This is one post in an ongoing series of “how to” photo book tips, so be sure to check out the other posts!
I’ve written before about incorporating things other than photos into your photo books here and there in my other posts and showed you examples of my layouts. For those of you who are traditional scrapbookers or former scrapbookers turned digital scrappers, this post will be all too familiar. Scrapbookers love to collect not only photos but non-photo elements to add to their creations. If you’re a pack rat like I am, you hold onto ticket stubs, show programs, travel brochures, maps, product wrappers etc. as they help tell the story you’re trying to convey. I don’t know about you, but if I didn’t save these things, after a while my memory fades and details are lost.
STEP 1: COLLECT – When you’re on a trip for instance, think about collecting the following:
1) Grab a couple maps that you find in every hotel, car rental office or airport;
2) Keep those ticket stubs from your flight and from any attractions you may visit;
3) If you have a memorable meal, grab a business card, or ask for a souvenir menu;
4) Hold on to receipts of interesting purchases. (I unfortunately got sick on my honeymoon, so I saved and scanned the receipts of my drugstore purchases!)
5) Pick up a few postcards of locations you visited. They can provide an interesting side by side contrast to your own photos. To take that idea further, but how about taking a photo of you holding a postcard in front of the actual subject of the postcard? I’ve also seen an interesting site where the person took an old photo and took a photo of it in the modern day setting. Folks are so creative!
6) Take photos of signage for reference. After getting back from a trip, sometimes I can’t recall the name of a monument or historical site for example. I will often take a snapshot or two of the plaque or sign that explains what I’m looking at to help me write my captions while I’m photobooking;
7) Besides visual elements, I suggest taking a bit of time to note down any special memories or thoughts about your trip, first impressions of your destination, anything you may want to remember – those will help you write your captions or narrative for your layouts. The best time to do this is in the airport or on the plane ride home. 🙂
So now that you’ve collected your ephemera (fancy word for scraps of paper you come across every day that are normally meant to be of limited use) what do you do with it?
STEP 2: SCAN – I recommend scanning at 300 dpi in jpeg format.
1) With the jpeg format, you’re saving your images in the same format as your photos. All photo book companies I have come across accept jpeg images;
2) Some companies allow you to easily use the images you scanned and intersperse them with your photos. Some even allow adding a drop shadow to your image for a more “3D” look. If you feel the company’s software is too limiting, you can use an external design program like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress etc. to do a more complex collage of your images. (free trials of these programs can be found on the company websites);
STEP 3: INSERT INTO YOUR LAYOUTS
1) I suggest saving all your ephemera in a single folder on your desktop or hard drive so they are easy to find;
2) Upload them to the photo book company of your choice;
3) Use the scanned items exactly like you would any other photo you’ve uploaded – they are in the same jpeg format, so they’re no different from your photos.
STEP 4: ENJOY
Share your finished photo book with your friends and family!
I know there are a lot of creative folks out there – any other tips you have about adding non-photo elements? Please comment below!
DISCLAIMER: PhotoBookGirl accepts no responsibility for turning anyone into a pack rat or hoarder. Collect at your own risk!