Top five holiday crafts for you and the family

With the holiday season approaching, we have rounded up some of our favourite crafts to help keep you and your little ones busy.

Paper Snowflake

paper-snowflake
We have probably all made those paper snowflakes in elementary school where you fold up paper and cut out creative patterns. Here’s a paper snowflake that make a bigger impact. Follow the simple instructions pictured and you’ll have some decorations to hang in the window in no time!

Holiday Garland

festive-garland
If you want a garland on the creative side, gather up some old fabric and ribbon to make your own version of the classic decoration. This way you can easily customize it to match your other decorations and colour scheme!

Homemade Snow Globe

snowglobe
Create your own version of the classic snow globe. Using a small glass vessel that has a lid, such as a mason jar or a salt shaker (you can find both at the dollar store!) Glue any small decorations that you want inside to the lid, you’ll use this as the base when you’re finished. Create a winter scene with toy trees and fake snow and use some glitter or whatever else you can find at the dollar store that can act as snow without dissolving in the water.

Pine Cone Christmas Trees

pinecone-xmastree
This is a great craft to include the kids on and it looks super cute to boot! See the full instructions on how to create these over here. They’ll make a great centerpiece for your holiday gatherings or simply as some extra decorations for your living room.

Vintage Flowers

vintage-flower
These vintage flowers can act as ornaments, part of your centerpiece, or use them to embellish your wrapped gifts. For the steps on how to create these, check out this great blog post!

What are some of your favourite holiday crafts? And don’t forget to take photos this holiday season to go in your holiday photo book.

How to get the perfect photos before summer is over

summer

Save the squinting

By having your subject face away from the sun, you can help avoid having those squinty eyes in photographs. To make sure that there are no shadows from this, use fill flash to keep your photo bright.

Change your perspective

Experiment and take photos from different angles. Try something lower to the ground to get a new point of view or if you’re photographing a child, shoot from their vantage point – it makes a difference in the final photo!

Play around with the light

Experimenting with the light in the summer is a lot of fun when it comes to photography. Incorporate a natural sunburst strategically into your photo for something a little different.

Go for the action shots

If you’re at a soccer game or if your kids are just playing in the yard, make sure to get some action shots. A lot of cameras have a setting for these and it’s great to have photos of them in the moment – whether it’s on a swing, or on the field.

Keep your camera protected

Your camera isn’t a fan of sand or water (unless you have a fancy waterproof camera, then go for it!) so remember to keep it protected from the elements. Camera cases are your friend! Sand, sadly, is not.

What’s your best summer shot so far? Share it in the comments, we’d love to see it!

When your summer photo collection is complete, don’t forget to make your own photo book to hold on to your memories!

How to Make Your Best Memories of 2012 Live on Forever

2012 is now behind us, but the precious moments you experienced last year don’t have to disappear forever! Vacations, birthdays and special events provide a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and each one creates memories to last a lifetime. Starting a new year is a little less painful when you view the pictures you took last year. Now you can preserve your adventures from this past year and good times three different ways with Elephoto…

Customized Photo Books

Yesteryear’s old-fashioned photo albums have given way to the latest in technology – photo books made with graphics and word-processing software. Gone are the days of placing photographs on the page by hand. Today’s books offer benefits older photo albums never had.

  • Text and photos can be placed or moved anywhere on the page.
  • Photos can be easily enlarged or reduced.
  • As many as 25 images can be placed on each page.
  • You can select the background to fit the theme of the book.
  • Captions can be added to enhance the photos.

Photo books are perfect to save your 2012 travels, birthdays and family reunions!

Personalized Canvas Prints

When you’re looking for framed artwork for your walls, large canvas prints are a step up from ordinary prints or paintings. Enlarging your photos for canvas creates a special focal point in the room, and adds value to an already meaningful photo. That memorable shot of a beautiful lake from last year’s camping trip, an unforgettable sunset or an anniversary photo all make fantastic prints!

Hanging a unique canvas print can raise the energy level of any room, and just the right print can have a psychologically uplifting effect. Choosing just the right photo from your 2012 adventures can keep your memories fresh. Sizes can range from as small as eight by eight feet to as large as 30 by 40 feet. Framed or unframed, canvas prints dress up a room and give it a personality.

Cared for properly, canvas prints can last for decades. They are durable, and easily cleaned with a soft cloth. You can even make a photo collage or antique sepia print. Imagine being able to relive your favorite moments each time you enter the room and see your print.

Memorable Photo Calendars

Celebrate your previous escapades with an image for each month. A 2013 photo calendar is a great way to showcase your best pictures, and is much more personal than a traditional store-bought calendar. With today’s technology, creating a photo calendar has never been easier.

The beauty of this is that you don’t have to choose just one photo. Whether it’s a kid’s birthday party, a special picture from your child’s soccer game or a one-of-a-kind family photo, the choice is yours. Use your creativity – no two calendars are alike.

The advantage of photo books, canvas prints and annual photo calendars is that you don’t have to be an expert to make one. All you need is a vision of what you’d like to create, and one look at your favorite photos makes it easy to come up with ideas. Designing your product and ordering online is simple and convenient, so get started today.

What’s your favourite thing to do with your old photographs?

3 Ways to Immortalize & Preserve Your Holiday Memories

Like most Canadians, you probably took tons of photos during this past holiday season. Whether you took them with your smart phone or a professional camera, some of these pictures are true gems that deserve to be immortalized and preserved for future generations. Maybe you have some shots of the family gathered around a table groaning under the weight of a holiday meal, or perhaps you have a funny photo of dad simply devouring that meal. Christmas photos can be the basis of a a great holiday photo book, a personalized 2013 calendar or a stunning canvas print that you can hang in your home or office. Don’t let those precious photos die in your computer or camera’s hard drive!

Holiday Photo Books

Photo books are definitely one of the best ways to immortalize your favourite holiday photos. With a photo book, your imagination can soar free as you can organize your book exactly the way you want. To make your holiday photo book even more meaningful, don’t focus only on photos. Include some notes or art from the children and interested adults. Include a cherished recipe in the pages to not only have a photo of a spectacular meal but instructions on how it was done. Different templates are available for photo books, and they can be an inspiration for your ideas. Learn more about photo books here.

2013 Photo Calendars

Personalized calendars are another way to commemorate that special event or Christmas holiday. They’re a great way to organize birthdays, anniversaries, and other important family events. Any dad who has forgotten an anniversary will be especially appreciative of a reminder! Include photos of family events both to remember them and build anticipation for the next one. Learn more about calendars here.

Canvas Prints

Elegant canvas prints are a thoughtful way to display a special photo of a smiling child with joyful eyes, a quiet moment with your spouse, or the whole family gathered for a Christmas celebration. Canvas prints are a welcome addition to both home and office décor with their artful look and stunning quality. They’re available in different sizes and are limited only by your imagination. Learn more about canvas prints here.

Families have holiday traditions, many of them handed down from parents to children. Photo books, calendars and canvas prints are an excellent way to preserve those traditions and memories, keeping them alive for your children and grandchildren.

5 Unique Photo Book Ideas

Creating a photo book in today’s digital era isn’t that difficult, but finding the perfect way to group your pictures does require some inspiration! Grouping and organizing the photos in the right way can entirely change your photo book, and it can help give life and energy to your project. If you are looking for unique photo book ideas, then try one of the five ideas below.

Cookbook

Does your family love to cook? Is your kitchen used more than your living room? If so, then you can use this unique idea to have the perfect photo book. You can arrange the pictures based on different meals. For example, the beginning of the book can show the family cooking breakfast. You can also add recipes next to the photos to make the photo book look even more interesting.

Personality and Emotions

This is a great idea if you have young children and grandchildren. Children experience a wide range of emotions. They laugh, cry, giggle and get frustrated. If you love taking photos of your children or grandchildren, then chances are that you have photos of every emotion. You can arrange the photo book according to the emotion in the photo. For example, you can start the photo book with pictures of your children looking frustrated. This is a great way to organize the photos, and it makes it much easier to find a specific photo.

Seasons

Another unique photo book idea is organizing the photos according to season. There are fun memories in every season, and you can make those moments shine with this photo book idea. This type of photo book is also very simple to decorate because you can easily find graphics that reflect the imagery of each season. You can make this easier by titling photos by month, or by writing the month on the back of your printed photos.

Storybook

You can make your very own storybook by writing a story, or using a premade one, and adding photos where the illustrations would go. There are many basic stories that exemplify the milestones that all people go through, and you can easily find photos to personalize this photo book idea. This is great for children, and you can even read it to your children before they go to sleep.

Hobbies

Everyone has a hobby. It can be something common like collecting stamps, or something obscure like appearing in the background of news broadcasts. You can create an entire photo book of the person’s hobby as a Christmas or birthday gift. You can also segment the photo book by showing the person’s advancement in the hobby. For example, begin with the first model plane the person built, and end the photo book by showing the entire collection.

There are many ways to organize a photo book, and it can very difficult to find the perfect arrangement. If you are having a hard time finding that perfect idea, then try one of the arrangements above. You are sure to have a unique photo book by the time you are finished!

A Truly Unique Photo Book is Not Just About Photos

While photos are a big part of creating a memorable photo book, they aren’t the only part. In fact, the best photo books contain much more than just photos. How can you design a book that speaks for itself? Whether your photo book is devoted to a single vacation or it covers an entire school year, use items connected to these events to really bring your book to life.

Include Mementos

Perhaps you create a book that is dedicated to that great concert you attended over the summer. In addition to the pictures you place into your book, add your ticket stubs, receipts and concert program if it will fit. If you snapped a good photo of your favorite artist, add a fun outline to it in Photoshop or add arrows pointing to it along with the artist’s name. Bursts of colour and lots of exclamation points are appropriate in this situation!

Caption Your Pictures

You know who all the people are in your photos, but the people that you show your book to might not. Caption them either with neat handwriting or find a unique font for a more uniform look. Humour doesn’t hurt when using your captioning skills. Under a photo of the Eiffel Tower, you may want to write a caption along the lines of “It’s much bigger in person!” If you had a wonderful time at a London pub, include a photo of the building and write the name of the establishment directly on it. Adding a caption like “The Best Ale in Britain” may bring a smile to your face every time you see it.

Add Embellishments

Clip art and even store-bought embellishments add even more dimension to your photo book. There are stickers, craft papers and accessories to fit any theme. Take a wedding book from simple to incredible by outlining some photos with lace trim and gluing small pearly dots around others. Of course, don’t forget to scan and place your newspaper wedding announcements, invitations and wedding program into your book as well. For a book that celebrates a child’s sports season, include pictures that show losses as well as wins. Funny captions are always welcome, but add sports-themed clip art and backgrounds as well!

A photo book that only contains pictures will suffice, but with so many creative options at your disposal, why not make it a truly memorable keepsake? While taking pictures at any important event, make sure to hang onto any mementos so that you can include them in your book. This will allow you to relive great memories in a truly unforgettable way.

Learn more about our photo books here.

Creating a Vacation Photo Book Seals Memories

Do you take hundreds of pictures when you go on vacation? Maybe even thousands? What do you do with all those photos when you get home? How – when – do you decide what pictures you want to take? By taking time to think about your photo book in advance, you can save yourself a headache later!

Plan Ahead

If possible plan your photo book at the same time you plan your vacation. Plan for the events and landmarks you want pictures of, and if possible who you want in them. Family and friends are obvious, but will you want a shot or two of the tour guide or that couple you found so fascinating? Planning for a photo book helps plan for how many extra memory cards and batteries you need to bring for the camera. The more you know about what you want to do and about how many pictures you will take the better prepared you will be.

Be Spontaneous

Planning for a photo book doesn’t mean spontaneity is gone. Part of the fun carrying a camera is finding interesting shots where you never expected. If you are with family or friends you can have everyone looking for interesting shots. If you have kids along have them look for interesting shots, too. Kids have different perspective than adults and they can find fascinating shots we would never suspect existed. They will also enjoy being involved in finding photos for the book. Of course watching for candid shots of kids or friends can also provide memorable photos, too.

Get help choosing the photos

Once you are back from your vacation it is time to go through your pictures and choose the ones for the book. This can be a great family activity. Kids, especially younger kids, really enjoy looking at pictures and picking their favorites. They like it even more if they are in the pictures. Picking the pictures, choosing the template and deciding how to organize the photos can bring back the joy and excitement felt when the pictures were taken for everyone. Running the pictures through in one or more slideshows can make the task of sorting through the photos simpler.

Enjoy!

When the photo book is finished and has arrived you will have a quality, glossy printed book worthy of any coffee table that you can enjoy with friends and family for years. If you want to they can be given as gifts. Whether you print one book or a dozen it will be a lasting reminder of the fun you had on vacation.

Tips to Create the Perfect Baby Photobook

Capturing the magical moments of your baby’s first year is easier than ever with Elephoto’s photo books. You may have heard from mothers of older children that these moments are fleeting. Creating a baby photo book will help you preserve your precious memories forever. If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few pointers:

Organize Chronologically or Thematically

A good photo book is organized to tell a story, and the best way to do this is to group your pictures into specific time periods or particular events and activities. Chronological organization is an easy way for beginners to organize a baby book since you simply create a page for each month of your baby’s life.

To create a thematic photo book, dedicate a single page to major events in your baby’s life. Birth, coming home, holidays, baptism, first birthday and similar events make good themes for each page. In addition, you should create a few pages centering on everyday activities like eating or taking a bath. Don’t forget to include a page in the beginning of the book that’s dedicated to your pregnancy.

Don’t Miss the Firsts

Regardless of how you choose to arrange your baby’s photo book, be sure to capture all of his or her firsts. First bath, first smile, rolling over, first tooth, crawling, walking and first birthday are all important. You can probably think of more firsts that are unique to your baby and family.

Include Important People

The book is about your baby, but be sure to include plenty of photos with important people. Your baby will appreciate looking at these photographs when he is older.

Journaling

Be sure to include text that documents events; dates and names are especially important. Even if you think you’ll remember each moment forever, you should journal. Soon enough, your baby will be a teenager and the details will be hazy.

Less is More

When you’re designing your photo book, go with your instincts and create a layout that reflects your baby’s personality. However, don’t try to cram every photo you’ve taken into the book; instead choose a few special moments that stand out from each month of your baby’s first year.

Your friends and relatives will love browsing through this pictorial record of your baby’s first year, and when your baby is older, he will treasure the photo book that you lovingly created.

Capture Your Summer Vacation in a Photo Book

Whether you and your family are taking a road trip or a Caribbean cruise this summer, a photo book is an excellent way to capture your vacation adventures. With a personalized photo book, you can showcase your memories in ways that are unique and professional looking without losing any of the intimacy. Here are 3 tips to help you create the perfect summer vacation photo book…

Focus on a Theme

Obviously your photo book will have a theme – your summer vacation. But why not make it more specific? Choose a theme that centers around what you want your photo book to mean such as “A Day at the Beach” or “Camping in the Wilderness.” For a traveling abroad theme, try to include shots from the airport as well as the names of the places & cities you visited.

Add in the Extras

Your photobook doesn’t have to be just about photos! In fact, you could scan your ticket stubs, brochures, receipts or restaurant bills! Include those as part of your photo book so that you will always have a copy of the special “throwaway” items from your trip that often end up in the garbage. This is especially a good idea if you plan to make your summer vacation photo book have a timeline. Use plane tickets and photos of the airport at the beginning and then add items as you complete your book. This adds realism and ensures that those items that can be misplaced or lost will be remembered for years to come.

Have Fun

Some people get too caught up in the technicalities instead of simply using the photo book to remember what a great time you had. Take your time instead of hurrying things along just to get it done. The more time you take to gather all photos and items to include in your book, the more you’ll be happy with the final result. Also, before wrapping it up ask your family members if there is anything they’d like to add to the book. They can always come up with cool ideas you didn’t think about!

Elephoto can help you create the perfect photobook for your summer vacation. Learn more about our books here: http://www.elephoto.ca/Photo-Books.aspx

5 Events in Your Life That Definitely Call for a Photo Book

Life is short, and yet there are so many beautiful moments over the course of a lifetime that are worth immortalizing. With today’s technology, it is easier than ever before to create a lovely photo book that will help memories last forever. There are many photo opportunities from the moment a baby first enters the world, and the photo opportunities never stop. Here are a few important like events that we think should definitely be immortalized in an awesome photo book

Welcoming a New Baby

Who can argue with this one? Having a baby is such an important moment, full of joy and emotions for the whole family. It is also the perfect subject for the first photo book of someone’s life. Pictures of the new parents smiling with their newborn bundle of joy are perfect for a photo book. It is nice to have a photo record that a child can enjoy when he or she gets older, too. Including pictures of relatives makes the photo record even sweeter.

Every Birthday Is Special

Every birthday is a special occasion that is worthy documenting. Don’t we all wish we had a photo book of our 18th birthday? Unfortunately technology wasn’t there for many of us at the time! There are certain birthdays that are considered particularly significant. In particular, a child’s first birthday, quinceañera, sweet sixteen, 18th birthday, 21st birthday and every birthday that signifies the beginning of a new decade of life generally receive greater attention. However, any birthday can be memorialized in a photo book, and it’s even better if there is one for every year!

Going to the Prom

Going to the prom is a rite of passage for many teenagers and worthy of its own photo book. It can be fun to take pictures of couples dressed in their tuxedos and prom gowns, then include them in an album. Pictures can include shots of the limo, venue, flowers and everything else having to do with that special night.

Celebrate Graduation in Photos

Few of life’s events rival the excitement of graduating. Whether it is a high school or college graduation, parents should take plenty of pictures of the happy, smiling graduates as they prepare to embark on the next leg of the journey through life.

Weddings Must Be Preserved in Pictures

People take many pictures at weddings. The lucky bride and groom are dressed in their formal best, and the rest of the wedding party is dressed to match. All the guests wear their finest party attire, and everyone is filled with smiles and good will for the happy couple. Pictures of weddings help preserve every special detail of the happiest day of the bride and groom’s life together.

Can you think of any other life events that definitely call for a photo book? Share them below…