I have gotten a few emails asking about how to get started digital or hybrid scrapping. Since most blog comments don't allow you the option to just reply back, I thought a post on the subject was in order. Here, here!
First, if you're thinking about digital scrapbooking, good for you! Get thy self over to www.digishoptalk.com and participate in their free online community. You can find freebies and more there. You can also ask questions and find out about new digital kit releases.
You want to make sure that your computer is capable of running a digital program like Photoshop Elements, Creative Suite, or Paint Shop Pro. I can't tell you the minimal required, but I can tell you that when I was doing it without a graphics card and only 1GB of memory, that baby was S L O W. My new laptop has 2GB of memory and a dedicated graphics card. It has made a world of difference in how quickly I can bang out pages. You should also strongly consider buying an external hardrive on which to store your digital pictures and kits. I can't stress BACK UP enough! You also want to look at more than a dial up connection - that will drive you batty on downloads, lol.
Next, you need software. It's mainly personal preference. I use and love Paint Shop Pro 8. I have 9, but I haven't installed it yet. Because I'm lazy, lol. Anyway, I really like PSP - but the majority of digital scrapbookers use Photoshop / Photoshop Elements. PSP is cheaper, but if you want a plethera of Actions and tools ready-made and at your fingertips, then Photoshop Elements is the way to go.
Finally, once your computer is equipped to handle the memory required by your new software, you need to upload your photos. You can leave them SOOC (Straight out of the camera) or edit them in your program for red eye, cropping, etc. Once your photos are uploaded and ready to scrap, you need some digital kits. In my opinion, the best places to find digital freebies are:
Don't be worried about signing up or becoming a registered user for most of these places. In most cases you will need to sign in to download freebies.
Other favorite shops:
Just by hunting around you will easily find papers and elements to suit your taste. Shabby, grungy, simple, alternative, whatever your little scrappin' heart desires! You might also want to consider something called "quick pages" or "quick fills"- or partially designed pages. They work like a template that you just fill in with your pictures and a few elements and you're done - great for getting your feet wet. You might also think of reading some designer blogs (check out those sites above and you'll see links to 'blog' on most of them) for ideas.
I guess all that's left would be to PLAY. Have fun. Break stuff. Bend the rules. Ask questions when you need to (can't stress www.digishoptalk.com enough!). Scraplift if you need to (I do it all the time!). When you're ready to print you will find a variety of resources, but my favorite is www.scrapbookpictures.com.
One last note for those ladies who are hybrid-curious. Try it out. See if you like it. I enjoyed being able to combine the quick satisfaction I got from working a digital page with the creative outlet I got from messing with paint and embellishments. So, I would finish a page digitally and leave off the title/alpha and most embellishments. I wrote down what I wanted to do to complete each page and then once it was printed, I sat down with my traditional supplies and went to town!
I'd love to hear some comments from those who are trying it out. Have fun!