Scrapbooking Made Easier with Camera Phones

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(ARA) - Are you always reaching for your camera phone to snap a photo of something new and different? And are the majority of those pictures great shots that you were able to capture just because your phone is always on you? If so, you're not alone. Scrapbookers are finding that with camera phones, it's easier than ever to record special moments.

With camera phones, scrapbookers can snap photos and conveniently print them on their home printers or at local retailers. Better yet, camera phones provide a unique convenience for scrapbookers since most people have their mobile phones with them wherever they go. Scrapbookers can use their camera phone to capture impromptu, everyday moments that otherwise might have been missed.

"Being able to take photos at any time is especially important to scrapbook artists -- we like to take more photos than the average person," said Renee Bernhard, owner of Simply Cardstock (, a monthly scrapbooking kit club. "Camera phones enable us to capture everyday events that we weren't planning on photographing, which helps diversify and add interest to our scrapbook content."

According to the National Survey of Scrapbooking in America (2004), sponsored by Creating Keepsakes magazine and Craftrends magazine, the scrapbooking industry is a $2.5 billion business. A whopping 55 percent of scrapbookers consider themselves addicts, 43 percent employ a variety of methods to create their personalized memory books and more than 73 percent own digital cameras. Now with camera phones, scrapbookers have all their digital technology needs in one device.

Here are Bernhard's top 10 tips for using a camera phone to scrapbook:

1. Familiarize yourself with your camera phone and all its features. Bernhard uses the Sprint PCS Vision Multimedia Phone MM-5600 by SANYO with a 1.3 megapixel lens, which takes great photos and is particularly easy to navigate.

2. Snap pictures wherever you go -- images of the first flower buds in the springtime, a walk in the park or a child sleeping can add a personalized touch to an album.

3. Save or upload your picture before taking your next shot so you don't lose one of your favorites.

4. If you plan to take a lot of pictures with your camera phone, conserve the battery life by shutting off the backlighting and refrain from using multimedia features.

5. Experiment with different lighting options. Photos taken outdoors or in natural lighting tend to turn out best.

6. Use the macro setting for close-up shots.

7. Print photos in the size that is appropriate for the lens quality. For example, if your camera phone has a VGA lens, you can make 2 x 2 prints for greeting cards, photo jewelry and mini albums. If you're using the Sprint PCS Vision Multimedia Phone MM-A800 by Samsung with a 2 megapixel lens, you can make up to 5 x 7 prints for your standard-size albums.

8. Take advantage of online storage options so you have access to your photos for future scrapbooking projects. Sprint customers using Picture Mail can manage online albums at, where they can store, edit and enhance photos, and send them to any of the 2,700 participating retailers for printing.

9. E-mail your photos to your home computer or online album before printing so you can use photo-editing software to add dramatic effects or crop your camera phone images for unique scrapbooking layouts.

10. Know your print-at-home options -- some mobile phones come with removable memory cards and USB cables, making it easy to print on your home printer.

"While some scrapbooks document the bigger events in life -- weddings, retirements, births -- there is something very special about scrapbooking the little things we do each day," Bernhard said.

In fact, the national survey indicates that the themes most regularly featured in scrapbooks are family life at 62 percent, followed by birthdays (47 percent), holidays (44 percent), vacations (42 percent), babies (35 percent), friends (29 percent) and seasons (28 percent).

"I never would have imagined that this technology would so complement my hobby," said Lori Planco of Wellington, Fla., an avid scrapbooker for several years. "I've used my camera phone to capture some wonderful, candid images of my children at soccer practice to use in my scrapbooks to preserve these memories forever."
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