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Photo. Polaroid. Snapshot. Picture. Which ever you prefer to call them, if you’re a parent, you have them and you have ALOT of them! Documenting your child’s milestones (and by milestones we mean every move) is an enjoying task that every parent is faced with. Unfortunatly, a lot of these images never see the outside of a display screen. Unlike back in the day when pictures lived in disposable cameras and you prayed that at least half your roll would come out with no thumb over the lens, people have many more resources available to them for editing and developing photographs. Yes there are some things that should be done professionally. Celebrations like weddings & special events are usually better captured by a professional. Although there are some things you can do to cut costs. An example would be giving each table at the reception/party a disposable camera. Not only will you have hundreds more pictures to choose from but you’ll also get to see your event through the eyes of your guests! But after the wedding comes the honeymoon and after the honeymoon comes the children. So here are some Recession Smart tips & ideas to help you save while capturing your little ones special moments. We’ll start with great ways to take the pic, followed by editing it, then on to printing and finally displaying your photos.
STEP 1 Taking the Picture
We live in a digital age. Everyone has a cell phone and 90% of those cell phones have a camera. Besides your child, your cell phone is the one thing you always make sure you have when you leave the house. Making it the perfect tool to capture those spur of the moment moments. Cell phones can be super expensive but they fall in that “splurge” category. Their one of those items that we don’t mind spending a pretty penny on. So besides that one time purchase and your monthly bill of course, you can take as many pictures as your fingers can snap, for free! Some camera phones are admittedly better than others. Heres an overall ranking chart of some of the more popular phones, comparing their cameras :
A picture taken on a more expensive device might be slightly sharper than one taken on a lower ranking phone but there are so many editing tools available now that anyone can turn a so so pic into a fabulous poloroid. Which brings us to our next step..
Step 2 Editing Your Picture
There are now so many picture editing options available that the question has become not Can I edit ? but How and where am I going to edit. Our favorite online editing website is a new program called Ribbet.
Ribbet has numerous tools available for you to choose from. You can choose to edit a single picture or create a collage and apply their basic editing tools to crop, rotate, sharpen or resize your image. They have numerous effects, stickers, touch ups and frames allowing you to make your ordinary picture come alive. And the best part is to celebrate their website launch, a Ribbet premium account is totally free! ( Ribbet doesn’t state when this promotion will expire )
Another Recession Smart editing option is to take advantage of the apps available on your cell phone. Since most of your pictures are more than likely to be taken on your phone (see above) this might be more convenient than uploading them to your computer. Although applications differ from one phone to another, here is a list of free and very inexpensive photo apps that are available for both iPhones & Android Phones:
However you decide to edit your pictures the possibilities that are available are endless. So now that you have a beautifully edited picture, how do you take it from your phone/computer to your hand ?
Step 3 Printing
There use to be limited options when it came to printing photos. Now, theres numerous ways and numerous places printing can be done. You can send them to Wal-Mart, CVS and Walgreens online and have them printed for less than .20 a print. CVS along with Target, have Kodak Printing Kiosks located inside the store, that make it super easy to create photo books, greeting cards, calendars, picture movie DVD’s and a whole slew of other products that can be personalized from your digital photos. Find a kiosk near you and learn about other products on their website
The Kodak Kiosk can be used to create amazing things. And printing by uploading your images to a retailers website is also convenient. But the best Recession Smart way to print your photos, believe it or not, is right in your own home! We understand that printers, especially ones made for photo printing, can be pricey. But in the long run, it will save you the most money out of every other option. The best Recession Smart printer we recommend is a Canon PIXMA iP2702
This printer is rated 4 out of 5 stars, is easy to set up and easy to use, and was quoted as being ” a super value for the price! “, which comes in at a low $49.99. Thats a great deal for an ink jet printer that can print a 4×6 picture in less than 55 seconds, is compatible with both a windows system and a Mac system and has a built-in technology called Auto Photo Fix that automatically categorizes your images into one of five types – Portrait, Scenery, Night Scenery, Snapshot with Scenery, and Snapshot with Night Scenery – then applies optimal image and multi-zone exposure correction. Thats photography talk for ” it makes your pictures look amazing “. And of course, when your pictures look amazing, you want to display them. Which brings us to the last step …
Step 4 Display
You want to show off your little one and with so many spaces available to do so its easy to get carried away. Focus on a spot in your house that needs some TLC. Make sure that it’s a space thats well visited (you wouldn’t want to display your photos in the back of the pantry). Picture frames can be found anywhere! Both antique and modern ones would suit any room, so get creative! No one says you can’t introduce a new frame with an old one to the same space. Find them at yard sales, flea markets, friends and relatives and even the dollar store. You’d be surprised at some of the unique sizes and shapes they have for only a buck. Think, for $15, you could fill a whole wall. Another Recession Smart amazing design trick is to use stencils and wall decals along with your frames. They help fill up the space and look pretty cool to.
Get these online through website such as Google, Amazon, Etsy, StoreEnvy etc. Some cost less than $10. A beautiful wall decal for $10 and 10 different sized picture frames from a dollar store equals a $20 gasp and awe reaction from your guests when they see your creative method of home decorating. Displaying your child’s remarkable personality.. Priceless