“Digital scrapbooking, where and how do I get started?” is the most common question I get asked in regards to my graphic products. First of all, let’s answer the question “what the heck is digital scrapbooking?”
Digital scrapbooking is telling your story + preserving memories creatively through photo art and journalling using your computer and graphic software. It can be as simple as editing your photo, adding it to a nice background, writing about the photo or adding an inspirational quote or poem, or as complex as creating an arty photo collage with very little writing. Letting the photos tell the story.
Traditional scrapbooking is a hugely popular hobby about preserving family memories and stories. Putting together photos, journalling and memorabilia in scrapbook albums using tradtional craft and art supplies. While I see that digital scrapbooking has a similar ethos in regards to story telling and memory keeping, I believe it’s an art form in it’s own right.
You have so much more creative control through using graphic software to create stunning pieces of photo art, also known as layouts.
Let’s Talk About Software + Getting Started
Without question, to really get into digital scrapbooking, and get the most from it, you need proper graphics or photo editing software. While some people manage using word processing software such as Word, it’s not designed for digital scrapbooking or photo editing. Neither are the basic paint programs that come with a PC or Mac. They’re just not up to the job and in the end, they’ll leave you frustrated and annoyed. So my recommendation is to invest in either of these programs. This isn’t a definite list. These are software programs that I’ve personally used at some point and can recommend for digital scrapbooking:-
- Adobe Photoshop Elements – it’s a pared down version of Photoshop, the industry standard software for profesional photographers and digital artists. At approx. £80 (cheaper from Amazon) on Adobe’s website, it is extremely good value for money.
- Adobe Photoshop – if you’re feeling ambitious about digital scrapbooking, photo editing or you think it’s worth investing in the industry standard software, then go for it. I’ve been using Photoshop since about version 4 and I can’t say enough about it. Extremely powerful software. Price wise it’s expensive at £600+. However, Adobe have recently introduced their Creative Cloud Service where you pay a monthly subscription to use their software. For approx. £20 a month you can have very latest version of Photoshop.
- Serif’s Craft Artist Professional - if you’re a paper crafter and looking to get into digital/computer crafting as well as digital scrapbooking, then this software might be right up your street. It’s everything you need to create scrapbook pages, greeting cards, party stationery and much, much more. It’s actually a very powerful piece of software for the price at just £25.
- Corel’s Paint Shop Pro – many moons ago, I was a beta tester for this software and even back then it was a great little graphics program. It’s obviously come on in leaps and bounds since then and competitively priced at approx. £60
Whle it’s not a definitive list, these are the most popular software programs used for digital scrapbooking. Ok, the other thing to please note that I don’t get any kickback if you click on those links and buy the software! I’m not an affiliate for any of the above companies. However, I am a digital scrapbooking kit designer for Serif’s Daisy Trail online shop for their Craft Artist Professional software. Don’t get a kickback if you buy their software though! It does qualify me to recommend it.
Oh and if you’re not sure which to choose, try the trial versions first. Have a play around and see what you like best.
Ok, so I Bought The Software, Now What?
It’s time to learn and the best way to do that is to just play. And honestly, I wouldn’t necessarily try digital scrapbooking from the get go. I’d look for tutorials online (Google!) for beginners. Each one of the links above also have their own online tutorials for getting started using their software. Get familiar with how to use it. Play, play, play. You learn much faster by doing than reading or listening.
And then, when you’re ready to dive into making your first digital scrapbooking layout I recommend you follow some tutorials for your chosen software or have a look on YouTube for some good video inspiration. From there I recommend you join a couple of good forums/communities where you can get lots of info, support and make friends with like minded people. I recommend these places for good tutorials and forums:
There are so many out there but, once again, I recommend these because I’ve used them myself.
Inspiration + Addiction
Seriously, it can be addictive. Once you have the penny dropping moment and realise just what you can do with all those 1000s of photos you keep taking, you’ll be churning out digital scrapbooking layouts like there’s no tomorrow. And don’t get me started on getting addicted to the beautiful graphics you can buy!
Seriously though, it is a wonderful hobby at the centre of which, it’s all about telling your story. Creating beautiful photo art and a legacy to pass onto your kids. I love it!
I’ve really only just covered the basics here of what is digital scrapbooking. There’s a lot more that needs to be covered. I’m working on more in-depth articles + tutorials all the time, so be sure to join my mailing list (it’s free) so you don’t miss out on the updates. PLUS, you get a free set of graphics which are perfect to get you started on your first digital scrapbook page!
In the comments below, be sure to tell me what else you’d like to know about digital scrapbooking. What articles you’d like me to do, tutorials? I’d love to hear from you!