Remember in the 80s when you made collages out of cut-up magazines, stickers and other print ephemera? Maybe you don’t. Anyway, these days collaging has gone digital, and my children love taking photos and layering on all sorts of drawings, stickers, text and other digital effects.
As soon as I saw how much my daughter loved taking pictures with her new phone, I introduced her to A Beautiful Mess, an app that let’s you add doodles, text, filters and other effects to photos. Soon after, she introduced me to Pic Collage. It’s been photo-editing bliss ever since.
With all of the images we captured at Disneyworld recently, I decided to up our game in the photo documentation area and create journals for Jason and Jenna using some of my photos along with some of the photos they ‘enhanced’ in their favorite apps.
Here’s my approach to creating journals entirely on my phone:
Shoot the photos
I love my DSLR camera, and I’ve never considered printing phone photos prior to this. But something about the playful nature of the images, the low cost of the books and the idea that these are journal that Jason and Jenna can draw and write it, made me more comfortable using photos taken on my phone – though, in the end, I imported a few DSLR photos onto my phone to add to the mix.
Also, when shooting with my phone, I use VSCO Cam instead of the iPhone camera app. I think the controls and post-processing options are better and I have better control over the lighting.
Once you have a batch of photos, you can download collaging apps such as A Beautiful Mess or Pic Collage to decorate your photos. I mostly used A Beautiful Mess for our journals, especially since they have a set of travel phrases that worked really well with our vacation theme. For our journals, I used a mix of embellished and unembellished photos along with a few blank pages and pages containing pictures of notebook paper (one of the backgrounds in A Beautiful Mess). My hope is that these will be part doodle book, part journal and that my children can continue ‘embellishing’ in the print format as well.
Import photos and order your book
Once you have all of the photos ready, you can import them into the ChatBooks app and choose the Custom Books option. The books are very affordable (around $6) and ours arrived in the mail about 5 days later. It was so exciting for Jason and Jenna to see the images we created turned into a real book.