blog, rock on!  You're halfway there.  If not, think about starting one.  

All you have to do to start a blog is use a site like blogger, wordpress, typepad.... etc.  The sites are really user friendly and walk you through setup.  You can start by adding your favorite pictures from the past, writing posts about current adventures and future plans.  

Then once you're an established bloggette, Blurb will transform those posts into pages of your book, text and all.  I have decided that moving forward, I am going to keep yearly books.  That way everyone can enjoy them when they come over and I won't have to fuss around with clunky photo albums and crunchy plastic sleeves.  If you are interested in this idea, all you have to do is get started.  And here is how you do it:

Photo Books
Step 1:  Get all of your photos organized.  You can pull from Facebook, instagram, old files, new files, other storage sites. 
Step 2:  Visit and set up a username/password combo. 
Step 3:  Prepare yourself to be amazed.  Not only is the site well organized, it is jam packed with information regarding books, blogs, forums, storage, pricing, popular items.
Step 4:  Decide which product/price works best for you and get started.  If you have questions on anything from tutorials to electronic filing, visit the help tab on the top of the home page.  This page will help you with any question, a step by step guide to creating your book. 
Step 5:  Pay.  Oh yea, did I mention if you buy more than one book, you receive discounts?  Prices start around 20 dollars and range depending on length and quality.  Great holiday ideas for the family, near or far.  Forget those lengthy emails every couple weeks to the fam, create year books for everyone and ship.  Easy, quick, affordable and no-fuss. 
Step 6:  Wait. But not too long.  You should have your book between 7 - 11 days of ordering and Blurb ships to almost every country. 
Step 7:  Enjoy! 
There you have it.  Your go-to gift this year!  If you aren't quite ready to pull the trigger, here are some other options for you:

Shutterfly, Snapfish, Walmart .....  You can store photos and order them.  If you sign up your email, you also get promotions and free print codes. Very easy and FREE!

Dropbox or Flickr:  Both these programs are an excellent solution to storing photos, videos and other PDF files.  They are free up to a certain GB size.  After that, a small fee for more storage.  Oh yea, on Flickr you can edit.  And it's not half bad.  You can also access these programs from anywhere you can get your hands on a computer. 

*  A virtual picture frame.  I received one, two years ago for Christmas.  It's great.  I have it in the kitchen so I can watch it throughout the day.  The kids love seeing themselves "on video."
*  A good ol' fashion flashdrive.  Just in case something happens to your camera or harddrive, always have a back up.   

I can't wait to finish my 2012 book and place it for everyone to see.  Hope you do the same!

Get your photo on,

Mrs. Kelly Comment:  I love this idea.  I too am guilty of taking MANY pictures and printing barely a handful.  I also have not completed baby books (AHH!) so this would be a nice way to tackle two birds.  I know a number of friends and family who maintain private websites.  You can actually put privacy controls on your site if you're concerned about being online.  You can have them not searchable via internet search engines or you can even go so far as to limit readers by inviting them and requiring them to sign in with a specific email/password.  

Thanks for the kick in the pants!  I should probably start these today if I want something by xmas (knowing me!)


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