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

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.

2 weeks 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.

2 weeks 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!

2 weeks ago 0 Comments Short URL

Creating something beautiful: Turn your photos into a gorgeous digital scrapbook!

Hooray! Now that the hard part is over, the REAL fun can begin. With all your photos now neatly organised (phew!), you can leave the mess of traditional scrapbooking behind. It’s time to get inspired and design something beautiful to show off all those precious moments!

Flip through!
Perfect on a coffee table or spread on a shelf in your home, creating a photo book can be a great way to start decluttering and to show off those wonderful moments too! You have complete freedom to personalise your photo book in a way that best represents you. With the many features on our photo creator tool, your choices are endless.
So put on your creative thinking cap and design your very own stunning photo book in 3 easy steps. All you have to do is ‘Choose’ your size and style, ‘Create’ and personalise your photo book and ‘Click’ Order! It’s that easy.

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If you’re still not sure about what suits you, you can also choose from more than 10 different pre-designed themes to suit your style. It’s the fast and easy option but don’t worry, you can still add in personal touches to make it your own.
Our auto fill feature can help make life easier. All you need to remember is to consolidate the photos you want included into one folder on your computer and the auto fill will (obviously!) fill it up for you. And of course, you would still be able to adjust the images according to your liking.
Too excited and can’t wait to show off that gorgeous photo book you just ordered? After placing your order, you’ll also receive a free online version of your book so you can share it with your loved ones on Facebook, Twitter or e-mail.

Hang it up!
Brighten up your living room OR dress up the outside garden or balcony with our decorative wall art!

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Too many pics to choose from and can’t decide which is your favourite? Try the collage feature to tell a story using different photos from the same time period, event, holiday, etc. Another great idea is to create multiple collages with the same theme to hang together on your walls.

Go mobile!
And we mean off your desktop and on to your mobile! Sorting through all your pictures, you’re bound to come across a cherished moment that makes you go “aww”. Take the opportunity to memorialise it and take it you wherever you go with a customised phone case.

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With all these helpful tips, it’s time to get cracking and get a head start on spring cleaning those photos and create something beautiful this season!

1 month ago 0 Comments Short URL

Getting organised: tips for sorting and storing your pics!

As promised in our last blog, we’ve pulled together a few tips to help you organise all your photos. Whether your pics are in print format or you’ve got loads of images saved in different places online, the steps below can help you tidy up your photos in no time!

Good luck and happy organising!

Step 1: Go digital
The first thing you need to do is get everything into a digital format. (If you already have everything as digital files, then great – move on to step 2!)

Start by scanning old prints and other mementos. If you don’t have easy access to a scanner, you can always use your phone or digital camera to take pictures of your pictures – we know that sounds a bit crazy, but it gets the job done!

Scanning

Next, import your images from your phone, digital camera or tablet to your computer. (If you’re not sure how to import your photos to your computer, take a look at the website of your phone/camera/tablet provider — they’ll probably have some info on this.)

Use a naming convention to save your photos – we like to use the date (Year/Month/Day) that the photo was taken, plus a short description like, “Italy Holiday”.

TIP: Most smartphones have an option to automatically upload your photos to an online cloud system on a regular basis, turn this on and you’ll be a step ahead next time!

Step 2: Create folders
Create folders by year (this works especially well if you’ve also saved your photos this way). Then within each folder you can create subfolders based on the month the photos were taken or the activity or theme of your photos. Create as many subfolders as you like – the more detailed the folders, the easier it will be to find a specific photo later on!

For example, your folder structure could look something like this: 2015 –> February –> Valentine’s Day.

Likewise create a folder for the random pics you have that don’t fit well in the other folders you’ve created. This is also a good place to put your lower quality pics that you might not use but don’t want to delete.

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Step 3: Store and secure your images
You’re nearly there… Last but not least, make sure your treasured photos are stored in a secure place.

Leaving all of your images on your computer’s hard drive can eat up space quickly and can be risky if your computer gets damaged. Consider getting an external hard drive to save your images on instead or to use for backup.

You could also keep a copy of your images a in a cloud system online like Google Drive or iCloud. This way they’ll be available in case other systems fail.

TIP: Once you have everything set up, get in the habit of downloading and organising your images on a regular basis – then you’ll never have to do a big clean up again!

All organised? Keep an eye out for our next blog with tips for creating something stunning with your photos!

1 month ago 0 Comments Short URL

Taking stock: What photos do you have and where are they stored?

Digital cameras, film cameras, smartphones, tablets… We’re now able to take photographs on more devices than ever. And once we’ve taken photos the options for storing them, viewing them and sharing them are practically endless.

So if you’re like most people, your photos tend to end up in a huge, unorganised mess. Don’t worry though – we’re here to help! Over the next few weeks, we’ll post a few easy steps to help you take your photos from a scattered mess to something beautiful you can hold onto.

The first step is to simply take stock of what you have. Spend some time going through your computer files, your tablet, your phone, your SD card and even your shoebox full of prints. Get everything ‘out on the table’ and then you can start on the next steps – getting organised and creating something beautiful. (We’ll post more on these steps soon, so stay tuned!)

And just so you don’t feel like you’re the only one who has a mountain of photos to go through, check out the fun facts in the infographic below!

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2 months ago 0 Comments Short URL

5 wall art layouts to suit your style

With a few favourite photos and an empty wall, you can easily transform any room into a stylish and personalised space. The trick – once you’ve created unique wall art – is in how you hang it!

A good wall art layout gives character to a space and can help add your personality to a room. There are literally endless ways to arrange wall art but to get you started, we’ve pulled together five basic layouts that can fit any style.

Take a look below and find the layout that suits you!

1) If you love variety… try an ECLECTIC layout

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Get the look: Choose a mix of images, frames and wall art types (aluminium, canvas, acrylic and mounted prints) and position the middle of your total arrangement at eye level.

2) If you want to keep it simple… use a MINIMALIST layout

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Get the look: Choose a high quality photo to create a large print and hang it above a sofa, table or other piece of furniture. Easy!

3) If you’re the neat and tidy type… create an ORGANISED layout

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Get the look: Stick with one size and type of wall art (like these framed canvas prints) and use a ruler to make your rows nice and straight, just the way you like them!

4) If you like things relaxed and laid back… go for a CAUSUAL layout

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Get the look: Create a mix of wall art with different images, sizes and styles. Then place them on a shelf and lean them against the wall like you didn’t even think about it. 😉

5) If you’re all about the art… create a GALLERY layout

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Get the look: Choose photos with similar colours or a theme to create a few quality pieces and evenly space them in your hallway or above a long piece of furniture. (Try acrylic prints for the complete gallery look and feel.)

Found your perfect layout? Create your wall art now!

2 months ago 0 Comments Short URL

15 photo challenges to help you capture spring

The days are getting longer, the sun is getting warmer… Here at Albelli that means it’s time to go outside and take some pics!

To get your creativity flowing and your shutters clicking, we’ve put together fifteen photo challenges for (what we hope is) the start of spring. For every word, you photograph something that represents that word. There’s no right or wrong – for example “fresh” could be rain, flowers or even your favourite laundry detergent. It’s up to you!

All that matters is that you have a bit of fun and shoot some fresh photos. So if you’re up for the challenge, take a look below and start snapping!

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P.S. We’d love to see how you get on with these challenges, so tag your Instagram photos with #albelli or share your pics with us on Facebook. We’ll be sure to share a few of our photos on Facebook too!

2 months ago 0 Comments Short URL

5 great gift ideas for the mums you love

Mother’s Day is a time when we celebrate all the wonderful mothers in world. Your mother, your mother’s mother, your sister that’s about to become a mother and even your friend who’s a mother to her little dog!

Mums come many forms and every mother is different, so this Mother’s Day, why not show them how special they are with something personal just for them?

What would the mums in your life love to receive this Mother’s Day? Take a look at our ideas below for a bit of inspiration!

1 – For the mum who loves gardening
Take a photo of her flowers and print it on aluminium. Aluminium prints are durable and long-lasting, so she can even hang your gift outside in the garden!

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2 – For the mum who loves to travel
Fill a photo book with all her adventures. Get a hold of her photos from her latest getaway and create a book she’ll cherish for years to come!

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3 – For the mum who loves her pet
Make her mornings a bit more fun! Snap a photo of her furry friend and turn it into a personalised photo mug!

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4 – For the mum who loves art
Turn one of her creations into a gallery-worthy masterpiece. Or if she’s not an artist herself, simply create an acrylic print with an artistic photo!

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5 – For the mum who loves being at home with family
Create a canvas print with a much loved family photo. She’ll love being at home even more with your thoughtful gift hanging on the wall!

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Do you have any other creative photo gift ideas for the mums out there?! Inspire others by sharing your ideas in the comments field below.

3 months ago 0 Comments Short URL

3 easy DIY romantic photo filters

In honour of Valentine’s Day, we’ve pulled together a few do-it-yourself romantic photo filters just for you! These simple filters can transform even the least sentimental subjects into beautiful and romantic photos, with just the click of your shutter. So, whether you’re snapping selfies with your sweetie or shooting a wistful landscape – check out our ideas below for some sweet shots!
Top tip: Turn your most romantic photos into wall art, phone cases or mugs and give them as a personalised Valentine’s Day gift.

1 – Create light hearts
A bokeh filter creates magical little light shapes in your photos. All you need to create one is a sheet of paper, some scissors and a bit of tape!
To make your heart bokeh, start by cutting a piece of dark paper to cover your camera lens. Then cut a small heart shape (about 1.3 to 1.9 cm) in the middle of your paper. Attach your bokeh to your lens and you’re ready to start shooting!
Tip: Combine a close subject with distant lights to create faraway heart shaped fairy lights!

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2 – Pull on a pair of stockings
One of the simplest filter options out there… You can easily create a beautiful, soft filter with a pair of sheer stockings! Simply slip a bit of the stocking over your lens and tightly secure it with a rubber band.
Get a romantic, nostalgic effect by shooting in the shade or on an overcast day.
Tip: For a less strong effect, tear a run in your stockings to let a little more light in.

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3 – Shoot with cellophane
Use a cellophane filter to simulate light leaks or to add colour (think pink or red) to your photos. Simply attach a small bit of cellophane to your lens with a rubber band and you’re ready to go!
Where can you get cellophane? Easy – go to your cupboard, take out that package of biscuits you’ve had your eye on, eat the biscuits and voila – you’re left with an empty cellophane packaging that’s perfect for your filter! Or… you can always pick some up at your local craft store (a good option for crumb free and coloured cellophane).
Tip: Play around with the amount, positioning and thickness of the cellophane to get different looks.

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Bonus: best romantic digital filters
If you don’t have time to DIY or just prefer a less hands on approach – here’s our top three Instagram filters for giving your phone pics a romantic look!
Nashville
Effect: High exposure, low contrast, warm temperature
Look: Lovely pastel tint, similar to the stocking filter
Sierra
Effect: High exposure, low contrast, slightly dodged centre
Look: Hazy quality, like a daydream
Rise
Effect: Slight exposure, warm temperature, yellow tint
Look: Golden glow; soft, forgiving light

Have more romantic filter ideas? Share them in the comments below!

4 months ago 0 Comments Short URL