To get started, you need four things: a program, digital scrapping kits (papers and embellishments), digital or scanned photos, and know-how.
Let's talk about the program first. There are many, many options. Here is a list of some of the most popular, with links and prices.
- Adobe Photoshop--the most powerful program available, it packs a price--$600-$650. You can get it at a discount if you have (or are) a student. That's how we got our copy. You can really do anything with Photoshop. It's what all the pros use.
- Adobe Photoshop Elements--a watered-down version of Photoshop, it's easier to learn and much cheaper, at about $100. You can also get this at reduced student pricing. You will probably be able to do just about anything you want with Photoshop Elements. It is very popular with digital scrappers.
- Paint Shop Pro--Also very popular among scrappers, it costs from $70-$80. You can do almost anything in this program.
- GIMP--This program is free! I've seen a few scrappers use it, but not many. It might be harder to learn new techniques in because there aren't as many tutorials available online, especially tutoritals directed specifically at scrappers. But it's free!
How to choose
What do I use? Adobe InDesign. It's page layout software that's used to make books and magazines and such. It has a steep learning curve, just like Photoshop, but I used to work in it eight hours a day for a year. I'm really comfortable in it, and I love the way it works. I used Photoshop sometimes and for supplementary special effects.
Which brings me to choice. How do you choose? Well, if there's a graphics program you already have or are already comfortable in, that's a good place to start. That's why I use InDesign--I love it and I'm good with it.
I've used all of these programs (but not for scrapping), and I have to say that if I had to choose between these four, I'd choose Adobe Photoshop Elements. I love Adobe products, and they work well and are supported well.
Just do me a favor. Don't use a word processor or PowerPoint. I know everyone's familiar with them, but they're not graphics programs. Your pages won't look pretty. You will likely lose resolution in your photos, and you don't want to compromise your family memories!
Next time, we'll talk about the fun part--kits! I'll leave you with a little freebie to help you get started. Click on the image or here to download. Enjoy!