December 8, 2011

Mixbook Blog Is Moving

The Mixbook Blog is  currently in the process of moving. Look for us soon in our new digs at http://blog.mixbook.com.

October 18, 2011

3 Tips for Capturing Fall Foliage

Well I don’t know about the rest of you, but I really just can’t get enough of the outdoors despite the chill (even if I am always freezing). The trees out here look as if they have been painted overnight and I’m worried I might miss out on the wonderful photo opportunities if I don’t act fast!

Weather condition

Like most people, I usually pass on picture taking if it is raining or still wet outside. However, moisture is actually key to making your photos appear much more vibrant. Leaves and foliage that are damp will have richer color as opposed to dried leaves, which might appear more washed out. If you are really against being rained on, try heading out early in the morning when the plants and trees are still dewy. You might even be lucky enough to capture misty or foggy backgrounds.

Time of day

Lighting plays a huge role in fall photographs. Colors look drastically different under a bright and clear afternoon sky versus a soft twilight sky. Depending on the time of day, you can try to capture rays of sun coming through the trees or even shooting silhouettes against the landscape just before dusk. Remember to bring a tripod or something that will help you steady the camera if you are shooting in dim light.

Mix it up!

No one really wants to see the same close up photos over and over again; it will get boring quite quickly. Try taking photos at different angles and perspectives such as a ground up shot or go for a nice panorama landscape by zooming out as far as possible.

Although this post is about capturing the essense of autumn in nature, keep in mind that you can also focus on other familiar fall scenes like your loved ones bundled up in their favorite coats and scarves or get a nice group photo over a warm Thanksgiving meal.

Until next time, Happy Mixbooking!

October 11, 2011

Autumn Scrapbook Designs

Summer is over, and it is time to get into autumn scrapbooking! When people think of fall colors, they tend to think of red, brown, and yellow hues. However, green, grey, and blue colors can compliment these shades quite well. Mixing in a pea or pine green amongst orange and yellow will echo the changing colors of tree leaves, while pairing bright colors with greyish blue tones hints at the upcoming cool weather.

For those who are building more traditional layouts, Autumn and Days of Autumn themed photo books offer lots of warm earth tones and neutral-colored backgrounds and stickers. If you are looking for a more modern design to showcase your photos, our pre-designed fall pages in our Contemporary Seasons or Seasonal Circles themes might be just the right fit for you.

Also, remember to look into other book themes as well because you just might find some useful stickers. For example, the apple slice stickers in the School Days theme will fit right in with the rest of your fall designs. Our A Year In Review theme offers some Thanksgiving and Halloween elements as well.

As always, our thousands of stickers, themes, and backgrounds are free to use! If you still want more stickers and backgrounds, some websites such as Shabby Princess and Computer Scrapbook offer digital scrapbooking kits you can download for free and then upload the images you want into your Mixbook project.

Need some more inspiration? Take a look at our Gallery to see what other Mixbookers are doing with their published projects. Below are a few of our staff picks:

For those who are taking a break from photo booking, we’ve also released tons of new Halloween  and Thanksgiving cards, a perfect way to send autumn greetings to your friends and family.

Happy Mixbooking!

October 4, 2011

How to Upload Your Own Stickers

Did you know you could upload your very own stickers or elements from your existing digital scrapbooking kits? It’s super easy! Just make sure the images you wish to use are in PNG format  (most files from a digital scrapbooking kit are already saved in this format) which allows for the image to show up without a background. Files that are not in this format might appear with a square white background. You can tell a file is in PNG format if the file name ends with “.png” or if it says it is a “Portable Network Graphic”). You can also find out by right clicking on the image file and looking up the information under the “Get info” selection.

To save an image in PNG format, you will need to use Adobe Photoshop. Open the file you wish to use and select “File” then “Save As.” Choose PNG from the “Format” menu the click “OK”.

Once you have the stickers you want to upload to your project, open your project in the Editor.  On the left side of the Editor, click the “Add Stickers” tab to see the sticker tray. Then, click on the the “Add Stickers” button. A pop up window will appear, and you will see an “Upload Content” tab along the top of the window. Once you’re in the “Upload Content” tab, click “Select Stickers.” You can then locate and upload your stickers from your computer.

 

Happy Mixbooking!

September 20, 2011

Documenting Your Child’s School Year

girl drawing
Back to School season may be over and done with but the school year is just getting started. Now is the perfect time to start a personal yearbook for your child to document their accomplishments throughout the year so they can look back and reflect on all their achievements. These books are perfect for sharing with long distance family members or make a neat show and tell item.

Art projects
Some of the most visually captivating and colorful images are of arts and crafts projects. We suggest taking digital photographs of your child’s artwork or, if possible, scanning the image and uploading the picture. There is so much you can do with this section! Make stickers and backgrounds out of their creation or use parts of it as a page trim or border to create a custom theme through your photo book.

Academic progress
When I was growing up, nothing made me prouder than to show off good report card grades and high scores on my homework or tests. Add a brag book section for your child to show off all their accomplishments; they will feel good about themselves knowing that all their hard work is being acknowledged.

Field Trips and School Events
Do you love volunteering to chaperone school trips and functions? It’s also a great time to sneak in a few photos of your child in their natural environment with their friends and classmates. If you do not have time to attend, you could always ask the chaperoning parent(s) to help document all the fun times and special moments for you.

Extracurricular Activities
Is your child an athlete? Starring in the latest high school play? Or maybe he or she spends her time championing causes with bake sales. Document all the activities in which your child takes part that sets them apart from everyone else and their school year experience.

I hope this gives you some great ideas for your child’s yearbook! Now go grab your camera and start capturing all the school year moments you and your family would want to look back and reflect on.

Happy Mixbooking!

finger painting

September 6, 2011

One Simple Trick to Take Better Photos

If you’re like me, you might be wondering why your photographs look nothing like the ones your photo savvy friends take. Yes, it might be because they have more years of practice or the latest snazzy camera, but I’m here to let you in on a not-so-secret tip to make your photos look much nicer. One of the first lessons most people are taught in photography to help create more balanced looking pictures is known as the Rule of Thirds. To follow this rule, you will need to imagine your image being divided by 2 horizontal, and 2 vertical lines, creating 9 evenly sized boxes (see the image that looks like a tic-tac-toe grid?). At the intersections of these lines, marked in the second image by green circles, are the places you want to center the focus of your photograph. Many digital cameras have the option to display a grid to help you with positioning you picture.

gridgrid intersections

Placing the most important elements on the intersections usually creates photos that are more aesthetically pleasing. Below is an example photograph that follow the Rule of Thirds.

rule of thirds photorule of thirds grid

Don’t worry if your previous photographs don’t follow the Rule of Thirds. You can always go back and crop your images to make them just right. Take a look at the photo we fixed up by cropping off the edges.

family photographcropped family photograph

Keep in mind that this rule is just a guideline.. Feel free to play around with other compositions to get the look you like. After all, you’re capturing sights and moments the way you want to remember them!

August 30, 2011

Fraternity and Sorority Photo Book Themes are Here!

Sorority Photo BooksFraternity Photo Books

Sororities and fraternities play a very distinctive role in shaping your college experience. Although your undergraduate years will fly by quickly, brotherhood and sisterhood is a deep and everlasting bond. Our new sorority and fraternity photo books themes are a great way to commemorate and share your Greek Life experience. They also make excellent gifts for the entire house!

Fraternity photo book

Sorority photo book

Trying to decide what to include in your Greek life story? Read on for some inspiration:

Rush week

What made you choose your particular organization? What was your experience during the pledge period? Do you have a group picture of all the new pledges?

Greek Life

What was life like in your sorority or fraternity? Did your campus celebrate Greek Week? Did your house have any traditions or hold any formal events? Also, include fun facts about your organization. Decorate your photo book with your house colors, letters, and slogans. Don’t forget to include activities such as fundraisers, community service, ceremonies, banquets, formals, and any Greek counsel events.

Sisterhood, Brotherhood, Friends for Life

Dedicate a few pages to your Big Brother/Sister, your Little Brother/Sister, and the rest of your family tree. Better yet, you can invite them to collaborate with you and build a page of the fun times you shared together. You could also include a page of all the house officers or incoming and outgoing officers.

End of the year

Are there any ceremonies that your house holds? Get a picture of the graduating class.

Remember to take lots of pictures if you attend any reunions or other alumni activities! You can always create another photo book of your alumni experiences.

August 23, 2011

Hot Color Trends For Fall and Winter Weddings

fall winter wedding palette collageLooking forward to saying “I do” in the fall but are unsure of what colors to go with? Although black, brown, or grey are staple colors for autumn runways, pairing an earth tone with a bright hue can really make your wedding palette pop.. Here’s the rundown on what’s hot for fall 2011.

Autumn colors tend to be more bold and jewel-toned, but if you prefer a classic look, simply choose a more subdued shade of the same hue. For example, replace a bright peacock blue with a sky blue or pick coral shades over red or burgundy. Add gold to your palette to really bring out the richness of your wedding colors.

Deep, saturated purples, ranging from plum to eggplant, are another fall bride favorite. The regal shade will look stunning for bridesmaid gowns or as a pretty sash for the bride.

Olive green has been gaining popularity in the wedding world recently. This twist on a warm neutral works well with many different colors, making it easy to give your decor an elegant, yet trendy vibe. Pair this color with light creamy shades to give your wedding a softer, timeless feel, or use it to accentuate darker hues such as chocolate or plum for a bolder, sophisticated look in the colder autumn months.

Burnt orange and rust are also hot colors for fall. Try complementing this color with a medium or deep blue to make these warm colors glow. This is a color combination that is bright and playful, while hinting at the changing seasons – perfect for a September or October wedding.

For a more daring color scheme, select a golden yellow as your main color. Coordinate this color with deep reds and oranges for a striking contrast that pays tribute to the beautiful fiery leaves of autumn. Bring in brown-toned accents to tie the look together.

Were you an autumn bride? We’d love to read about your wedding palettes and any tips you have for future autumn brides in the comments!

August 16, 2011

Tips for Great Back to School Photos

back to school photo

It’s that time of year again! Back to school season is here and we are once again reminded of how quickly kids grow up these days. It seemed like such a short time ago when they were first learning to walk and crawl. Good thing we can capture and preserve moments like these in photographs. Our suggestions below will help you take optimal pictures for your family to look back on.

Clothing:

  • Allow your child to have an input on what they would like to wear. They will be more comfortable and confident wearing something they like rather than what they are coerced into wearing.
  • Avoid donning hats. Most schools require students to remove their hat indoors and your child will now be stuck with flattened or lumpy “hat-hair” all day.
  • If your child will be taking portrait photos at school, try to avoid dressing them in black or white since those tend to be common back drop shades that are used.
  • A good classic look is a simple collared shirt in a color that compliments your child’s complexion.
  • Pass on graphic tees and trendy styles. Fashion will come and go but your photos and memories are here to stay. Remember when teased hair and big shoulder pads were cool?
  • Make sure to iron and press your child’s clothing to keep them looking crisp and clean.

Grooming:

  • Try to schedule all haircuts at least a week or two in advance. This will give you and your child time to get used to styling their new ‘do.
  • Keep nails clean and trimmed as they will show up in your images.

Shopping:

  • Take time to document back to school shopping trips. It is part of the experience after all.
  • Have your child show off their school purchases.

The Big Day:

  • Does your family have any back to school traditions? Snap a few shots to commemorate your annual routine.
  • Ask your child to hold up a sign or number of fingers indicating the grade level they are entering. You can repeat this for all their future school years.
  • Get a few photos of the back of your child as they are walking. You will catch them in a natural state and remember what their back packs look like.
  • School bus or car ride photos are another great addition to have for your back to school photo collection.
  • Once they arrive at school, take some posed and candid pictures of your child with their friends, teacher, and classmates.

We hope you found these tips to be helpful!

July 22, 2011

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