Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tips of the Week - All Ears Newsletter

I just opened this week's All Ears newsletter (if you haven't signed up yet, you should) and there in the tips section is the tip I submitted last week about synchronizing cameras when arriving at the parks! I actually wrote about that in one of my previous blogs. This is a great way to start the day! :-)

I am especially excited that it is my third time being in the newsletter. That is the geat thing about All Ears. The advice you get is from people who have actually experienced Walt Disney World - the writers for the website, as well as the fans of the website. By All Ears compiling these tips from actual guests of Walt Disney World, you are getting tried and true advice, and you can't beat that!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Organizing Those Magical Memories and a Quick Tip for Synchronizing Your Travel Party's Digital Cameras

One thing I never have a shortage of after a Disney vacation is photos, videos and special memories to jot down. The challenge is always to find a new way to show them off. Before even getting into all the ways you can share your photos, here is one lesson I learned the hard way. If you are travelling in a large group and you will all be sharing your photos, synchronize your digital cameras to the same time. It will make it a lot easier when you return home and load all the pictures onto your computer. You can then organize them by date/time taken. On our last trip, we took over 900 photos (3 families). My mom's camera was about 5 minutes off from mine and my sister in law lives in another time zone, so her camera was off by an hour. Now, to organize those was quite the feat to say the least and probably more time consuming than most photo projects I have ever attempted. So, synchronize those cameras when you arrive at your resort!

Photo Albums: I think this method of archiving your trip is probably the most used. I try to purchase a photo album on each trip from the parks so as soon as I get my pictures developed, I can organize and add them right away. Of course, on our last 2 trips, there have been three of us taking pictures, which means we have an excessive number of pictures to choose from and sometimes a photo album would just not be big enough. Plus, it would cost quite a bit of money to get all those developed. So, I order my most favorite for the photo album and save the rest for other projects.

Scrapbooks: I am somewhat new to scrapbooking. I resisted starting earlier because I knew once I started I would never be able to stop. Well, it took just one walk through the scrapbooking aisle at a local craft store and here I am up to my elbows in scrapbooking projects. I have started my Disney scrapbook and absolutely love working on it! There are so many Disney scrapbooking supplies out there. While at Walt Disney World, I try to pick up some scrapbooking supplies which are unique to the park. But I find most of the things I need at local craft stores. Another place to find specific Disney layouts and supplies is from Mouse Memories. This site has just about anything you could be looking for to create Disney pages. I purchase all my pieces by page, though you can certainly purchase a Disney kit with all the pieces you need to create great pages. I even purchased for my sister-in-law a pre-made Disney scrapbook by Hallmark. So even if you do not consider yourself an official scrapbooker, there are ways to scrapbook without investing too much money. But be aware, it is easy to get sucked in!

Slide shows or Photo Montage movies: I am not talking about the old fashion slide projector, though that would work too if you like that. I am talking about digital slide shows you can create on your computer for viewing on your computer or even your TV. There are several types of software out there you can use to create a movie with corresponding music. I recently downloaded free software from Microsoft and created a movie of our trip using just photos. It is called Windows Photo Story 3. It is not the most efficient software, but it is free and I created a great movie - in my humble opinion - though it was extremely time consuming. I had found a video/photo montage on You Tube of someone else's vacation. I loved it! When I e-mailed the creator, he let me know that he used Pinnacle Studio 12 to create it. I recently purchased the software, and am hoping to load it today and try my hand at creating a movie that not only uses my photos but also my videos. I'll keep you posted on how it goes. Of course, there is so much technology and software out there that you can probably create anything you can imagine by just investing the time and money you need to create it.

Photobooks: There are several companies out there that you can upload your photos to their website and create a photobook of your vacation. These sites are a great way to create a memory book, but some of them have limited page layouts to choose from. This means you may have all your favorite photos, but you may have to sacrifice the look of your pages. Disney's Photopass site also gives you the option of uploading your photos and creating a book with Disney created pages. The pages are really cute, and include characters as part of the layouts. Also, by using this site, they give you access to official photos of the theme parks, resorts, attractions and shows. I recently noticed that when you purchase a photobook from them, for an extra cost, you can get a video slide show of your photobook.

I could probably go on and on about how you can archive your photos and videos. Feel free to share how you preserve your memories. If you have a montage on You Tube, feel free to share the link (please make sure it is nothing offensive or I will remove the link). Well, I am off to test out my new software and create yet another great reminder of our trip to the happiest place on Earth - Walt Disney World!