Love Song Photography

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When we think about photography and pictures, I think most of us first think about capturing the big, happy, wonderful moments of life.  Weddings, new babies, birthdays, first days of school and exciting milestones.

But as we all know, life isn’t always wonderful.  I stumbled across a photographer named Lindsey Villatoro , from California, when some photographs of hers were featured in an article about a couple who had lost a child.

She captures beautiful images that you’d expect to see on any photographer’s website, like weddings and babies.  But she also has an amazing gift and a gracious heart that lead her to take photographs of difficult situations.  She photographs children and adults fighting cancer and other illnesses.  She photographs funerals and memorial services.  She has a unique service called “Forever Loved” to capture priceless images of situations that require more empathy and delicateness than many of us may be able to provide.

Not only does she provide this experience and these priceless images to these families going through unthinkable difficult times at no charge, her Facebook page and website also offer the families a platform to share their stories.  Awareness is raised, fundraisers are shared, people are registering to donate organs and be blood and marrow donors,  prayers are lifted up, friendships are formed.  Lindsay has created a truly amazing thing.

Her website is LoveSongPhotography.com

She also has a Facebook page where she shares amazing images and stories.

You can see some of her videos on Vimeo as well as YouTube

There was a fundraising campaign in December to help Lindsay cover her costs as she provides these services to families free of charge, but it has unfortunately ended.  I encourage you to bookmark her website, follow her Facebook page, and get the word out to your friends and family about this amazing woman.  I will surely be donating and sharing on my blog when she has another fundraising event.  Please do consider sharing this post or her links on your social media platforms.

Note- some of the images on the Love Song Photography website and Facebook page may be upsetting or considered graphic to some people (such as babies who have passed away). I have no affiliation with Lindsay or Love Song Photography, and do not benefit financially by sharing this information.  I share these links for the sole purpose of sharing Love Song Photography with others, and the hope that it will reach someone who can be helped by her services, as well as fundraising and awareness for both Love Song and the families that Lindsey serves. 

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Resizing photos for Project Life

Create perfectly sized photos for your Project Life pocket pages!

Create perfectly sized photos for your Project Life pocket pages!

I’ve had several people ask me how I create the smaller sized photos I often use on my Project Life pages. I decided to try to write this tutorial to explain my process so I could just direct people to one post.
Let me start by saying this is not my original idea. I saw other Project Lifers on Pinterest, Facebook, etc. using apps to edit their photos in a very similar way as I’m about to describe. I don’t remember exactly who I saw it from first so I unfortunately can’t give credit. Thankfully most people in the scrapbooking community are all about freely sharing ideas & inspiration, so I hope this post can help someone who hasn’t seen this information yet.

I’m a diehard Apple girl, so I will be referring to apps and directions based on using an iPhone. I do hope that Android users will be able to modify the information and use it too.

I use the PicFrame app primarily. I see it is .99 cents now, but I think I downloaded it for free during a promotion. But in my opinion it is WELL worth the dollar!  There are tons of different apps out there that do the same or similar things, so I encourage you to use the app you like best. These basic directions will hopefully get you started and will translate at least somewhat to other apps. Let’s get started!

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So first, open your PicFrame app. The most important step is to change your ratio to 3:2. This is the same as 6×4. If you are working with the 3:2 ratio, your finished photo collage will print well as a 4×6 print. There are photo labs that print the square 4×4 “Instagram” sized photos, but since 4×6 is the most common, that’s what I like to work with the most.

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Two 4×3 photos on one 4×6 is probably what I use the most, because of the 4×3 and 3×4 pockets of Project Life pages. After you change your ratio, click on the 2nd frame on the top row. It will be square on the front page, but when you click it after you’ve changed your ratio, you’ll see it will open up into a rectangle, which is what we want for 4×6 pictures.


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Tap a grey rectangle

Click "camera roll" to select your photos

Click “camera roll” to select your photos

Click “camera roll” to select your pictures. You can chose both photos at once (it will say 1 of  2, then 2 of 2) but if your photos are in different albums you can select just one photo, then click the other grey square, and repeat the process and go into a different photo album. I sometimes use other photo editing apps to add filters, text, or designs to my pictures, and those often get stored in albums by app.

Two 4x3 images on one 4x6 print

Two 4×3 images on one 4×6 print

 

PicFrame by default will put this white border around your photos. If you like it, keep it. If you don’t, click on “style”. If you slide the width button all the way to the left, it will remove the border completely. Or, you could make the border wider by sliding to the right, and you can also change the color if you wish. The “options” button in the top right also lets you round the corners of your borders if you wish. Sometimes I do leave a white border on my pictures, it can really make them pop on your layouts. You can always crop them off later, but you’ll lose that perfect 3×4 sizing.

You can adjust the width & color of your border (or remove it all together)

You can adjust the width & color of your border (or remove it all together)

 

When you are done with the border style, go to adjust. On this “adjust” screen, pinch and stretch with your fingers to zoom in and out of your photo. This way you are kinda “pre-cropping” your photos, and when you print them they will be ready to just cut in half and be ready to go as 3×4’s.  See how I zoomed in compared to the image above?  On the right side, Daddy’s legs are no longer a distraction in the photo, and we get a nicer close up of the baby. On the left, I managed to get rid of most of Sissy’s blue pants, and zooming in showcases the happy looks on baby & Daddy’s faces.

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When you are happy with your picture, click on “share” and then “save”

Don't forget to save!

Don’t forget to save!

 

The finished product, ready to cut in half and slide into page protectors.

The finished product, ready to cut in half and slide into page protectors.

The photo will be saved to your camera roll, and  you’re ready to go! You could also decide to share it on social media, using the other buttons. The photos I used above are both vertical. You can create horizontal photos as well.

You can rotate your photos as well.

You can rotate your photos as well.

See the picture on the left of Baby & Grampa?  They are looking out a window at a skyline and I took the photo horizontally. When I selected the photo from my camera roll, the app by default put it in vertically. If you want to change it, tap the photo with your finger, then select “rotate/mirror”. The rotate arrows shown in the picture above will then appear. Rotate your photo as desired, then use your fingers to pinch and pull again to crop it how you want.

working with horizontal photos

working with horizontal photos

You’ll see that the left photo is now horizontal and you can see more of the view, which I want in my printed photo. I’m going to flip the other photo now too:

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There, now Baby Brother is in the photo too. You’ll quickly get the hang of the buttons in the app, have fun playing with positioning and cropping to create the photo you like best.

Remember that first screen of the app, with all the different layouts? You can use those to make other sized photos as well!

one 4x4 and two 2x2's

one 4×4 and two 2×2’s

I also love the look of square photos. Project Life also has several page protector designs with 4×4 and 2×2 square pockets, so it’s nice to have photos that fit perfectly in the pockets. I like to make a collage with one 4×4 and two 2×2’s (I print most of my Instagram photos this way) or six 2×2’s on one 4×6. Remember to keep your 3:2 ratio. The frame highlighted in blue above will create one 4×4 and two 2×2 pictures on one 4×6 print if you keep the 3:2 ratio, like this:

Instagram photo on left, two 2x2's on the right

Instagram photo on left, two 2×2’s on the right

 

I tend to take a TON of pictures with my DSLR and my iPhone, so using 2×2 photos allows me to fit many more photos on a layout than I would have been able to printing each photo at 4×6 individually. It’s also a big money saver, getting anywhere from 2 to 6 photos on a single print! I initially through 2×2 would be too small, but if you zoom & crop correctly, I think this size actually showcases your photos quite nicely.

six 2x2 photos

six 2×2 photos

Again, keep the 3:2 ratio, chose the frame highlighted in blue above, and you can create a six picture collage. I often cut these up into the individual 2x’s and they are really fun to work with.

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Remember to “save” after each collage is created. I tend to create several different collages at once, and then print them.

Now that your pictures are created and saved, you can print your 4×6 with whichever developer you choose, or on your home photo printer. I like both Walgreens and Shutterfly. (A tip for Walgreens users…go through ebates.com and get cash back on your prints, even when you chose in-store pickup. The rate is currently 4%. I have received over $100 from ebates for just clicking through their site when I shop online instead of going directly to the store’s website) Then it’s time for the best part…Project Life!

several sizes of photos on one Project Life page

several sizes of photos on one Project Life page

 

a 2x2 photo attached with washi tape

a 2×2 photo attached with washi tape

 

two 2x2 photos on one 3x4 card

two 2×2 photos on one 3×4 card

I really hope this helps you, and have fun creating! Don’t forget to check out Stampin’ Up!’s exclusive line of Project Life products.  I am head over heels for the new Love Story card collection and accessory pack.

Don’t forget that you can subscribe to Paper Pumpkin for 50% off your first two months through September 10th. The September kit is adorable little burlap Halloween bags & tags. Click here for more information.

I am not affiliated with PicFrame and receive no compensation from them. I only share products and offers with my readers that I trust, use, and love myself!

Endless Birthday Wishes

Hooray! The adorable photopolymer stamp set “Endless Birthday Wishes” is back in stock after being sold out for some time. Grab yours before it’s gone again! It is $13.95 and I can see myself using it on birthday cards of course, but also Project Life pages (lots of non-birthday specific words and sentiments).

Endless Birthday Wishes (image copyright Stampin' Up! 2014)

Endless Birthday Wishes (image copyright Stampin’ Up! 2014)

 

 

It also comes in digital! Check out this first birthday poster I made for my son using My Digital Studio and the Endless Birthday Wishes digital stamps (as well as some other sets).

8x10 poster to display at birthday party, made with My Digital Studio

8×10 poster to display at birthday party, made with My Digital Studio

 

If you’d like to save on shipping I can add this to the order I’ll be placing on July 19th. Of course the digital version is available for immediate download ($9.95) and you can use it with My Digital Studio software FREE for 30 days. Intimidated by digital scrapbooking? I do one-on-one or group classes to teach you some amazing things you can create with My Digital Studio, from scrapbook pages, to cards, invitations, home decor and so much more.

My first page in weeks!

Sometimes the smallest things mean so much. I’m just so excited that I have completed my first page in my Project Life album in weeks. There are some stuffed pockets in some other weeks, but this is the first finished page. So it’s only a small insert page Becky Higgins Photo Pocket Pages – Design J
BUT I was able to find the time to work on Project Life & was thrilled to make this insert to week 24 about my youngest daughter’s birthday. It’s nothing super exciting but it just felt so good to complete a page. Since we started the process of moving about 6 weeks ago or so, my scrapbooking time has been drastically reduced. I was “caught up” with Project Life this year before the move so maybe you can understand my excitement to get back in. And hopefully this one page will turn into two, and so on.

Project Life Playground

Project Life Playground

Supplies used:

Project Life by Stampin’ Up! Playground collection cards & accessory pack, Everyday Adventures card, Becky Higgins Photo Pocket Pages – Design J, and the “Happy Birthday” was from a card in the “Celebrate” theme pack that I cut out with one of the Project Life Cards & Labels Framelits using my Big Shot. I am love, love, loving these dies. I find myself frequently cutting out a banner to place a quick title or small amount of journaling on a photo or Project Life card. I have an electronic cutting machine and adore it, but sometimes I really appreciate the fast, no fuss die cutting that the Big Shot offers, not to mention no worries about electric outlets, an internet connection, and so on.

How cute is the washi tape that comes in the accessory pack?!  Also, the cool clear plastic insert card that says “I’m Awesome” was a perfect fit for the photo of my daughter in her “Pretty Awesome” shirt she received as a birthday gift. It’s hard to see in the photo, but that is a 3×4 clear plastic card from the Playground accessory pack that I just slipped into the pocket. The card with the circles and journaling lines is actually going in a separate page behind this page. It looks really neat when you’re turning pages looking through the album.

Remember, these Project Life editions are only available through Stampin’ Up, and you can also earn these products for free or half price by having an in-home, virtual, or catalog show-email me at blackbirdscraps@gmail.com for details. Happy Scrapping to you!

Those little hands

So here’s where I set a timer and just write for five minutes on a set topic. You can join us over at Lisa-Jo Baker’s website for 5 minute Friday. Today’s prompt is “hands”.

10 months old

10 months old

 

My baby boy is 10 months old. And in many ways, he’s not such a baby anymore. He’s mobile. He’s getting better at communicating his wants and needs. He’s growing (oh, is he growing he is 32″ tall and in size 2T clothes). But thankfully, blessedly, there are still parts of him that are very much baby. And one of those parts is his precious little hands. Continue reading

My Digital Studio-newest downloads May 27, 2014

This week’s new digital downloads include a beautiful floral stamp set and a new photo book template! The photo book is called “Our Happy” and is done in beautiful, basic Stampin’ Up! colors of Basic Gray, Smoky Slate and Whisper White which means the focus will be on your special photographs and that it will coordinate with any color scheme your photos may be!

 

"Our Happy" photo book template

“Our Happy” photo book template

Baby Boy 8×8 Digital Scrapbook Layout

Baby Boy 8x8 Digital Scrapbook Layout

Made with My Digital Studio software by Stampin’ Up!

I haven’t had much time to blog, scrap, or work on my business lately because we are moving! But in between packing boxes, I sat down with My Digital Studio and put some photos and journaling into this pre-made layout that is provided with your 30 day free trial of the software, and I love the results! This kid is growing way too fast.

 

Photos copyright Blackbird Scraps, digital elements & images copyright Stampin’ Up!

Earn cash back AND get a free 8×10 photo print.

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Walgreens is offering a free 8×10 photo print today through May 10th. Maybe print one of your Mom’s favorite pictures and put it in a frame for a meaningful Mother’s Day present. Search Pinterest for printables and make yourself some new artwork for your home or office. What’s better than free?

I’ll tell you.

Earning money on a free product. Continue reading

A quick thrifty tip for online photo processing

 

There are LOTS of options out there for printing your digital photos. I plan on doing a series of posts in the future about the various places I’ve used. I will say that Shutterfly.com has been my go-to place since 2002.  I’ll share why in a future post, but for now I just wanted to let you know a little hint if you are a Shutterfly user. If you go to the site via SavingStar.com’s cash back mall, you can earn cash back. Their current rate is 1.5%. I look at it as “free money”. That might not sound like much, but in 2014 I personally have earned over $125 by using cash back websites like SavingStar and Ebates.  Continue reading