Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Questions about Digital Scrapbooking

As with any hobby, you can spend as much or as little as you would like on digital scrapbooking. But to get started, at minimum, you will need to spend: 

You might also choose to buy:

  • a Story Squad membership, which will get you 12 pages’ worth of Photoshop templates (easy-to-use blueprints of layouts) a month. These are tools you will find to be an invaluable way to save a TON of time AND produce a ton of layouts!
  • digital scrapbooking kits (which usually cost around $10-$15 for a kit of papers, embellishments and sometimes a decorative alphabet that you can use over and over again)

Yes, I’m positive! Photoshop can be intimidating, but I am here to walk you through every step and give you the resources (workbook, PDF bonuses, and audio and video lessons) you need to be able to master what you need to know in order to create digital scrapbook layouts.

You don’t need to know a lot! In fact, there are just 9 things you need to know within Photoshop in order to create layouts from scratch and using templates. Our bonus PDF, The 9 Photoshop Things You Need to Know to Start Producing Digital Scrapbook Pages, will prove to be a valuable resource for you — both while you’re taking the course and for keeping handy as you master the ins and outs.

There is always more to learn in Photoshop than what one course can cover (we offer a membership program that will give you access to future learning labs and courses that can help you continue to grow), but to get started, you can do a LOT with the basics!

Also, remember the first time you used a new software program — maybe Microsoft Outlook or Excel or even Word? The first time you open the program, it’s a little scary. But after you use it a few times, it gets easier and easier. The same is true with Photoshop. I know you can do this!

This hobby is absolutely best done on a laptop or desktop computer. You’ll want to be able to use a mouse for navigation; edit, save and find photos and layouts quickly and easily; and zoom in to portions of the layout that might be hard to see. The small screen of a smartphone is simply too limiting and difficult to use for design purposes.

That said, there is a version of Photoshop for the iPad. I personally don’t use it, and I can’t speak to its power or limitations as of today, but it’s possible that it will allow some flexibility when you want to design on the go. Just remember that layered Photoshop documents are notoriously large, and saving large documents only to the cloud might present some challenges.

I go into detail about the available versions of Photoshop during the course, so be sure to listen to Lesson 2. The short story is, for the best results (and access to hundreds of free fonts!), I recommend that you go with the Photography Plan for $9.99/month. You can purchase a plan by going here. (I’ll get a small portion of your first month’s fee if you use this link.)

There are a lot of different plans from which to choose, but I recommend the Photography Plan, which is just $9.99/month. It gets you the Photoshop app, but it also gets you access to Adobe Fonts, which is a gold mine for scrapbookers (hundreds of fonts are included for no additional cost)!

Here are FOUR BIG REASONS why:

With Shutterfly, Snapfish or other design-online solutions…

You must have a start and finish in mind before you create and print. This is HUGE!
You must work in chronological order.
You give up control of your layouts.
You have to finish an entire book before you can enjoy your layouts.

These are some serious things to consider, which is why we have written an entire blog post about them! Be sure to check it out!

We also have a bonus resource inside the Digital Scrapbooking 101 course called 8 Ways Online Photo-Book Software Can Stop You in Your Tracks. It’s free when you sign up for the course!

Photoshop offers you much more freedom to create albums you love!

Story Squad is making it easy to prioritize your photos! Included with your membership is a copy of The 20-Minute Plan for Creating 50+ Layouts a Year, which outlines what you can do in just 20 minutes a day, a few days a week, in order to be ultra-productive as a scrapbooker! It also includes a habit tracker to help you make scrapbooking a habit, so you can produce layout after layout of your favorite photos and memories. You can do this in 20 minutes a day — easily!

Do you spend at least 20 minutes a day mindlessly wandering on your phone? (Don’t we all?!)

Do you watch at least 20 minutes of television a day?

Do you read a novel for 20 minutes a day?

If you do anything else for 20 minutes a day, you can do digital scrapbooking, too!

Questions about the course, Digital Scrapbooking 101

Digital Scrapbooking 101 is an online, self-paced course that includes 16 lessons and 4 hours of instruction — plus lots of bonus goodies! — for just $39.

Good news! Story Squad is just getting started, but it’s now my full-time job! I am 100% committed to teaching our students and members how to use Photoshop to create amazing layouts.

Digital Scrapbooking 101 covers the most-often used tools and features, but if you’re wanting to up your digital scrapbooking game, you can join our membership program for ongoing courses, learning labs, resources and more. We are starting with this course, but as time goes on, our offerings will become more extensive. I have plans to show you how to create custom journaling spaces (picture your text wrapped precisely around a star shape or along the arc of a circle), use and create digital stamps to add texture, create your own patterns and so much more!

As our library and offerings grow, the value of this membership will grow, too. The price is likely to increase over time, but if you join now, you’ll be locked in at the current rate for the life of your membership. So join today!

Reach out to your fellow digital scrapbookers on the public Facebook group, Story Squad – Digital Scrapbooking. If you still don’t get your question answered, consider joining the Story Squad membership program. Inside, you’ll have access to once-a-month Q-and-A sessions with me!

The kit that comes with the course includes 48 papers (solids and patterns) and a grunge border overlay. For the layout we will build in this course, you will need a minimum of two papers and the overlay file. We will build our own flag/ribbon element, as well as other portions of what we will use as our title-block graphic.

The layout is intentionally simple, because simple design often equates to timeless design, meaning the layouts you create will look amazing (not outdated) 10 years from now.

That said, we love adding elements to our layouts to add character, too! So, if you join the Story Squad membership program, you will also receive a free School Days kit that includes 99 additional items (40 elements, 18 word-art titles, 41 papers).

If you don’t wish to purchase a membership, you will also be able to purchase this kit within the Story Squad shop at a later date.

Yes! If you join the Story Squad membership, you will also receive a full set of School Portraits Album templates, including templates for:

  • A front cover
  • A title page
  • A layout that includes two portraits (like the one in this course), but facing the other direction
  • A class photos layout
  • A layout that includes just one portrait, instead of two
  • Five, two-page layouts for senior photos (10 pages in all!)
  • An end page, with space for a letter to your graduate and a cap-and-gown photo
  • An inside back cover page, for including lyrics to a favorite song or other quotes
  • A back cover

This set of templates has a value of $50 and is available for free with your Story Squad membership. If you choose not to become a member, it will also be available for sale in the Story Squad shop at a later date.

When you first sign up, you’ll receive immediate access to the course Resources section, as well as all of the modules, so you can get started and keep going as quickly as you’d like.

The School Days kit mentioned above, and the School Portraits Album template pack are both included in the immediate downloads inside the membership, so you can download them as soon as you’d like.

Questions about the Story Squad Membership

Think back on how you’ve spent your money in the last 30 days. Are there times when you spent $15 without thinking twice about it? Did you buy a meal for two (or maybe for your entire family!) at a fast-food joint? Did you pay for a Netflix, Hulu or Disney Plus membership? Did you buy yourself a cute shirt? A pair of shoes? 

Is it fair to say you regularly spend $15 a month, minimum, on something that brings you joy?

Now, how much are your photos worth to you? Is it fair to say that your family photos and memories have at least as much value as that one shirt you purchased (and will eventually pass on to Goodwill)? Or that Netflix membership? Or that meal at your favorite restaurant?

Membership in Story Squad isn’t a splurge — it’s an investment! It’s an investment in your family memories. And it’s worth it!

It really is just $15 a month! This investment includes the Digital Scrapbooking 101 course, three pages’ worth of layout templates delivered to your inbox each week, at least one extra resource (checklist, journaling starters, etc.) a month, one Q-and-A session a month, and access to our private Facebook community, where you can win prizes for sharing layouts, get inspiration and motivation, and interact with other members.

If your question is, “How much will digital scrapbooking cost me?” the answer depends on how many digital scrapbooking kits you want to purchase for your layouts. Just like any hobby, you can go wild and purchase everything you see, or you can be choosy and only purchase what you need. The good thing is, it’s all reusable! Unlike paper scrapbooking supplies, digital kits (papers,  embellishments, alphabets and journaling cards) can all be used over and over again, an infinite number of times! It’s a true bargain!

The only other thing you’ll need is Adobe Photoshop.  You can go bare-minimum here: The $9.99 Photography Plan is all you need! And if you’d prefer to purchase the software outright, you can find Photoshop Elements for a one-time cost of $99.99

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