15 years of dispelling myths
Over the past 15 years, as I have been scrapbooking exclusively in digital format, I have heard a LOT of repeated hesitations from people who are attracted to the idea of digital scrapbooking, but are convinced that it surely must not be for them.
And over and over again, I find myself trying to explain why their hesitations are rooted in misinformation and misunderstandings. They’re myths, and I make it my job to bust them.
Four of these myths come up over and over again.
The four most common myths about digital scrapbooking
You have to understand a ridiculously complicated program (Photoshop).
You have to be tech-y in order to be able to do digital scrapbooking, much less enjoy it!
You need lots of free time.
You have to be creative.
Thankfully, though, they are just myths — and each one of them can easily be dispelled. So stay tuned for the next four weeks, as we go one by one through each of the myths and explain the truths. You’ll be relieved to know that things are much easier than they seem!
Myth #1: You have to understand a ridiculously complicated program (Photoshop).
Let’s start with the big one.
Photoshop has a reputation of being a big beast of a program that is complicated and difficult. After all, it can do a million and one things, and some of those things do seem a little bit like magic.
BUT — and this is a big “but” — you don’t have to know the majority of the things it can do in order to use Photoshop for digital scrapbooking. In fact, there are just nine things you need to know!
The only nine things you need to know inside Photoshop in order to begin digital scrapbooking are:
How to set things up
How to check your photos for resolution
How to use the Layers palette
How to move things around the layout
How to select an area and draw a shape
How to clip items together
How to type, edit and format text
How to add a stroke (frame) around a shape
How to save your work.
It really is that simple!
How you come to learn those nine things is up to you…
…but basically, there are two options.
- You can try to teach yourself.
- You can take a course.
Try to teach yourself.
I honestly don’t recommend trying to teach yourself.
For one thing, Photoshop is not an intuitive program, and if you attempt to just try to open a document and use the menu items to get done what you want to do, you’ll quickly hit a point where you have no idea what to do next. Things just don’t make sense on the surface.
You can also try to do a Google or YouTube search and watch videos and read tutorials on how to learn the ins and outs of the program. But, as we mentioned, it’s a powerful program, and a quick recent YouTube search for Photoshop tutorials yielded what I am sure was thousands of results. (YouTube cleverly doesn’t show you the number of search results, because it doesn’t want you to be instantly intimidated!)
The point is, if you try to teach yourself Photoshop via tutorials and videos, you’re going to be sifting through countless hours of mismatched, disorganized content.
Take a course.
Your second option — taking a course — is clearly a better choice. Especially if you take a course that is designed with the specific intent of teaching you how to use Photoshop for the purpose of creating digital scrapbook pages, you’ll find that having a guide walk you through a process, step-by-step, in an organized fashion, will make learning this program a breeze.
Not only will you save tons of time (because the content, what you really need to know, is already curated for you) compared with watching a hodgepodge selection of online videos, you’ll learn tips and tricks for being productive and staying focused on the task at hand, as well.
In the end, it’s not that complicated.
As you’re taking a course, with a guide walking you through the process, step by step, you’ll quickly realize that learning Photoshop isn’t any harder than learning any other software or app. Remember the first time you opened a program like Microsoft Outlook or Excel? They probably seemed a bit intimidating, too, but with a little use and perhaps someone to guide you through it, you eventually became a confident user. Today, those programs (or any other one you use on a daily basis) might be a breeze.
The same can be true with Photoshop.
So yes, the program is complicated, but learning the basics — and ignoring what you don’t need to know — is not.
Consider Myth #1 busted!
We have two resources for you as you begin to tackle Myth #1 in your mind.
Digital Scrapbooking 101
The first is an online course, Digital Scrapbooking 101.
In this course, we will walk through Adobe Photoshop side-by-side, so you can learn to use the software’s most important tools to produce scrapbook layouts you can print, hold in your hand, tuck into albums and share with your family and friends for years — generations, even — to come!
With this course, you’ll go from frustrated family-photo fanatic to memory-masterpiece maker in 30 days or less — even if you’re crazy-busy, have tens of thousands of photos trapped on your phone and are intimidated by Photoshop!
The 9 Photoshop Things…
The second is a free PDF resource called “The 9 Photoshop Things You Need to Know to Start Producing Digital Scrapbook Layouts.” This resource will walk you through those nine things I mentioned above and is a great resource to keep by your side as you take Digital Scrapbooking 101 — or as you start to teach yourself how to use Photoshop with the specific goal of creating pages and albums of your favorite photos and memories.
While this resource is not a substitute for taking a course, it’s the next-best thing. And if you’re not ready to take a course, it’s a place to start. Get your free copy.