Tag Archives: Photography

Project Life

By General Crafts Contributor Erin from the blog Lovesome.

You guys, I have a confession. I don’t scrapbook. Ever.  I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t get into it! Too many papers and punches and adhesives, it’s overwhelming! So I ooh and aah when I see the beautiful scrapbooks my friends have made, and silently dream of the day when my pictures can look as pretty as theirs.


Well, imagine my excitement when I started hearing about Project Life. It’s meant to be a hybrid, an in-between for people like me and real scrapbookers. It is as simple or as complex as you want it to be.

Project Life Album

It’s basically a (beautiful) photo album with different pocket pages. There are tons of layouts for the pages, so you can make it as easy as printing photos and sticking them in the pockets, or you can scrap your heart out and embellish the heck out of those pages. Either way, it’s easy and fun and gets your pictures off your computer and into albums that you will actually look through and pass on to your kids.


Project Life Layout by Erin at ThinkCrafts.com


I decided to go the digital route and embellished my photos in Photoshop. I like a clean look, so it was perfect for me to add a few words and graphics here and there, print them off, and stick them in the photo pockets. Easy!


Black and White Layout - Photos and Cards


There are also tons of different sized cards that you can decorate and stick in the pockets. They are great for journaling special moments or decorating to make the page extra cute. I think it would be fun to let kids help out and color or paint some of the cards. Artwork made by little hands would be such a fun touch! I just printed some crosses on mine, I like the graphic punch they add to the page.


Project Life Cards Texture


I’m kind of a paper nerd, so the texture of the cards made me really happy. They are a great weight and have a beautiful texture. It’s the little things, right?
Something else that made me giddy is the fact that there are hundreds of cute printables all over the internet that people have made just for Project Life albums. I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to printables that I can print off and stick in the picture pockets. So easy!


Project Life Layout from Erin at ThinkCrafts.com


I think what I love the most about Project Life is that there are no expectations. It’s just meant to be fun and easy and gives me a way to get my photos off of my computer and phone and into albums where my family can enjoy them and the memories they hold.


Birthday Photo Prop

By Kid’s Crafts Contributor Stephanie, from the Blog Geek with Glasses.

My daughter is turning 4 and it’s a very pink year.  I thought a great way to document this momentous occasion would be to have a photo shoot with a glorious sparkle number signifying the big day. That way when we look back we know right off what birthday this was.


To start find a font that is two-tone. I enjoy using the font Rosewood, it creates a number that has light and dark spots, already has a shadow and a fairly thick outline without any alteration. There is also a free font called Circus that would work too. Make the number fill the page. If possible print it in a gray or at 50% so it’s not a solid black that you have to cover with glitter.  If the printer will handle it, print the number on the heaviest cardstock the machine will take. If you can only print it on paper, the next step is to glue the whole sheet of paper to a piece of cardstock. Let dry.

Once that is dry, use the craft knife or scissors to cut out the number.

Then starting with the darker color of glitter, place glue on the parts of the number you want covered with that glitter. Shake, shake, shake cover all the glue with the glitter. Let it dry, then tap off the extra glitter and put it back in the bottle. Next place glue on the light part of the number and cover it with the lighter glitter. When dry, tap off the extra and save it for later.

There are options for this prop, it’s not just for birthdays! It could be for the start of school and what grade they are going into. The key to the project is printing the number super large so it stands out and making it sturdy so it won’t bend while taking the pictures.

The color options are endless, it doesn’t have to be glitter it could be painted or colored in by the child. If you are computer savvy, it could be colored in on the computer and just printed out ready to go.

Now,  go rock the glitter fabulousness with the birthday kid in a “just for them” photo shoot!!


Tutorial: $6 Solution to Jewelry Photography

By Guest Blogger, Mariano Pastor from the blog “Via U! Photography Blog”.

A window and a piece of cardboard is all you’ll need to take pictures of silver jewelry with brilliant, even tones.

Move a table as close to a window as you can.

Make sure that the top of the table is a higher than the window sill.

Tape a piece of tracing paper to the window. Sunny or cloudy skies, the paper will make light coming in to be even and soft. Hang the paper so it goes down below the table.

When using white paper as a background put something white underneath to avoid the table coming through making it look dark.

I used a 2′ x 2′ piece of foam board to bounce back light from the window, you can use anything that stands upright without bending. A piece of cardboard covered with sheets of white paper will work great.

Light will reflect from the white card and from the white surface as well.

Silver is like a mirror, it shows whatever is around. The light and white paper will reflect on the metal making it look light and shiny. Pendant, a courtesy of Roxy’s Jewelry.

If you pull the white card away from the window it will create a dark area that will also reflect on the jewelry.

Different tones of silver make a picture have more depth. You may like the way it looks, or you may not. If you prefer the silver to have even tones make sure that the card is flashed against the window.

However, if you do want your background to have a gradation of tones try replacing the white card with a black one. Blocking the light will create a shadow with a clear edge.

Then you can play placing your jewelry where the background shifts from light to dark to see what happens.

Every other week we post a new product photography tutorial showing how to take at home the pictures we create at the Via U! studio.

Getting The Craft To Say Cheese!

More and more artists and crafters are using the web to sell their items. There are online auction sites, online craft fairs, and opportunities to create online shops. A key element of selling on such sites is to have crisp, clean photographs of your work.  You can find a list of photography tips here on ThinkCrafts.com.

Most online artists and crafters offer these tips to get the perfect shots:

  • Take your photos outside to get the best light on your items.  Cloudy days are best as the filtered light helps bring pop to the photo.
  • Display your item in an interesting way, but don’t let the background or display become too busy. You want your item to be the main attraction.
  • Contrast your background and item. Light items on dark backgrounds and dark items on light backgrounds.
  • Take photos from many different angles and select the one that gives the best view of your item.
  • Use a tripod. Shaky hands led to unfocused images. Practice and get comfortable with your camera.


Organizing Your Digital Photos

If you think you can get overwhelmed organizing your traditional film photos you’ll be doubly overwhelmed with how quickly digital images can add up!  It’s important to keep current and keep your digital images organized. I recently vowed to organize my digital photos and I must say I was tempted to just delete everything a few times.  My husband loves to take 5-6 photos of the same thing just to be safe and my eyes started to cross trying to figure out what to keep and what to delete.

I’m trying to organize my digital photos because I’ve fallen in love with the process of making slide show videos out of them.  So in love I even purchased a new computer for myself and after 20+ years of being quite PC, I bought a Mac!  I’ve not had much time to play around with my Mac other than organize the billion photos my husband has taken over the years, but I’m excited about it.  Another way to be creative.  And don’t think I’m going totally digital, I’ve been stocking up on my decorative papers to make cool CD and DVD envelopes!

Here’s my advice for organizing your digital photos and I’ve thrown in a few of our most recent photos for you to enjoy!

Immediately delete any images you don’t want while taking your photos.  This is the first step in organizing digital images.  If you aren’t happy with a photo, delete it, and re-shoot on the spot.

Don’t leave images in your digital camera.  Download the images into a folder that includes the event and date in the folder name.  This is also a good time to delete any images that you don’t want.

A sunset captured in Palau.

A sunset captured in Palau.

Once images are downloaded into a folder on your computer, make an index file.  Create a word document and use it to describe the event, people in the photos, location, date, and journaling.  This is a must! 

If you have time, rename the images to include name, date, location or other reminder of what the photo is about.  This can be done later, but it is important.  This is also another opportunity to delete any unwanted images or to send images to others via e-mail.  The longer you wait to organize digital images the more likely you are to forget the details like location, date, and even people in the photos.

The new addition to my craft studio my husband is building.

The new addition to my craft studio my husband is building.

It’s a good idea to back-up your photo inventory on a timely basis so you don’t lose any images if your computer has problems.  It’s a good idea to keep different categories of CD or DVD copies too.  

There are several excellent software programs that help keep your digital photos organized.  Programs like Greenstreet Digital Photo Album Deluxe, OnTheGoSoft Photo Backup and Preclick Photo Organizer.  These programs organize, backup, and even allow for digital albums.

A huge grouper we saw diving!

A huge grouper we saw diving!

Use subfolders for key events like birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and other annual events that you know you will take photos.  The main folder should have the event name and all subfolders will have the year.  For example:  Main Folder is Maria’s Birthday; Subfolders are 2003, 2004, 2005, and so on. Vacation folders should include location and year with an index that includes specific dates and people.

Ken's 50th birthday.

Ken's 50th birthday.

If photo editing, make sure you keep the original image intact.  Make a copy of the image you want to photo edit and work with that.  The more you photo edit, the more the image loses some quality so it’s important that key original images be kept as backup.

One of our orchids in bloom.

One of our orchids in bloom.

Mother Nature Making Some Waves!

When Tropical Storm Fay hit Florida she left behind 26″ of rain in one day in my community. My husband was home from work 3 days because it was impossible to drive down flooded streets that had become a playground for children to boogie board and splash around. I turned to my crafts for comfort and made cards to send to friends, once mail service was restored! We were lucky not to have any damage, but many in our state did. Now Gustav and Hanna have caused serious problems and Ike is not be far behind.

My first thought when I hear a hurricane is headed our way — Where are my most precious photographs? We have two small airtight containers of photos that are tucked away high in a bathroom closet during hurricane season. I can quickly find the containers and put them in the car if we need to evacuate. All these photos have been scanned and placed on CDs and DVDs too. I even scan my scrapbook pages.

We keep the disks in our safety deposit box and also send out copies to friends in different locations around the country.  I can’t really explain it, but for some reason there are certain photos of family and friends that if I lost the photos, I’d really be heartbroken!  It’s not fun to think about hurricanes, tornados, floods, fires, or other catastrophic events that can happen at any time in any place, but it is important to be prepared and think ahead.

My brother’s house was on the fire line of the Oakland, CA fires many years ago.  Even though he knew exactly where he kept a metal box of family photos he said he just didn’t have time to even think when he and his wife were asked to evacuate.  One of his main concerns while waiting for days to find out if he still had a home was that he should have grabbed that box of photos before leaving.  It was a box of family slides our father had taken when we were all kids and my brother was devastated that he might have lost them.  The story has a happy ending, my brother’s house barely suffered smoke damage, but that metal box of family slides has now been scanned and the images on a CD that every family member has a copy of!

Before disaster strikes think about what is most important to you and if you have heirlooms that are priceless to you, consider how to store these items so that in case you must leave your home quickly you can have a better chance of saving the personal treasures.  Never risk your life or the life of a loved one for a material possession, I’m just trying to say that if you plan ahead for emergencies sometimes that knowledge will give you a little more time.

Thoughts and prayers go out to all who face Mother Nature’s storms.  Even the worst of times can be made better with creativity.  Be smart too!  Think ahead and be prepared.

Reasons To Scrapbook

I just found this list I made of ideas I had for scrapbook pages!  Although it is over a year old, the ideas are still fun ones.  Did I forget anything?  Can you add to my list?

Your Home

Your Garden

Your Car

A Writing Pen

Your Favorite Song

Your Favorite Book

Your Favorite Movie

That Special Look

Your Favorite TV Show

Your Last Vacation

Your Best Vacation

Joy & Jubilation

Your Beloved Pet

Your Child

Your House Plants

Your Favorite Color

A Big Brother

Your Biggest Dream

Your Faith

Your Best Friend

Kicking A Bad Habit

A Catcher’s Mitt

Your Exercise Routine

Your Favorite Food

Flavor of Ice Cream

A Daydream

Your Hobbies

The Neighborhood

Your Grandmother

Your Grandfather

Your Aunt

Your Uncle

Crying Uncle

Being First Born

Being An Only Child

The Baby of the Family

A Hissy Fit

First Home

Your Summer Home

Your Home Town

Most Prized Heirloom

Your Favorite Tree

Your First Crush

Your Last Crush

Getting Lost

Being Found

Finding Your Keys

Hitting The Piano Keys

The Florida Keys

A Summer Breeze

Your Hero

A Favorite Poem

A Poem By You

Your Office

Your Occupation

Your Career

Your Boss

Who’s The Boss

A Cow Paddy Toss

A Road Trip

Getting A Grip

Letting It Rip

A Sailing Ship

Your Niece

Your Nephew

Your Son

Your Daughter

What Makes You Smile

What Makes You Cry

What Makes You Proud

What Makes You Sigh

Words of Wisdom

Favorite Holiday

Best Thing About Spring

Best Thing About Summer

Best Thing About Fall

Your Favorite Plumber

Best Thing About Winter

Dancing The Night Away

Singing in the Shower

A Bubble Bath

Backyard Bird Bath

Bathing Your Dog

Bathing The Baby

Yes, No, or Maybe?

Catching A Frog

Getting Lost in the Fog

Drinking Eggnog

A Big Hug

Enjoying Company

Enjoying The Quiet

Playing a Game

Starting A Riot

Girl’s Night Out

Your Man And His Truck

Riding A Horse

The Truck Getting Stuck

Day at the Beach

Day at the Lake

Day at the Park

A Casual Clam Bake

Mowing the Lawn

Weeding A Bed

A Nap In A Hammock

Making The Bed

Before School

After School

Riding the Bus

Diving into a Pool

Roasting a Hot Dog

Marshmallow Roast

Grilling a Burger

Wearing Something Yellow

Feeling Kind of Mellow

Watching a Parade

Marching in a Parade

Catching a Wave

Making Lemonade

Caught in the Rain

Jumping in a Puddle

Umbrellas Open and Shut

Football Huddle

Boys Will Be Boys

Sugar & Spice

Girls Having Fun

Everything Nice

Christmas Stockings

Easter Hunts

Thanksgiving Turkeys

Boos, Screams & Grunts

A Wedding

An Anniversary

A Birthday

Money Tree

Bank Of Dad

May Day

School Day

Make Hay

Let’s Play



Who’s On First?

Peanuts & Popcorn

Mother Earth

In The Jungle

At The Zoo

Finding Love

Giving Love

Treasuring Love

Lost Loves

Mittens & Gloves

Paper, Scissors, Rock

High School Jock

Knitting A Mitten

Got A New Kitten

Walking The Dog

Did You See A Hog?

Wine Fest

Cheese Fest

You’re the Best

Leaving the Nest

Water Balloon Fight

Starry Night

All Night Crop

Hugging Pop

Watering The Lawn

Stepping Stones

Kidney Stones

Nibbling On Scones

High Tea

High Noon

Watching A Favorite Cartoon

First Date

Learning to Skate

Popcorn and a Movie

Hair In Curlers

Run In Your Hose

Tripping High Heels

Potatoes to Peel

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