Want to start doing something with your photos? Easily? Consistently? Photo books are not the answer — THIS is a better option! [Part 2]

This is part 2 of a two-part series. Find part 1 here!
Also: Video demonstration below. Don’t miss it!


On the surface, photo books offer a simple solution to our photo problems.

  • They can include a lot of photos.
  • They don’t require scissors, glue and stickers to make them visually interesting.
  • Just about anyone can learn to create them using online software.

However, in my last post, I laid out my reasoning for why — for those of us with TONS of photos stacking up in our camera rolls — photo books are not the best solution for making an attempt to enjoy our photos easily or consistently.

  • They work best if you have a single story to tell, one with a clear beginning and a clear end (like a wedding or a vacation).
  • They work best if you to include photos in chronological order.
  • You can’t rearrange pages later.
  • You can’t reuse the same page design over and over again to save yourself time.
  • You are limited by the design elements the software offers.
  • And more!

Thankfully, there is a simple solution that CAN help you easily and consistently do something with your photos.

In that same post, I made a case for using Adobe Photoshop to create digital scrapbook pages instead.

  • This will allow you to create pages on any topic at any time, and organize them in albums as you go. You can create pages with whatever photos make you happy today.
  • You can let go of the pressure to create in chronological order.
  • You are unlimited in the design elements you use on a page or in an album. You can go wild shopping and include elements from kits made by countless digital scrapbook kit designers!
  • You can use the same page design over and over again, if you’d like. In fact, creating albums using a template is one of the fastest and easiest ways to design an album!

And now we’ve landed on my favorite topic when it comes to digital scrapbooking! Templates.

If you are convinced Photoshop is the better way to go for digital scrapbooking and documenting your favorite photos and memories, then this might be your favorite thing about Photoshop!

Comparison: Building a scrapbook layout from scratch vs building it with a template

Templates are designed to make your life easier — and the process of creating pages incredibly fast and easy.

Photoshop templates include all of the elements of a layout, with placeholders for titles, journaling, photos, photo mattes and other embellishments.

All you have to do is open the template, add your photos, papers and embellishments, and clip everything into place. 

The hardest and most time-consuming part — figuring out where everything goes and how large each element should be — is done for you. So creating a page becomes quick and easy — while ensuring your finished pages are beautifully designed. It’s a win-win-win.

“Sketches with Superpowers”

For those of you who have been around the paper scrapbooking scene for awhile, you’re undoubtedly familiar with page sketches. These wildly popular blueprints for pages show a layout idea and then, if you like the design, you can use the sketch as a general framework for building the page.

They take some of the guesswork out of building a layout. They prevent you from the paralysis that can sometimes come when you find yourself staring a blank page, wondering where to start.

Photoshop templates are like sketches with superpowers. They encompass all of the best parts of sketches — and then some! Not only do they give you an idea of what your finished page will look like if you use them, but they take a huge chunk of the work out of the process. That’s because they’re not just a picture of a layout, but they’re layered, working documents that can be easily adjusted and customized.

Having an open Photoshop template available to help you start your layout is like having a sketch in front of you — but with all of the foundation-building, sizing, spacing and formatting already done.

As with sketches, you can see the framework of the layout before you begin, so you know the finished layout is going to be beautiful. Even better, though — you know it’s going to come together quickly, because all you have to do is add the stuff that makes the layout your own (your photos, papers and embellishments).

And if you’re not happy with the placement of that one element? You can simply move it where you’d like it to be. Simple. Fast. Fabulous.

Watch how fast you can build a page using a template!

Of course, the best way to demonstrate the power of a template is to show you one in action!

It’s time for a sneak peek of my upcoming course,  Digital Scrapbooking 101! (You can sign up for the class beginning July 31!)

In this video, I will walk through the creation of an album page using a template. It’s one of the final lessons of the course (number 15, out of 16 total). The first 14 lessons will teach you the ins and outs of Photoshop, how to set up your workspace and how to use the tools you need to know in order to scrapbook digitally in Photoshop. We will also spend a fair amount of time walking through the building of this layout from scratch.

All of that content is important and helpful to watch and learn as you begin to get a feel for using Photoshop. But by Lesson 15, the magic of Photoshop is starting to become clear! The page we build over the course or more than 10 lessons (in the first two modules of the course) takes more than an hour to create from scratch. But when you watch the video below, you’ll see that creating the exact same layout from a template can take fewer than 10 minutes!

So take a peek and see what you think!

Then, if you like the idea of learning how to use Adobe Photoshop — and quickly and easily creating beautiful scrapbook pages from templates (and quickly building a library of professionally designed templates you can use over and over again), be sure to join the Story Squad waitlist, so we can notify you when Digital Scrapbooking 101 and the Story Squad Membership are ready for you! Hint: They’re launching in just a couple of weeks!

1 thought on “Want to start doing something with your photos? Easily? Consistently? Photo books are not the answer — THIS is a better option! [Part 2]”

  1. Pingback: Want to start doing something with your photos? Easily? Consistently? Photo books are NOT the best answer! [Part 1] – Story Squad by CorComm Creative

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