At Picaboo, we’re lucky to have a couple of super users that help us with our products. We frequently ask their input on product features and we love sharing their projects. They’re a big source of inspiration for us and we figure they’ll inspire you, too. We’ve privately called them our Picaboo Pros but now it’s time to introduce them to you. Without further ado, here are our Picaboo Pros.
Cheryl Parker Miller is a SAHM and an avid amateur photographer. She started using Picaboo in 2007 and hasn’t stopped since. Each new release adds features that keep her coming back. Her favorite feature used to be the ability to use her own photos as backgrounds. Now she’s loving the freedom to customize her layout. She loves making annual family photo albums or special event/vacation albums. Since she takes around 10,000 photos a year, she’s got a long list of projects to create. Here are some spreads from one of her favorite books.
Cheryl’s advice to other Picaboo fans? “Keep it simple and use a consistent style. Find what style works and create a go-to look. If you’re feeling creatively stuck, or want advice on a layout or a photo, pose a question on Picaboo’s Facebook page. There are so many nice people full of great ideas and they’re always happy to share.”
Shauna Steed is the mother of four married children and three grandchildren. She started using Picaboo in 2007 and was hooked after creating her first book. Shauna’s favorite Picaboo features are the backgrounds and the ability to upload embellishments from her personal digital scrapbooking kits. She has created over 20 projects with Picaboo. In fact, several have been included on our blog. You may remember her Cookie of the Month Cookbook, her article about embellishments or her Red Soxs collage.
Shauna’s advice to Picaboo users: ”Make lots of books! I look for any excuse to make a book. It’s one of my favorite hobbies. Make them for yourself, give them as gifts, create a family yearbook or document a vacation. It’s so much fun and when you’re finished, you have a treasured keepsake.”
Mark Pavlik is an amazing photographer. One look at his books and you’ll know he has talent. Since he’s an avid traveler, he pulls his camera out often and when he gets home, he captures his journey in a Picaboo photo book. His favorite Picaboo project is his New York Vacation book, which he captured in full splendor with a Madison Photo Book. His photography comes alive in lay-flat pages and the two-page spreads.
Mark’s advice for people wanting to make photo books, is take a lot of pictures. “That shot of gravel or tree bark can be inserted as a background to frame your photobooks. Shoot a lot and be creative. If you need help, ask questions on Picaboo’s Facebook fan page. If you want to do a funky layout, chances are Picaboo will surprise you and take you further than you imagined.”
You may recognize the name, Lisa Twede. That’s because she’s been using Picaboo for over five years and loves offering feedback and advice on our Facebook page. She’s the ultimate crafter and finds that making creative projects improves her mood and makes life more interesting.
It’s hard to say what product is Lisa’s favorite. As she states it: “Making creative calendars is just as much fun as making a photo book. And come holiday season, I love giving calendars as gifts because they’re perfect for the person who has everything.” Recently, Lisa made a book full of her paintings. It’s called “I Like Mike.”It’s a beautiful book about one of her close friends.
Heidi Kalpak is a passionate mother of two girls who dives into her children’s lives head first. She started scrapbooking and photography when her first daughter was born over 10 years ago and has never stopped. Heidi loves to photograph every situation whether it be a wedding, class party, family gathering or State finals for her daughter’s swim team. She places great importance on document life. Here’s how she sees it: “Everyone has their own way of showing their love for their family. I express my love through photography and scrapbooking. I make a school yearbook for each my children as well as an annual family yearbook. When my children are older and marry, I will give them their books. I envision my grandchildren going through these books one day with my daughters. I love to inspire other mothers with this vision. I am happy to help them when they want the same thing for their own children. To me, these books are treasures and priceless inheritance worth more than amount of money I could leave.”
A true creative at heart, Heidi loves playing with backgrounds, embellishments, captions and pictures. When Heidi’s not volunteering at her daughters’ schools or playing photographer, she has her own company called The Pink Peach. Here, she helps plan, style and create custom parties.
You may recognize Leslie Gonce as one of the winners of our Two Weeks of Love Contest and her amazing book, I Love NY. Leslie admits she has spent countless hours creating projects and is somewhat addicted to Picaboo. She and her husband are advid travelers and have the goal of introducing their children to all 50 states. In six years, they’ve seen all but five of them!
When Leslie isn’t spending time with her family, she runs her own business where she creates custom invitations and stationery using all of her own artwork.
Leslie is a fan of the Classic Custom 12×12 photo book because as she explains it, “The grand size allows me the space I need to include hundreds of pictures, as well as facts about the places we visit. For well over a year now, I have been capturing all our vacation memories with my iPhone camera (still pictures and video). So, all of my Picaboo projects feature iPhone photos, unless I include scanned images of maps, ticket stubs, and the like.”
Her advice to Picaboo users is: “Don’t be afraid to start from scratch. Explore your own layout, you don’t always have to use Picaboo layouts. And use backgrounds and captions that compliment your photos but be careful not to over-power them.”
Mary Dargis is also a frequent name around our Facebook page and the blog. You may remember her from her Scary Halloween Book, her Mardi Gras photo books or you may know her from her digital embellishment site, Digital Photobook Pages. Mary’s been using Picaboo for over five years and has made several heritage books, a Halloween book, a Mardi Gras Book, a book about my cats and countless gifts. The book she is most proud of is ”The Monistere Family ScrapBook.” This book explores the history of her father’s side of the family. In the process of making her book, she met new relatives and reconnected with family members she had lost contact with. When her book was complete, many members of her family loved it so much, they ordered a copy!
Her advice to other Picaboo users: “Make sure your images are at least 300dpi resolution so they print well. Listen to the caution warnings alerting you when images aren’t fit to print. Otherwise your images will be grainy. And if you can, have someone preview your work before you order it. A second set of eyes is always nice.”