Create your own photo book & make moments last a lifetime!

Creating a Summer Photo Project

Hi everyone! I’m Megan Alter, the Albelli summer photographer. Over the coming months I’ll be giving you advice on various subjects to help you get the most from your summer shots. Today we’re talking about photo projects!

I’m sure you have a summer holiday planned, and with just a little preparation, you’ll be able to capture every memorable moment of it. Here are my top five tips to creating great photo projects:

1. Narrow things down. Try to focus your creativity on a specific subject you’re passionate about. It could be sailing, wildlife, or whatever you find intriguing.

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2. Get creative with your subject. I’d encourage you to be brave. Try new angles. New compositions. Keep your eyes open for new techniques and give it a go. You could even give your kids a camera to capture things from their point of view.

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3. Create a mood board. Collect images of things you love. Use a theme or colour to inspire your project. A great place to start could be Albelli’s summer photo contest themes: Sun, Motion, Landscapes and Night.

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4. Location scouting. Think ahead and plan great places to shoot. Somewhere with natural light is best, and I’ve always been a fan of outdoor locations.

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5. Tell your story, one image at a time. I’d recommend making a list of images you want. Perhaps photos on the road, games, summer foods or close-ups of hands and feet. By planning ahead it will help you tell the story through photos later on, perhaps by creating a photo book for example.

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I’m always very keen to emphasise to everyone that you don’t need to be a professional photographer to take amazing photos. Enthusiasm, enjoyment and a little preparation will always create get results!

Keep your eye out for my blog updates and social media posts, as I’ll be back again soon to give you even more helpful tips.

So do you already have an idea on what your photo project will be about?

Until next time!

Megan x

http://meganalter.com

3 days ago 0 Comments Short URL

Taking photos in the sun

Hi everyone! I’m Megan Alter, the Albelli summer photographer. I’ll be sharing all my tips and tricks over the coming months to help you take creative photos that you’ll be proud to share.

And today I’d like to talk to you about taking photos in the sun. I’ve always found that sunny days make for lovely photos, but taking them in the sun can be difficult. To guide you, I’ve put together my top five tricks:

1. Create silhouettes: Place the sun behind what you’re photographing, creating a black outline. You will lose detail, but it will also highlight the outline of the subject’s shape.

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2. Use a flash: Using a flash can fill in the shadow created on your subject when the sun’s in the background. This creates a bright shiny, summery look.

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3. Create lens flare: As you photograph into the sun, it will reflect into your lens producing unique shapes and colours. These lightly coloured circles can create great emotion in a photo.

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4. Play with shadows: Look for interesting shadows that tell the story of your environment. Long, dark shadows add a dramatic flare!

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5. Capture reflections: Sunlight intensifies reflection, so try photographing your subject showing their reflection on water, a window, or even a metal surface.

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With these new tips it’s time to go out and capture some amazing photos. If you don’t get a perfect shot first time, keep trying. I promise you’ll get there. Once you have something you love, why not enter it into the Albelli Summer Photo contest? Competitions are a great way to get exposure and some feedback on your photos. Plus, there are some great prizes up for grabs.

Keep your eye out for my blog updates or social media posts, as I’ll be back again soon to give you even more helpful tips. Of course, you might be able to teach me something too, what tricks do you use on a sunny day?

Until next time!

Megan x

http://meganalter.com

1 week ago 0 Comments Short URL

Camera shy?

Brits would rather take a selfie than ask someone to snap them

Research reveals a third of Brits (36%) admit they most enjoy looking back at pictures of themselves

The selfie phenomenon and rapid rise of selfie sticks could be fuelled by the fact that Brits are camera shy, with almost a third (27%) stating they would rather take a selfie than ask another person to take a picture of them due to embarrassment!

According to the findings of our research, 59% of 18-24 year olds – arguably the most selfie obsessed generation – felt too embarrassed to ask another person to take a picture of them, with 35% opting to take selfie sticks on holiday with them compared to one in ten Brits (10%) who would take a selfie stick along on their trip.

Indeed 36% of Brits admit they most enjoy looking back at pictures of themselves and when Brits go abroad the selfie-obsession heightens, with holidaymakers admitting to taking an average of six different types of selfies a day. These images include simple selfies (29%), hot-dog leg selfies (13%) and ‘belfies’ (13%) – perhaps showing that we are fast becoming a narcissistic nation who value images of ourselves above those taken while enjoying the break with friends and family.

Yet, despite the continuous rise of the selfie, half of Brits (50%) find images of other people’s selfies very irritating with people pouting (50%) and those taken infront of the mirror (46%) topping the list.

When it comes to selfies, Brits rival the likes of selfie-obsessed celeb Kim Kardashian, with 40% taking 10 selfies a week, and 30% keeping up to 50 of these photos on their phone.

The research revealed that 18-24 year olds are the biggest selfie culprits with half of them (50%) storing 50 selfies on their phone, compared to 18% of the over-55s. Interestingly, 40% of the 25-34 year old age group claim to not take selfies as it’s too self-involved.

The poll explains why the photo specialist has seen a marked increase in people printing photographs of themselves, with 35% of 18-24s and even a further 17% of over 45s admitting to having printed out selfies.

In response to this demand, Albelli will be introducing its special selfie album available for summer so happy selfie-snappers can create their own selfie photobooks.

Keith Hanson, general manager of Albelli UK said: “Our research suggests that while on holiday, Brits become even more selfie-obsessed than usual, with selfie sticks becoming an essential holiday item.

“This is likely due to the fact there are a huge number of selfie photo opportunities whether it’s capturing images infront of landmarks, lying on a sun bed on the beach, eating ice cream or sipping cocktails by the pool.

“We’ve seen a rise in the number of people printing selfies so we’re pleased to announce the launch of Albelli’s selfie album where you can keep all of your holiday memories in one place.”

2 weeks ago 0 Comments Short URL

Picture Your Summer Photo Contest

From memorable family holidays to adventures into the unknown, we’re sure you’ll be taking some original and creative photos this summer. But rather than hide them away, enter them to our photo contest for a chance to win a £150 Albelli voucher (and photo products every week on our facebook page)… So don’t be shy!

There are four photography themes you can enter your best photos into at any time throughout the contest: Sun, Landscapes, Motion and Night. Anything goes, but the more creative the better! You’ll find some great pro tips for each theme from our summer photographer Megan Alter on our Facebook page and our blog.

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Entering is really easy. Just go to our Facebook page to upload your photo, or tag it on Instagram or Twitter with #pictureyoursummer. Remember to add your chosen photo theme (Night, Motion etc) in your caption. The more likes you get the more chance you have of winning, so share your pics with everyone! You can enter as many times as you like before 13th September 2015, so don’t hold back – enter all your best pictures. *

Keep checking our Facebook page for our Photo of the Week (and the chance to win weekly photo products), and we’ll announce the overall winner on the 16th September 2015.

So, do you already have an idea of what you could enter?

Good luck!

The Albelli Team.

*Terms and conditionals apply

2 weeks ago 0 Comments Short URL

Meet the Albelli summer photographer

There’s a wonderfully long summer ahead of us just waiting to be captured. To help you take beautiful shots, whatever the situation, we’ve enlisted the services of professional photographer Megan Alter. She’ll be dropping in throughout the summer to give you useful hints and tips to help you take better photos. You’re going to love it.

We’ll hand over to Megan to introduce herself.

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“I graduated from Syracuse University’s School of Visual and Performing Arts and since then I’ve been lucky enough to have my work showcased in Good Light photography magazine, Light Works Gallery in New York and many more.

I love to pass on what I’ve learnt about photography through courses and workshops in Amsterdam. In fact, in August I became the Educational Director of the Amsterdam Photoclub, a large community of photographers with over 1,300 members. I now teach over 100 students a year, and I’m looking forward to showing everyone how to develop their skills too.”

We’ll be featuring Megan’s tips on our blog and social channels throughout the summer, so check back soon to catch up on the latest.

The Albelli Team

4 weeks ago 0 Comments Short URL

Picture your summer

Dust off your swimming costume, dig out your sandals and grab your camera – summer is here. It’s the perfect time to think about capturing great shots of happy memories with friends and family.

Like us, you probably take most pictures on your summer holidays enjoying plenty of sunshine, the odd adventure and travelling to new and interesting places. To help you capture the perfect shot over the coming weeks, we’ll be posting expert tips from our guest professional photographer, Megan Alter. She’ll be giving away the secrets to success on how to photograph moments in direct sunlight, in motion, at night and getting the most from landscapes.

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Rather than hide your wonderful images on a hard drive, why not create a photo book or wall art to share with family? Start thinking about how you can make the most of your summer memories with our photo products.

Stay tuned to the Albelli blog, Twitter feed, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook page or sign up to our newsletter for all the latest expert tips, inspiration, competitions and amazing prizes!

And finally, we’d love to know what you’ll be taking photos of this summer. Care to share?

The Albelli Team.

1 month ago 0 Comments Short URL

Our amazing iPad app: photo books at your fingertips!

Now you can create amazing photo books on-the-go with our new, easy to use iPad app. So rather than ease into a good book this summer, you could create your very own photo book instead – anywhere, anytime!

To get started simply download it for free from the app store here. Once up and running you’ll have your photo book created in no time! Just like online, there’s a large range of layouts to choose from, plus an inspiring mix of effects and filters to give you the freedom to add those personal touches. And you can even add captions in different fonts.

As you would expect, we’ve made it really simple to import all your favourite images from Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox and of course, your iPad. Getting them exactly as you want them on the page is just as easy, with a simple swish of the finger.

Once you’ve completed your photo book you can share it with friends and family right from the app – so everyone else can enjoy your masterpiece!

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Perfect for lazing on the beach or perhaps the flight home from paradise, get creating on our free iPad app today. What will you create?

To go straight to the app store, just click here!

The Albelli Team

1 month ago 0 Comments Short URL

Apps apps apps!

Have some fun experimenting with your mobile phone photos. We’ve compiled a list of apps that will help improve your picture quality. They’re also based on level of difficulty – so if you’re still new to photo editing apps, you can start off easy and work your way up!

And you can always check back with our Creator Tool to see whether your pics pass the quality check with our smiley guide and icons. So what are you waiting for? Check out the apps below!

**For Android**

Camera MX (FREE)
Perfect for the beginner, it’s a fun and simple photo tool that’s easy to use. You have basic editing tools such as cropping, brightness and contrast along with classic features like zoom and a self-timer.

It has a bunch of filters with really cool effects for all your photos. A big bonus is that Camera MX allows these filters to be viewed in real time – so you see direct results on your photos before you snap!

Using GPS info, it also lets you pinpoint exactly where your pictures were taken. You can create a slideshow with amazing transitions and photo filters, pair it with your favourite tune and then easily share them on Facebook, Instagram, Flickr etc.

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Camera Zoom FX Premium (£1.99)
A camera stabiliser with an indicator? Check. Full screen shutter, so you can tap anywhere to activate auto focus? Check. Say goodbye to unfocused and blurry photos and hello to good quality snapshots!

This app supports the clever Voice Activated mode so you can capture photos just by saying something loud to the camera or even whistling! Another feature is burst mode – which takes up to 10 photos in 1 second, making it perfect for action shots and pets.

It’s a photo editing playground with over 40 fun filters and effects, ranging from frames, colours and filters for you to experiment with. You can even get creative with an addictive randomiser effect button that is guaranteed to keep you tapping!

Camera 360 Ultimate (FREE)

A complete camera enhancement tool for users who want the world at their fingertips! It’s got a wide range of amazing effects and features, giving your mobile snaps a professional look.

For the selfie addicts, Camera 360 Ultimate as an alternate shooting mode dedicated solely for you! Magic Skin has filters that are designed to smooth out wrinkles, remove dark under eye circles and make your lips redder thereby helping your portraits look better.

It consolidates all your photos in a cloud platform where you can manage, edit and share them all from one place! You also have the option to pick and save your preferred Camera Mode as well as your favourite filters, giving you the freedom to customise your app.

**For iOS**

Camera + (£2.29)

A rather popular camera replacement app, think of Camera + as an upgrade from your standard camera. It has the ability to set exposure and focus and lock them in place, a stabiliser and an anti-shaking setting. It also has live preview for your effects and filters.

Its Clarity function works like HDR, bringing out details from your photos and improving its quality. You can use this feature with underexposed images and even overexposed ones, like the ones taken in the shade on a sunny day.

And finally, this app also has a cloud function separate from your camera roll called Lightbox. As you snap, they’ll appear on Lightbox and you can conveniently manage, edit, share or save them from here. Choosing to save photos here stores them to your camera roll, so only the best ones make it to your album.

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VSCO Cam (FREE)

If you follow some of the popular photographers on Instagram, chances are that they use VSCO Cam. And there are bunch of reasons why. With a minimalist interface, once you get used to the layout, it lets you create great looking shots in only a few steps.

VSCO Cam allows unique creative control with advanced camera controls. They have nice pre-set filters for your photos and of course you have the option of fine-tuning them as you like.

Clicking on the wrench button will take you to traditional photo editing tools like cropping, saturation, exposure etc. When you’re done editing your pictures, you can simply save them to your camera library or share them. VSCO Cam’s Sync tool automatically syncs up your VSCO photos across your devices.

ProCamera (£3.99)

There’s a reason why this app is called ProCamera – it’s because it mimics some DSLR functions into your smartphone. It actually contains a manual so you can familiarise yourself with its functions.

It has a detailed control panel with Night Camera mode and a 3D Tiltmeter so your pictures are always straight and aligned. Its HDR functions are accurate enough for you to snap fast moving objects clearly, without that ghost effect.

This app offers more than 70 pre-set filters and effects which are grouped into categories for easy navigation. It also uses Lightbox – a cloud sharing feature separated from your camera roll. Manage, save and share your photos here without clogging up your library with all your snaps.

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We hope this list gets you excited about the endless possibilities you can achieve with your mobile pics! So get out there and start downloading! With a few swipes and clicks, you’ll be equipped with the best quality photos to create gorgeous keepsakes with all your best memories.

3 months ago 0 Comments Short URL

Adapting your phone snaps for larger products!

Last week, we offered some ideas about what you could do with your countless mobile phone pictures. We showed you how mobile pics are the perfect match for our smaller photo products like our size M photo books and phone cases. And now we’ve got some tips for using your phone pics on our larger products.

From your phone wallpaper to wall art

Imagine a spontaneous moment taken on your mobile phone, printed on beautiful wall art hung in your home. Whether it’s of candid smiles from your children, beautiful nature landscapes or from your last family holiday, you can turn your mobile phone photos into stunning masterpieces!

If you want to create wall art by using just ONE picture, smaller sized wall art – anything 60 x 40cm and below – would work best with your mobile phone photos.

You can even go bigger and create beautiful wall art with our larger sizes. Got some favourite pictures you’ve uploaded onto Instagram? You can use them on our wall art by creating a collage.

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Extra tip: You can (in most cases) choose the largest wall art format as long as you make a collage of at least 6 images.

And remember the smaller the image used on the product, the better its quality. So go wild with your collage!

The Creator Tool will automatically check the quality of your photos for you. Have you familiarised yourself with our smileys and warning icons yet? If you haven’t, here’s a refresher course for you!

For all our other products (like wall art) created online…
• A green smiley is for good quality
• A blue face is for ‘OK’ quality
• A sad red face is for poor quality

For photo books…
• You will see a yellow triangle for any poor quality images you’ve uploaded.

Upsize your photo books

Don’t forget about our photo books! Did you know you can also create equally beautiful mementos with our L and XL sized photo books with using your mobile phone pics?

Our larger sized photo books give you the freedom to use more images, instead of limiting yourself to just one photo per page.

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Extra Tip: The smaller the image used on the product, the better the quality; making details sharper and more prominent.

So keeping your images small and choosing a suitable layout with multiple of photos per page, will help a lot. You can always tailor it to your liking by adding creative extras to your book such as clip art, backgrounds, frames and text to fill up the pages. You can also play around with different layout options in our Creator Tool to see the best way you can show off your mobile snapshots.

Next week we’ll recommend some handy photo apps to improve your picture quality and help you in your digital scrapbooking quest.

3 months ago 0 Comments Short URL

Using your mobile phone pictures – the basics!

These days, smart phones have become the camera of choice for a lot of people. And since most phones come equipped with state of the art cameras, there’s really no need to carry a digital camera around with you. Most of us pull out our mobile phones when the moment arises and just ‘snap’.

As a result, our mobile phone albums are just filled to the brim with photos. Do a quick check! How many pics are in your album right now?

So over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting some useful tips to help you create beautiful mementos using – yes, you guessed it – your mobile phone pics! Our Creator Tool is there to help make it easy. Whether you’re online or offline, it has a function that will automatically check your picture quality and let you know whether they’re suitable.

Let’s begin with the basics and you can then work your way up to more elaborate designs and collages.

Start small – Size M photo books

When you want to use just ONE mobile phone picture per page, try our smaller products like the Portrait and Square photo books in Size M. They’re perfect for you to show off your snapshots and great for those slightly lower quality pictures from Instagram and Facebook too. You can still personalise your photo books by adding text and clipart according to your liking.

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In case you still encounter problems with your picture quality, here’s a tip – revert and use your original picture if your Instagram pictures do not make the quality cut.

Extra tip: While using our offline Creator Tool, you’ll come across a warning button under the ‘Product’ tab. Click this button and it will scan through your entire photo book and let you know of any potential issues it may have found before you place your order. You will see a warning triangle on any low quality photos in your book.

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Look out for this warning icon!

Something special for your mobile phone!

Now … something for all you chatterboxes! Add a little something extra to a prized possession that you carry around with you at all times – your mobile phone!

Get creative and customise a phone case with one of your favourite mobile pics. Whether it’s a cute picture of the kids or a spontaneous moment that brings a smile to your face, bring an extension of something meaningful around with you! If you’ve got a personal wallpaper on your mobile phone, why not have a personalised phone case to match as well?

Our phone case Creator Tool is mobile friendly so you can directly use your pics from your mobile phone album and place your order straight from your phone!

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For products other than our photo books, use our smiley face icons as a guide to check your picture quality. Happy faces are for good picture quality while sad faces are for bad picture quality. So get to know your smileys!

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Meet the smileys!

So … what are you waiting for? Get those creative juices flowing and start transforming those mobile phone snapshots into beautiful keepsakes! Keep your eyes open for the next blog post with more ideas for your mobile phone pictures!

3 months ago 0 Comments Short URL