Since we're all scrap bookers & photographers, let's share some of the tips we've learned. OR, if you're new to all of this, ask a question so we can leave ideas in your comments.The tips can be for scrap booking, photography, or general computer use.
I have been digital scrap booking for nearly two years now. My advice is this:
* YOU DON"T NEED A LOT OF CASH: When you first start out, it is not necessary to go to a lot of expense. Start with someone free or small and relatively cheap. When I first began digital scrap booking believe it or not, I made my first lay outs in open office and saved them as PDF's! Then I begged all my family and friends to install Adobe acrobat reader on their computers so they would be able to open the files! LOL. But the point is it gave me that foundation to start and get used to the whole general idea.
My hubby then bought me Creating Keepsakes deluxe, which I still use to this day. I have never owned any other program like PSP or photoshop etc. I learned so many things with my simple program and sure, it is limited, like I cannot get a paperclip to look like it really clipped onto a paper, but I manage just fine. I did use PSP 10 for 30 days and I found it very slow, tedious and confusing. It would slow my computer down and I would often have to shut down and restart. And I have a pretty good and fast computer! I don't know how those of you manage with these programs.
*FREE PROGRAMMES: I also have learned that there are fantastic free programs that just take a lot of playing around and reading up on tutorials, like GIMP. I make my kits in GIMP now and the next thing I want to try and accomplish is learning to scrap in it too. It has all the tools needed and is free.
*SAVING FILES: I save my files per seperate kit under the kit and designer name. I never chuck out the TOU's as I did when I first started scrapping (not having any idea what they were!).
If I have a whole lot of kits from one designer, then I save them all under one folder in her name.
*BACK UP. This cannot be stressed enough. I once lost a whole lot of work and unfortunately I did not have any back up's. Don't think "It will never happen to me" because it just might. You can loose your information with a storm, electrical fault, or simply a virus. I back up everything on my computer every few months.
*DVD: Digital scrap pages are great to make into slide shows and put onto DVD's. You can do this with a smart little program called, "Nero smart". It lets you make your own menu page, you can choose your font, color, size, background image which can be any JPEG image or even a video playing in the background. You can add music to your scrap pages and choose different blend actions when the pages change. I often do this as gifts for family and friends and in the same way am securing a back up should my own back up's get messed up or destroyed or stolen!
*ON-LINE GALLERIES: My advice is first to check with whoever photo you want to use. I have already made the mistake of assuming it was alright to use a friends photos and she was not happy with me and asked me to remove them, which I immediately did. So I would suggest getting permission, after all these images will be made public. Saying that too, I am always careful not to reveal any private information such as address's, full names etc on my pages as although the internet is a wonderful place and it is great to share your work, it is also not a safe place.Publishing to an online gallery is also a great way to ensure your work is saved in another location besides your computer, even if the page on the gallery is smaller than the original, if you loose your work, at least you still have a saved momento. It also helps you to gain experience, advice and critique as well as compliments!
*BUYING KITS AND FREEBIES: Do you want to know a secret? I have never ever to date bought one single piece of digital scrap booking stuff! Everything I have on my PC and that I have scrapped with has been with the kind and wonderful generosity of so many women out there. This is why I say scrap booking does not have to be expensive. Of course I am not saying don't buy, I think it is great that you can buy and I want to sell my work too and naturally want people to buy from me! My biggest reason for not buying is simply because I do not own a credit card and my husband made it clear that he would not allow me to purchase such things when there is so much of it for free. I am not good with money and I admit, am a spend-a-holic, I would not trust myself with a credit card. I got into digital scrap booking to preserve the photos and memories of my children in an in-expensive
way.I would not have been able to have done this without the kindness of others.
*GENERAL: I try to take the time to look in the TOU of a kit I have used and send an email to the designer with a link to my page. They always ask that people do this and I think it must be a nice feeling seeing their work being used. I know I enjoy it. Leaving a note of thanks when you download a freebie is also just common decency and I would never take something without saying thank you.
*CT: Being on a CT is another way to get kits for free and the same time to really learn new things and push your own boundaries to experiment and try harder. The pages I make for CT's I find are my best ones as those are the ones I put all my time and thought into, knowing I am working for someone,
knowing that it will be in newsletter and that I am representing someone. It makes me work better and harder. I recommended to anyone to give a CT a go.
CREDITS: My biggest tip when it comes to giving credits is that while you are making a page, get yourself a notebook and write down your page title you are saving it as. Write down as you add the elements.papers etc the name of it and the designer. This saves so much time and saves you going back when it comes to uploading your page and then having to still search your folders for the kit you had used. Plus then you have a record on it and if you wanted to put it in another gallery, you just have to look in your notebook for the information.
GENERAL PC USE:
*Get a good anti-virus and anti-spy ware program installed and running on your pc and do it often.
*Back up your programs and documents etc at least once every 3 months.
*clean out your computer, defrag it, remove programs no longer in use, ditch old email's, all these things slow it down.
*If you have a digital camera and store you photos on your computer, again, back them up to DVD or CD as often as you can. Once they are gone, you'll never get them back.