digishow and past sponsors
- A Gift For You
- A Note From Me
- Art Journaling
- Check it Out!
- Computer & Tech Tips and Tricks
- Contributor Feature
- Digital Scrapbooking Tutorials
- Funtastic Friday
- Hybrid Help
- Journaling Design
- Just for Beginners
- Layout Design
- Monthly Artists
- More With Four
- Photo Editing
- Photography Class
- Prompts and Journaling Topics
- SCHOOL of SCRAPPING
- Team Inspiration
- The Digi Files
- Topics to Scrap
- Truly Inspirational
- Using Specific Supplies
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- January 2010
- December 2009
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009
- August 2009
- July 2009
- June 2009
- May 2009
- April 2009
- March 2009
- February 2009
- January 2009
Monthly Archives: February 2009
On Wednesday we had the opportunity to learn a little more about Kellie Penn and her journey from MWAC to professional photographer. We learned about how she got started, what she has learned, and we were able to see some of her amazing images. Today we are going to take a look at her journey from enthusiast to opening her business, ACROSS THE MILES PHOTOGRAPHY. Before we do, though, I want to share with you something really special about the name of her business.
Her business was named for her son Miles, who at the age of just three months passed away, leaving his twin brother Mason behind. Click on the picture above to go to her site and then click on OUR STORY to read more. Kellie’s strength in this tragedy and her dedication to keep his memory alive are inspiring.
WHEN DID YOU DECIDE THAT YOU WANTED TO GO PRO?
Last winter, my husband and I were traveling home from a trip and just talking about my photos. I told him how I’d really like to try to make a bit of money at it to get some extra income and money for new equipment. I wanted to see if he thought I was crazy or not! He said “Go for it!” I started researching it a bit, I bought my domain name, a website and just jumped in headfirst!
DID YOU ACT ON IT RIGHT AWAY?
It was a few months from that conversation until I launched my business.
WHAT DID YOU DO TO PREPARE YOURSELF FOR GOING INTO BUSINESS?
I did some portfolio building (and it helped that I had some cute kids that didn’t mind me taking pictures of them left and right) and I consulted with one of my best friends who had been in the photography business for about a year and a half at that time. She was a great resource for me and really helped get me going! I checked some books out at the library and I just scoured the internet for how to get started in a photography business. I had to learn how to get a business ID and how to start collecting sales tax, etc. It was way more involved than I first thought!
WHO WAS YOUR FIRST “FOR PAY” CLIENT AND HOW DID YOU FEEL BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER THE SHOOT?
A family from my church had followed my blog & had seen some of my work on my scrapbook pages. I had mentioned on my blog a couple of times about how I would love to take pictures for people. They asked me if I would take their family photos & I said yes…and was scared to death! I knew that there would be about 10 people in the group, so I started looking all over the internet for posing ideas so I would at least have a few ideas to use that evening! I was definitely nervous pulling into the driveway, but once we got started it went smoothly! I was relieved when it was over, and felt even better when I pulled the pictures up on the screen & liked what I saw!
WHAT DID YOU LEARN IN THOSE FIRST FEW SHOOTS THAT YOU WISHED YOU HAD KNOWN BEFORE YOU STARTED?
I think I learned that the whole process just takes so much longer than I thought! Shooting the photos is one thing, but trying to narrow down the photos, edit them, upload them to a gallery and wait for payment can take quite awhile!
HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT FINDING MORE CLIENTS?
I talked about my new business on my blog and then I really started working on my “Google Ranking.” Before long, I started getting e-mails from potential clients & it just started taking off after that! I also took an advertisement out in the phone book to help get my name out in the community. But, word of mouth has by far been the most effective for me! I love it when people enjoyed their photos that they tell their friends!
HOW LONG DOES A TYPICAL SHOOT TAKE?
It definitely depends on the type of shoot & how cooperative the subjects are acting! Location shoots take longer than studio sessions. I’d say the average shoot lasts between 1 to 2 hours.
WHAT KINDS OF SHOOTS ARE YOUR FAVORITE?
I love photographing seniors! They are so fun & full of energy, and willing to try just about anything! Plus, they sit still and you don’t have to chase them all around like you do when photographing children!
WHAT KINDS OF SHOOTS DO YOU DISLIKE?
The big group/family shots at weddings. I don’t “dislike” them, but they just take up so much time at weddings! Plus, it seems like a lot of people can get grumpy during the wedding group shots! If everyone would relax and smile, it would be so much easier!
HOW MUCH TIME DOES A TYPICAL CLIENT SESSION TAKE YOU? BREAK IT DOWN (communication with client, actual shoot, editing, choosing images, print orders, presentation, etc)
The whole process really takes quite a bit of time! There’s the initial phone calls/e-mails to set up the session. Then, there’s time involved in gathering up props, getting camera/equipment ready, and the drive to the location. There’s the actual shooting of the session, and then the time involved in editing around 5 photos for the blog sneak peek! I allow myself up to two weeks to get a session edited, but there are several hours involved in working with photos to make them look their best! I choose my favorite 20-25 photos to edit. After editing, it takes a little time to get them uploaded online and then to call the client with the password to their gallery so they can view their photos. Then, I wait 1-3 weeks for the client to place the order, and then I have to make any final adjustments to their order (ie, creating storyboards, resizing photos, etc). I then upload the photos to my online lab and wait a couple of days for the photos to arrive. I then have to spend a bit of time making sure everything looks correct and then package the photos for the client. Then, I call the client and wait for them to come and pick them up!
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WHO WAS INTERESTING IN GOING PROFESSIONAL?
Research, research, research! There is so much more involved in just taking photos! You have to be able to run the business side as well! Seek out advice from other professionals and ask lots of questions! Joining some online forums where you can get critique on your photos really help as well!
Also, I would tell someone to plan to not really make any money for quite awhile! There’s a lot of cost in equipment (cameras, lenses, studio equipment, accessories, advertising, website costs, props, software, actions, etc). It can get quite expensive! I would also recommend to not buy everything at once! I’ve really tried hard to stay within my means and when I’ve saved up a bit, I’ll order some new stuff!
WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT YOUR OWN JOURNEY?
I would have been better planned for the business side of it before starting! I would have consulted with an accountant and got all of my ducks in a row before I actually began. I never expected my business to take off so quickly! It took me a bit to get everything all figured out, and I’m so grateful for my online friends who helped me get everything in order!
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
To keep plugging away and growing my business! I’d love to get to the point where I own my own studio location. It’s really tough running this out of my home! But, I am grateful it allows me to continue to be a stay at home mom! We will either look at renting a studio location in the future, or possibly moving to a new home that would allow me to have a better studio space! I’d also love to get to the point where I can hire someone to help edit my photos & upload orders to the lab!
DO YOU STILL TAKE PICTURES OF YOUR OWN KIDS?
I do, but not as much as I’d like! Sometimes I just want to go to an event and not drag around my “work” with me! I have to remember to make sure I am documenting my kids lives and not look at it as work! I have not been able to scrap near as much as I’d like since my business took off, though! I really need to be better at fitting that into my day! (Can someone please find a way to add more hours to a day?)
Isn’t it so cool to hear about the journey. In the times I have thought about wanting to be a professional some day I certainly don’t think about all the business stuff. Taking pictures is fun but oh, the work involved! I hope that this interview was good for you — to hear that it can be done and what it involves. I hope it encourages someone to take the plunge they have been wanting to take and to encourage others that maybe this is not the road for them.
And no matter whether you want to be a professional or not, you can ALWAYS learn more about your camera, taking images, editing, and enjoying the process. Kellie mentioned that one of the places she has learned the most is an online photography forum called CLICKINMOMS. It has been a source of encouragement, critique, and inspiration for her as she continues on her journey.
Well CLICKINMOMS has two great things just for THE DAILY DIGI readers! First, use the coupon code FRIEND and you will get 10% off your membership! Hurry, though, the code expires March 7. Secondly, they are giving away TWO FREE MEMBERSHIPS! Here’s how you can win: Just leave a comment here naming one thing/place/person that inspires you to grow in your photography skills. We want to hear what gets you excited to learn more. Leave a comment before Monday and we will randomly pick two people for a full year membership to CLICKINMOMS.
THE DAILY DIGI is so happy to bring you an amazing designer this month…AMANDA HEIMANN. I love Amanda’s great color palettes and clean designs. I hadn’t scrapped with her stuff before and now I am just looking through her store trying to decide what I want. I think you will LOVE what you see! We are also going to get to know her a bit better, but before we do, let’s look at the gorgeous kit she contributed to THE DIGI FILES 2.
Isn’t this amazing? I just LOVE it. I created a page with it right when I got it (shown previously). This kit is just PART of the HUGE collection of designs you can get for just $5.00 in THE DIGI FILES 2. You’ve got two weeks left! After that, this kit and everything go into the designers stores for regular market value.
Okay, let’s get to know Amanda!
Name: Amanda Heimann
Hometown: lived in Texas my whole life, mainly in the Houston area
Family: My husband and number one fan is Billy and we have two young boys (Garrett- 6 and Lance-4) , one dog and will soon have a new puppy.
I started designing out of boredom. I was in a scrapping funk and was browsing tutorial sites. I came across a tutorial and tried it. I was hooked! After that it became a challenge to see what I could do. Scrapping still gives me my creative release that I need but designing fulfills something that scrapping couldn’t reach. I am able to contribute financially to our family while staying at home and have fun doing it!
I began designing almost 2 years ago.
Both! But designing gets more of my time.
Way too much! I really do not have set hours that I work and I do not keep track of them. Our schedule is always changing and I sneak in as much time as possible. I would say at least 40 hours a week.
1. My Family
2. Squeaky kisses from my little boy
3. Dr. Pepper
4. The moment my husband walks in the door
5. When my boys cooperate for photos
6. A new tube of Chapstick
7. My iPhone
8. The beach
9. Family vacations
10. Anything pink!
1. My husband’s alarm
2. When my boys do not cooperate for photos
3. Dryer lint
4. A dirty kitchen sink
5. SpongeBob Squarepants
6. Flocks of birds creep me out
7. Sippy cups left in the playroom
8. The Sham Wow guy- Vince Offer
9. When the cable stutters and I have to reset the internet
10. A glass of water without ice in it
Now that we have had a peek into Amanda’s life, let’s take a peek at her store! You won’t be disappointed!
(all images are clickable)
And here are some pages made with her designs!
Isn’t all of her stuff gorgeous?? I just love the bright and happy color palettes…so perfect for happy and bright pages! Head on over to her store to pick some of this up. And use this coupon for 25% off!
Thank you so much, Amanda, for being with us at THE DAILY DIGI this month. We are glad to have gotten to know you a bit better and are loving your fun and fresh designs!
Ten years ago when I (Steph) had my first toddler, I wanted to make an ABC Album for her, but I never got around to it. I didn’t ever get around to it with my second toddler either. Finally, a couple of months ago, I finished my first ABC album for my THIRD toddler. Seeing how much my daughter has enjoyed it, sent me on a quest for anything ABC or 123 and I found some really fun goodies!
First, let me share my ABC album I made for my toddler. I used an ABC album template set by Janet (no longer available) as my foundation. I used papers and embellies from various kits that coordinated with the photos and I also used the ABC border from Amanda’s “Coconut Tree” kit as a clipping mask on each page.
When the album was finished, I printed out an 8×8 and two 4×4 complete albums (at Costco on the 12×36 canvas, matte finish). I put the 8×8 and one of the 4×4′s in actual albums and then the above photo is what I did with the other 4×4. After trimming, I glued the layouts back to front and then laminated (made it toddler proof), punched a hole and put them on a ring. Lastly, I tied ribbons around the ring.
My daughter hauls this everywhere with her and will often ask me to find mommy, daddy, or elmo. It has been so rewarding for me to see her love this album and makes it worth every minute I spent on it!
You can find that cute ABC border in this kit by Amanda:
Even though Janet’s ABC album that I used is no longer available, don’t lose heart! She added a SUPER CUTE new one to this issue of the The Digi Files! This new template set almost makes me want to do another ABC album!
If you would like to do an ABC album, but want to make it even faster, this is a great help! Just add some pictures and maybe a few embellishments:
One of the hardest parts of doing my daughter’s ABC album was coming up with words for each letter. How about some suggestions for some of the letters? THIS SITE has links to many lists for everything from baby ABC’s to Disney and occupations!
One of my favorite ABC projects I found while shopping is this one by Mel Wilson:
I also liked this 123 project, I love the little rhymes that help kids remember how to write the numbers:
And the numbers too:
Lastly, I think these would make a great memory game and since they are already sized 4×6, you could just upload them to be printed as they are and get double prints and you are ready to go (could it get any easier?!)
So many fun, fast, and easy projects for the little ones that we love so much! Have fun going hybrid!
I think at some point for most of us, we have at least a passing thought of, “I would LOVE to do photography professionally.” I know I have had the thought from time to time. But there is a big difference between someone who “enjoys” photography and being ready to go pro. I have seen a number of website of “professional” photographers who have a lot to learn. I have told myself that if I EVER tried to go professional I would be sure that I had the technical know how and the creative ideas to KNOW that I could “get the shot.” Being lucky once in a while isn’t enough. You need to know that in any and every situation you can figure out how to capture the moment. I’m not there yet, but I can dream.
Since so many of us have thought about going pro at some point, I wanted to share a really cool intereview with you. Here is one woman — a MWAC (Mom with a Camera) gone pro. We will hear about her journey in photography and launching a business. And best thing of all, she is a scrapper like us
I want to introduce you to fab scrapper, sweet friend, HILARIOUS person to be around, and MWAC gone pro…KELLIE PENN. She is the owner of ACROSS THE MILES photography and she is ready to share her story with all of us!
The interview was so good, and so cool, that we will split it up over two days. Today we will share her photography journey and on Saturday we will learn about the launch of her business and what she has learned. So go grab a second cup of coffee and sit back and relax. This is a good one!
WHAT IS IN YOU CAMERA BAG?
In the Studio: I’m currently using an alienbee 800 w/large octabox as my main light, and an alienbee 400 w/ umbrella as my fill light. (My alienbees are pink…I’m such a girly girl!) I also use a 5 in 1 reflector as well! My backdrops are from B & H photo & they are the Savage paper seamless ones that they offer. I have several colors in the 53 inch (which work great for one kid) and a few in the 107 (which work great for families, etc!) I also have the wireless trigger from alienbees as well! Plus, I’ve been buying lots of props (pettiskirts, baskets, cocoons, hats, blankets, etc) wherever I can find them! It’s quite addicting!
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY?
I’ve always had a love for pictures and grew up with a father that always had an SLR with us wherever we went! In high school, I took some photography courses and loved taking photos during college. After my children were born, I really started getting interested in photography and capturing their little moments…they just grow up way too quick! Digital scrapbooking taught me so much about color, composition, and studying other people’s photos on their scrapbook pages really made me focus more on my own photography!
DID YOU TAKE CLASSES OR ARE YOU SELF TAUGHT?
I am pretty much self taught. I took a class in high school, and I’ve taken a couple of courses online. I’m definitely planning on taking more and more courses online to keep pushing myself to learn something new! In trying to teach myself, I read Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson…it really helps you understand your camera & how to get out of auto mode! Hands down, Clickinmoms has made a HUGE difference in my photography. It’s a great forum with a wonderful community. I have learned so much for the ladies over there!
DID YOU HAVE AN “AH HA!” MOMENT WHEN EVERYTHING JUST SEEMED TO “CLICK”
I think my Ah ha moment came with learning that actions aren’t perfect fixes for photos! They need tweaked & customized for the photos you are working with!
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR PHOTOS?
I really strive to capture “moments.” I love it when I have a photo of my children interacting with each other and you can just “feel” the emotions they are feeling when you look at the photo. I like pictures of my kids when they are looking at the camera and smiling, but my favorites are the ones that really capture them in their element!
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO IMPROVE ON?
My workflow! It can take me so long to edit some photos! I need to simplify my process & really learn how to batch edit photos better.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE PHOTOS THAT YOU HAVE TAKEN!
WHAT PROGRAM DO YOU USE FOR EDITING?
Adobe Photoshop CS & Adobe Lightroom
HOW MUCH DO YOU EDIT YOUR PHOTOS?
Quite a bit, actually! I just love the final product so much better than the SOOC photos! But, I need to not get hung up on feeling like all of my personal family photos need edited. I often don’t share my personal photos with others because they aren’t edited yet…I really need to get over it!
WHAT NORMAL EDITING STEPS DO YOU TAKE?
This is my typical start to finish on a photo— First, I defog my photo. Then, I typically adjust brightness/contrast/levels as needed. (Often, I will use a color pop action or something similar just to make my photo look richer in color!) I will run noiseware if needed and sharpen the photo afterwards.
DO YOU USE ANY ACTIONS? AND IF SO, WHICH ONES?
I’m kind of an action addict…and a collector of them! I typically use the same ones over and over, but I love trying new ones out! I love Totally Rad actions, Brenda Acuncias actions, Nichole Van Actions, and Leah Profancik’s actions!
There are some great free ones that I love, too! My hands down favorite B&W action is Aly’s B&W. Also, Pioneer Woman has some amazing actions on her blog, too!
CAN WE SOME SOOC (straight out of the camera) SHOTS AND THEN THE EDITED VERSION?
WHOSE WORK INSPIRES YOU?
Oh man, where do I begin? There are soooo many amazing photographers out there and I’m always stumbling upon new photogs whose work I just admire! Ones I turn to over and over are:
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO LEARN TO TAKE BETTER PHOTOS?
Practice, practice, practice. Read, read, read…and then practice, practice, practice, and repeat! Also, get involved in some type of online photography forum and have others critique your work. It’s amazing what different people will see in your photos that you totally missed!
TO BE CONTINUED… Make sure to check back Saturday when Kellie tells us how she got her business up and running. PLUS, there will be a chance for TWO PEOPLE to win a FREE MEMBERSHIP to Clickin Moms!
P.S. I wanted to point out a great product for a great cause! Scrapbook Graphics has put together a great collab collection for Anna Benjamin, one of the Studio Girls. Anna was recently diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing treatment. The designers at SBG have put together a grab bag with all proceeds (after paypal fees) going to Anna and her family for meals, house cleaning, or whatever else they feel they need during this very difficult time. The grab bag is avaliable HERE where you can see ALL the contents in the detailed images. Pick up over 700mb of product from the Studio Girls for just $5.00.
THE DAILY DIGI is so excited to have Doris Castle with us this month. Doris is known for her gorgeous papers and elements. She is a long term designer at Scrapbook Graphics and a great part of the digital community. Her store is filled with unique, high quality designs that are full of rich color and texture. I am sure you are going to love what you see! Before we get to know her a little more , let’s see what she made just for THE DIGI FILES 2.
Isn’t it SO pretty? I just love the richness of all of it! You can get this kit as well as stuff from Kate Hadfield, Misty Cato, Michelle Filo, Fontologie, Amanda Heimann, The Lilypad, The Daily Digi, and Janet Phillips…ALL for just $5.00! Get it HERE.
Here is a page I did with Doris’ kit!
NAME: Doris Castle
STORE: Studio Doris @ Scrapbook Graphics
Actually I was designing digital scrapbooking type items, before I even heard of digital scrapbooking. I would make collages of photos for photo labs and create backgrounds and frames and titles to enhance it. Then I found digital scrapbooking and was in heaven to know that there were others that had taken the craft to such an extreme and creative direction.
About as long as I can remember! Even back in middle school and high school I used to keep albums where I would save my memorabilia of life and journal about it. During college I liked to create logos for local businesses -which is a lot like creating embellishments! After college I became a graphic artist and enjoyed collaging photos together along with titles and descriptions for local photo labs, and then discovered that what I was doing actually had a name.. digital scrapbooking. Once I discovered this, I was hooked and haven’t looked back. My first kit I sold was back in 2003.
Both! I love designing but also love to change the pace and scrap also. I still like to pick up the cutters and glue for hybrid and traditional scrapbooking.
This is the first year that all three of my children are in school, so I am able to design full-time.. from about 9am-2pm each day. This gets filled up with emails, blogging, facebooking, writing to customers, marketing and much more than just the fun design-time.
I have FOUR! First are my GROUPIES elements clusters (all images are clickable)
SNOW DRIFT KIT
1. Husband and Kids (I know that’s two!)
2. my computer
4. days when there is nothing to do but play games, watch tv and have fun
5. my Blackberry and techy gadgets
6. my new office
7. a clean house
8. working from home as a designer
9. going out with friends
10. doing crafts with my kids
1. Liars and Fake People
2 . Mopping the kitchen floor
3. waiting in line
4. grocery shopping
5. when my kids bicker over nothing
6. my weight (too bad my hobby isn’t hiking or swimming)
7. the treadmill
8. ants! Especially if there are lots of them
9. being splashed at the pool
Now that we have gotten to know Doris a bit, let’s look at some of her fabulous designs! (all images are clickable)
Aren’t her designs GORGEOUS? Thanks so much, Doris, for being with us this month. You are truly talented and have proven your worth as a designer over the last six years. We are excited to see future designs!
And as a THANK YOU to our readers, here is a coupon from Doris!
We’re back with the MORE WITH FOUR challenge. Here we challenge four scrappers to scrap with just FOUR products! The rules are limiting, the challenge daunting, and the results are spectacular! Check out this months challenge:
Scrappers were give just four products — all from THE DIGI FILES 2. The products they used were:
1. The papers from Doris Castle’s SUNDAY LOVE kit
2. The flower elements from Kate Hadfields SPRING GREENS element set
3. The alpha from Misty Cato’s HIGH FLYING kit
4. Frames from Amanda Heimann’s TRULY YOURS kit
And here are the rules:
- You will be given four digital products.
- You are to create a layout or hybrid project using these four products only
- In addition to these items you can use paint/inking, paper tears or tearing actions, and fonts (NOT other alphas).
- You can alter the items shown as long as the item is still recognizable.
- You need to use some of each of the items.
I can tell you from the emails I received that this challenge wasn’t easy! When we usually have endless amounts of product sitting on our hard drives, it is easy to go and search through our stash for exactly what we need. But when we are limited to just four products, it forces us to approach a page differently. We have to look at what we have and think about what can be done with it. If there is something that we want for our page but it isn’t there, we have to think about how to make it. If we have something that isn’t the right color, we have to think about how we can change that.
Digital scrapbooking is full of so many possibilities. We are not limited by size, color, amount, or intended purpose. Instead, we can resize, recolor, reuse, and recycle! Don’t get stuck in a rut…try the MORE WITH FOUR challenge and see how it stretches you!
Here is what our scrappers came up with!
extra supplies : paint brushes by Nancy Rowe Janitz at Scrapartist
Noel Culbertson (hybrid scrapper and one of my fellow Scrapbooker of the Year ’07 finalists) made this fun and peppy page for her daughter. Here is what Noel had to say about this challenge:
“There is something so invigorating about someone handing you a pile of supplies and asking you to go nuts! I love how limiting your supplies can really spark your creativity. For me limiting supplies helps me focus on bringing out what is special to me in the photo, which is what scrapbooking is all about, right?
I recolored Amanda’s leaf flourish by resizing one of Misty’s letters, and grouping them together to make it look like the flourish went with the alphabet. Then I duplicated the alpha layers and selected the multiply blending mode to darken them up a bit. To unify the sketched look of the flowers, I held control & clicked the layer to select it (the scallops, frame and leaf flourish), then went to Select > Modify > Contract and chose 7px. Then, with the selection tool selected, I right clicked and selected Stroke Outline, and 5px. This gave them the look of being outlined with a pen. The lines around the photo were from outlining the frame, contracting it about 44px, stroke outlining and resizing it over the photo .”
WHAT YOU CAN TRY: To imitate the look of a hand drawn pen outline, try adding a stroke layer to frames or elements
Fonts: Pea XOXO from Karen and Rub This
Jacki created this gorgeous, feminine layout about her daughter. I love the dreamy feeling to the photo! Here is what Jacki had to share:
“I played with opacity for this LO. For the large photo I did “overlay” and moved opacity to about 90%. I used the dodge tool to make some of the frames look more aged. I also played with opacity on some of Kate’s flowers to add them around the edge. The journaling is about a tribute to my MIL who died several years ago. She took this photo of Kassy without me knowing. That sweet baby girl sat patiently with a hat on for grandma (says a lot about her disposition)! I comment on her garden and how she’s no longer here to tend it and her growing grandchildren.”
Jacki also says, “I challenge myself that when I do CT stuff or challenges at shops to actually scrap a photo from the past I haven’t scrapped yet so that I’m building the albums for the kids, not just creating something for someone else. Not always easy. This was a scanned photo from 1998!”
WHAT YOU CAN TRY: Leave the current photos where they are and go dig up something from the past. Most of us have only been digi scrapping for a few years, but the memories go back so much father!
Kayleigh created this gorgeous page with a letter to her husband. I love the photo and how she used her own handwriting on the layout. Here is what Kayleigh had to say about the challenge:
“I had lots of fun playing with those items & it was fun to step out of my box a little bit. Since there was no stitching and I always put stitching on my pages, I used a dashed line to immitate the look. I re-coloured the frame & added a white stroke to the inside & outside of it to make it pop off the page. I also added a stroke to the flower & a deep shadow to make it look like it was raised off the page (like a paper scrapper would use a pop dot). I often use buttons or brads on my pages as well & since those were not included in the fabulous four items I used the dot to the letter ‘i’ to create an embellishment. I also took the small letter ‘l’ & enlarged it to create the cardboard piece beside the dark paper. I also incorporated my own font into the page, which is my very own handwriting called XXL-Kayleigh W. I also lightened the beige paper turned it vertically to make the lines draw your eye into the grouping. The green paper is re-coloured as well.”
Journaling: Dear Eric, I love this photo of us on our wedding day so carefree & in love. Ready to take on marriage hand & hand. We had no idea of the challenges we would be faced with in our 1st year of marriage. We didn’t know that you would almost be killed in a car accident on a warm sunny day. We didn’t know that we would be faced with my back pain during my pregnancy. But we made it through it all, together. Stronger & more in love than this day. Our day. Kayleigh
WHAT YOU CAN TRY: Rotate a paper 90 degrees to get a totally different look and feel!
One of our scrappers had a change of plans and wasn’t able to participate as she would have liked. So, I jumped at the opportunity to challenge myself. I enjoy scrapping challenges because they give me some direction. Sometimes when I want to scrap I feel so overwhelemed with all the photos, all the kits and elements, all the choices. I don’t know where to start and so I often don’t! By having a specific set of guidelines, I have a starting point and can let the rest flow from there.
WHAT YOU CAN TRY: Why not try a photo-less page? Not all of our stories have a photo. Instead, use the papers and elements to convey the feeling and theme of the layout.
So there you have it…how four scrappers did MORE WITH FOUR. And now it is your turn! Just comment in this thread with a link to a MORE WITH FOUR layout page and you will have a chance to win coupons (yes that is plural!) from some of our participating designers. For every LO that features the full MORE WITH FOUR challenge, your name will be entered into the draw three times. For everyone who does a NEW layout using one of the “what you can try” challenges, your name will be entered once. ENTRY DEADLINE: Friday, February 27th. Good luck and I can’t wait to see what you come up with!
For Americans, this time of year means taxes. I haven’t done mine yet and I really, really need to. So as I try to inspire myself to get these done this week, I bring you some interesting tax facts for this weeks the UN-digi. Enjoy…and then get those taxes done!
- The Gettysburg address is 269 words, the Declaration of Independence is 1,337 words, and the Holy Bible is only 773,000 words. However, the tax law has grown from 11,400 words in 1913 to over 7 million words today
- The IRS sends out 8 billion pages of forms and instructions each year. Laid end to end, they would stretch 28 times around the earth.
- Nearly 300,000 trees are cut down yearly to produce the paper for all the IRS forms and instructions.
- The Articles of Confederation, adopted in 1781, did not have a nationwide tax system. Instead, it relied on donations from the states. This did not work.
- In 1916 Congress deleted the word “lawful” before the word “income” making illegal income taxable.
- The Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 brought the top tax bracket down to 50%. Previously, it had been as high as 94%.
- April 15 is officially tax day, but it is also: Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday, the day Abraham Lincoln died, the day General Electric was incorporated, the day the Titanic sank and the day that McDonald’s served its first hamburger.
- Residents of Hawaii pay more state taxes a person than those of any other state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, followed by, in order, Wyoming, Connecticut, Minnesota and Delaware. Those who pay the least a person are Alabama, New Hampshire, Colorado, South Dakota and Texas.
If you want some interesting UK tax facts, see THIS site
And just for your information, all electronic filing is free this year. See article HERE.
And if you made $30,000 or less OR were active military in 2008 with an AGI of $56,000 or less OR quality for the Earned Income Credit, you can prepare and eFile your federal tax returns for free. See HERE.
P.S. Make sure you check out Designer Digitals quarterly sale. Everything is 30% off. I don’t shop there very often due to paypal not being an easy option, but I do plan to grab a few things this weekend.
I hadn’t planned on another photography post so soon — but as I was getting some photos ready for my personal blog, I came across a photo that was priceless to me. My son’s expression is exactly what I see in my head when I think of him, but the photo was BAD. I mean really, really bad. But it captured the essence of who he is and so I rescued it. And as I did it, I wrote this post so you can see that SOMETIMES YOU CAN save a really bad photo.
There is a difference between portraiture and getting some great pictures of your kids. As I have advanced (little by little) in my photography skills and knowledge I have a tendency to want every shot to be a “perfect” shot. I can spend too much time messing with my settings, getting the kids eyes faced the right direction, and making sure there are no boogies present that I miss the moment. I think most professional photographers will say that the one thing they struggle with after going pro is continuing to take photos of their own kids and/or the desire for every shot to be good enough to blow up on 30×40 gallery wrapped canvas. But there is definitely a time and place for “snapshots” that will fill our photo albums and scrapbook pages. Not every picture has to be perfect.
I am usually a proponent of “don’t fix the photo, take a better one.” I don’t advocate trying to salvage tons of really bad photos. The many hours spent editing bad photos could be put to better use in learning to take better photos. But you know what, we all have our days or moments and we get great photo that’s bad. And sometimes, you CAN save a bad photo.
The other day my sweet Levi was running around like a crazy boy. He saw my camera was out so he ran back and forth through the living room and out the front door while I pretended to “get” him with the camera. Ever changing lighting conditions and a fast little kid resulted in this awful photo.
The picture quality is horrid but the expression was priceless. It is just so “him” and I knew it was worth saving. And the end result was much better than anticipated. Here is what I did.
1. Duplicate layer and change the blending mode to the duplicated layer to SCREEN.
2. Duplicate the SCREEN layer until the lighting in the photo is more “normal”. In my example, I ended up duplicating six times for a total of 7 layers.
This was the result of the screened layers. The picture is definitely better and I could stop here, but my perfectionistic tendencies wouldn’t allow for it.
3. Add a brightness/constrast adjustment layer and adjust to taste. Due to the repetitive screening, some of the photo (especially his face) is washed out. I added a brightness/contrast adjustment layer to fix that.
At this point, I could stop. The photo is perfectly good for a photo album, my scrapbook, or for sending to grandmas. But since I like my photos to look I took a great picture straight out of the camera, I was bothered by something: The noise in the photo. Noise in photos is caused by two things:
1. A high ISO (used when there isn’t enough natural light)
2. When a picture is underexposed.
In my photo, the ISO was set to 400. On my camera that level of ISO does not usually present noise. However, it obvious that my photo was severely underexposed. And therefore, I got lots of noise. Here is a 100% crop of part of the photo and you can see what I am talking about.
So, how do you fix it? Photoshop has some native noise reduction filters but I much prefer a program called Noiseware. Noiseware is a Photoshop plugin or standalone program that greatly aids in noise reduction. There is even a free standalone version for people using Windows (scroll down to the bottom where it says Noiseware Community Edition Standalone). Sorry, but us Mac girls have to buy it. But it was totally worth it!
Just open your photo, go to Filter >Imagenomic and a noiseware window will pop up. I have not even attempted to play with the settings because the default ones that come up are so good.
Just click okay and your noise is gone! See the difference?
PHOTO BEFORE with noise
PHOTO after running NOISEWARE
See! Sometimes you CAN save a really bad photo. I will cherish this photo for a long time. His personality, his smile, his dimple, his blankie…it all just shines through…thanks to Photoshop.
We are so incredibly THRILLED to have Kate Hadfield with us this month at THE DAILY DIGI! Kate is known for her gorgeous handdrawn and creative elements. I remember when I first used her doodled paper alpha (when she was giving it away for free). I just kept thinking how AMAZING it was! She has truly borught in a breath of fresh air in digital designs and we know that you are going to be so excited to see everything she has done! Kate is just so sweet and heartfelt. We worked together for a long time at the DIGI DARES and I just love who she is. I am sure you will too! But before we get to know her a bit better, lets look at the AMAZING element set she contributed to this months THE DIGI FILES.
Isn’t it just GORGEOUS? I just love all the bright and happy colors! I had to use it RIGHT AWAY when I saw it!
(papers also from THE DIGI FILES 2 and staples and stitched border are by Shabby Princess)
It was a bit of an accident really! I wanted a specific type of paper element for a page I was working on and couldn’t find anything in the shops so decided to try making it myself. I really enjoyed the creative process (I hadn’t really done much crafting since taking up digiscrapping) and it all went from there. I ended up making some more bits and pieces and gave them away on my blog.
About two years now. I’ve been scrapping for about three.
Definitely both. One of my resolutions this year is to make more time for myself to scrap. For some reason I find it difficult to mix the two, I’ll have periods when I scrap a lot but don’t design and then other times I’ll design but not scrap. Designing for me is a more hands-on process where I get to be messy and play with paints and pencils, scrapping is more about “me time” where I can relax and be creative without having to clean up the mess afterwards! I need to work on being able to swap between the two more easily.
Hhmm, this really depends on whether you count hanging around the forums and on Facebook as “marketing”…LOL I spend most evenings on the computer along with probably an hour or two in total in short bursts throughout the mornings, depending on what my son is doing that day. I try to catch up on emails and other correspondence then (the time difference between the US and the UK usually means I wake up to a full inbox and have a couple of hours of quiet before more emails come in!) and then do some crafting or drawing during the afternoons if possible. Evenings are for scrapping or the computerized part of my design work.
Ooh this is a tough one! It’s usually the last product I finished, but The Funky Junky series of collabs with Rachel Young and Michelle Godin are some of my all time favourites. Rachel and Michelle are great fun to work with and I’m so proud of the versatile, eclectic kits we’ve made together.
Funky Junky Home for the Holidays
I think my alphabets are probably my best sellers, these three in particular:
1. Candy Caney Alpha
1. My hubby and kids
2. The smell of fresh rain on spring leaves
4. Watercolour pencils and a fresh pad of pastel paper
6. Days out with the kids (especially to the local zoo, this trip is probably more for me than them…LOL)
8. Singing really loudly (and badly) and dancing round the house with the kids, especially to the High School Musical soundtracks (shhh, don’t tell anyone)
9. London art galleries
10. Being by the sea
1. Cold calling and door-to-door salespeople
3. The dreaded “Photoshop is not responding” message when I haven’t saved anything for an hour
4. Men rolling up the sleeves of their suit jackets
5. Cold, wet, grey and dismal weather (also known as “British summertime”)
6. Baked beans and mashed potato
7. Drivers who don’t indicate when turning
8. The kids putting empty cereal packets back in the cupboards
9. My scanner when it decides it only wants to scan one square inch of the scanner bed
10. Early morning wake-ups
Now let us go peek at the gorgeous stuff in Kate’s store! I had SUCH a hard time choosing. I seriously could post EVERY product in her store and say I LOVE it and I WANT it! But alas, if you wanted to see everything in her store you could just go there. So, I limited myself to eight. *sigh* (some products are collabs with Jacque Larsen and all images are clickable)
See what I mean? HOW can anyone choose? I want it ALL! At least this will help!
Thanks, Kate, so much for being with us. Your creativity and talent are truly amazing!
I remember the first time someone asked me if I could show them how to scrap digitally. I was excited at the prospect of sharing my new love with someone else but I was really at a loss of how to do it. In the end, I did more of a “watch what you can do” lesson that “this is how you do it”. It went okay. I repeated the process with a few more people, with varying degrees on how much they got what I was trying to say. I mean really, how do you teach someone to scrap in an hour (which is what they seemed to want!)
A few months after that I taught my first (and only!) “organized” class. We did it in the computer lab at the school where we worked (I had the IT guy DL a free trial of PSE on all the computers) and I tried to show others how to scrap. I didn’t do a very good job. I will say, though, that at least one person got it enough that a few months later she really got into it and became a fabulous scrapper (oh yes, that’s you amazing steinygirl!) She has since gone on to teach others and I get so excited to see the domino effect of people teaching others.
I bet some of you have taught others. I bet a lot MORE of you would LOVE to try but you don’t know where to start! My feeble attempts are nothing worth immitating but I did find two people in the scrapping world who have done some great teaching. They were kind enough to share some of their experiences!
First up we have Andrea Graves. She is great scrapper and all around sweet gal! Secondly, we have Steph from right here at THE DAILY DIGI. Both have done some teaching and are willing to answer some questions for all of us!
ANDREA: A friend of mine was doing it and I begged her to give me a one hour crash course, after that, I knew I was hooked and I could hardly sleep for a week because the wheels in my head would not stop turning with all the possibilities digi offered – I knew I had to learn more – so I did and it became my passion!
STEPH: It just sort of evolved over a period of time (I have been using the computer to do “hybrid” layouts since my oldest was born in 1996), but it really took off for me after reading a Memory Makers special issue on “computer scrapbooking”.
ANDREA: 2.5 years
STEPH: Doing whole layouts on the computer since fall of 2003, but like I said using computers on my layouts since 1996…I really need to scan some of my first hybrid layouts, it would be fun and probably funny too.
ANDREA: First off, I wished there had been a class for me on Photoshop Elements (PSE) and there was nothing of the kind. I had to learn stuff the hard way, and I wanted to make it easier for others by offering a class. And there was a big demand for it in my area.
STEPH: I love this hobby so much that I really wanted to share it and I also really wanted some “real life” friends that would understand what it is I am so excited about.
ANDREA: A little over a year
STEPH: I have been teaching since I started digi scrapping myself, but officially doing classes and workshops for just over a year.
ANDREA: A good friend suggested I go teach a class thru our local city, so I called the city up and they said they wanted me. Since then I have taught 6 classes thru the city almost all filled to the maximum capacity.
STEPH: I had been working with my local community college for over a year before they finally decided to add it to the schedule. I would just call them up periodically and ask them if they would be interested in a class like this. Sometimes they would refer me to the Parks and Rec. (which I wasn’t really interested in) and sometimes they would say they would think about it. When they did decide to add it to the schedule, I hadn’t spoken with them for a few months.
ANDREA: Since my class is at the local city building, they do not have a computer lab, so people have to have their own laptop and they have to have a copy of PSE on their computer. I actually like this, because if people are going to take a PSE class they need to commit by owing a copy of the program, otherwise there is no point to come take the class. Then I have a projector on the wall with my laptop, and I have lots of handouts.
STEPH: Hands on. With the classes at the community college, it was great because we had a computer lab and everyone was on the same platform and all using the same version of PSE. My computer was hooked up to the overhead and they could see everything I was doing as I was doing it.
In the more informal settings, people usually have a laptop, or I let them work on mine. Or, I have even gone to people’s homes and taught them on their computer (which is actually the most difficult to do). Once in a while people will come without a computer and watch and take notes.
ANDREA: 15. This works for me, if someone is just starting out teaching, I recommend not doing more then 10 for the first class to get a good feel for it.
ANDREA: Yes, I give handouts and materials. I create all my handouts and have products on a cd that have been donated by certain designers and used with permission.
STEPH: When I have taught at the community college, I have done handouts with tutorials and step-by-step instructions. I also do a handout with websites I like, etc. I made these myself using screenshots and PowerPoint. Things change so fast in digital though, that I have found it better to just give resources instead of reworking my handouts each class.
ANDREA: Just a basic background on digi, I have a BIG soapbox about pirating and not doing it, and actually have them sign a paper saying they will not pirate! Discuss what we will learn in the coming weeks, etc.
STEPH: After some trial and error, I have found the best way to teach people is having them use a template. They can usually finish a layout in a class and leave feeling successful instead of frustrated. The same principles used for building a layout with a template can transfer over to building a layout without a template.
I always hit piracy hard and have found it necessary to tell people over and over and over. It is always surprising to me how many people really think it is okay.
ANDREA: Last year I taught 3 different sessions: Winter, Spring & Fall. This year I am teaching Winter and Fall. I left Spring out because my kids have sports during that time this year. My class is 5 weeks for one night a week for 1.5 hours.
STEPH: Not that often anymore. I still get people asking me to do workshops etc., (which I will do once in a while) but, I have found that people aren’t really willing to pay as much as the community college wants to charge (I had no say in the price for the class)…they don’t really want to pay anything actually and so I have to weigh the time it takes to do a class (which is a lot of time) vs. the time that could be spent with my family and doing other things.
ANDREA: Maybe practice teaching some small groups first for free, I did this with 5 small groups thru my church (crowded around my computer at my home) and then they all wanted more, and my class evolved from that. Be prepared for all kinds of people to want to come learn – I have had a blast with it and loved my students! This class I even have two men, the first time for males to ever take from me, they both are signed up with their wives and it’s been a blast so far! I love teaching.
And remember, you will have to be patient, I have to repeat things sometimes 3 times for some people to grasp it, after awhile you get used to it. Also, plan on teaching basics, don’t get too advanced. Instead, make intermediate and advanced classes. I specialize in beginning to get people started and occasionally offer and intermediate/advanced class. But I prefer to stick with beginning for the most part. I love seeing people’s eyes light up with the possibilities digi has to offer! And many people feel very intimidated by digi so it’s good to stick to the basics and get them a strong foundation to build on and give them forums and other places to go for resources to learn more. I also recommend books for more detailed steps and instructions then what I cover in my classes.
STEPH: Start with some small groups first and try different things and see what kind of a format will work for you and those learning.
ANDREA: My city finds people for my class by advertising with flyers, so that is very lucky for me. Also, our city has the best program for recreation classes in the county and people come from cities all over to the class. If you do a good job, word will get around and people will tell their friends. I also have a small website. If you have a city that offers classes or a nearby High School that offers continuing education I would recommend going there and seeing if you could use their computer lab or a room and have people supply their own laptops (which is easier when they are on their own computers and hard to find labs with the right software).
STEPH: There are lots of options with community centers, parks and rec., and continuing education. I loved having a computer lab to teach in, it really was an ideal situation and the community college did all of the advertising for me, which was GREAT, but I only made a very small amount of what they charged. Many churches will allow their spaces to be rented for things like this as well.
ANDREA: I feel like it is very affordable, I charge $60 and the city keeps a percentage of it that is fair to cover them advertising the class and allowing us to use the beautiful facility we have.
STEPH: The community college charged and I really need to start charging when I do my little workshops…haha.
ANDREA: Yes for PSE
STEPH: At the community college, everyone was on the same program, but by the end of the class, they were bringing their laptops and I was teaching them how to do things in CS vs. PSE. I have also done workshops where people are using PSE and PSCS, since I have used both, it’s not too big of a deal, but it can get confusing to switch back and forth.
ANDREA: I don’t know what to say on that one, for me, teaching is just in my personality and digi is what I love, it has all been a blast and I have been very blessed to have wonderful people sign up for my classes and have had an awesome time teaching them. I feel very fortunate to be able to do this and love every minute of it!
STEPH: I wish I would have told people (over and over) that they will only be successful if they are willing to go home and try what they learned. I also wish I would have given homework assignments for the workshops, because a lot of people would walk out of the class and not do anything all week. Then, the next week I would have to re-teach the previous weeks lesson.
Thank you SO MUCH Steph and Andrea for taking the time to answer all these questions. I know so many people would love to teach but just aren’t sure where to start. Hopefully this information was beneficial to them and they can step put and give it a try, even if it is just with friends. After all, who wouldn’t love to have in-real-life digi friends?
P.S. Everything (except the stitches) used on the opening graphic and question graphics is from THE DIGI FILES 2 (including the font!) Get it HERE.