You already know I love MailChimp, WordPress, WooCommerce, and Gravity Forms for clients, but with summer here, it’s time to kick back a little. So today I’m sharing some apps I use just for fun. And since you’re sure to have lots of photos of family vacations, days at the beach, bbqs . . . all that summer fun, I’ve picked three apps that make it easy to get great looking photos, share them, and save them.
Adobe Photoshop Express
You don’t have to be a great photographer to get good pictures. Photoshop Express can brighten a picture you took in the shadows because your little one was just too cute. You can crop out your mess to focus in on what you want to see. It will even suggest effects to enhance your picture. A few touch ups, a quick filter and your so-so snapshot looks a lot more pro. (You can even get rid of selfie shake.) I edit my photos with Photoshop Express before I upload them to Tinybeans (see below for details on that favorite app).
Here are some of the many ways it can help you improve your photos:
- Basics: Crop, straighten, rotate and flip your photos. Remove red-eye and pet-eye.
- Auto-Fix: A one-touch adjustment for contrast, exposure and white balance.
- Blemish removal: Remove spots, dirt and dust from your photos with one touch.
- Corrections: Slide controls for clarity, contrast, exposure, highlights, shadows, temperature, tint and vibrance.
I’ve been using Tinybeans since my daughter was born. With family halfway around the world, I needed an easy way to share the silly, funny, and beautiful moments as she is growing and changing so rapidly. Tinybeans does everything I want it to do (except make sure I take enough pictures and upload them daily).
You can post videos too. I have never liked video all that much – whether I’m behind or in front of the camera – but since my family is desperate for any intimate detail of my daughter, I captured countless little moving pictures, from just a few hours after she was born, simply smacking her lips, to her first steps, first words and all the mundane moments in between which, looking back on, are not mundane at all. Sure, I get a little peeved when I get text messages from the other side of the world, “TB?” indicating that I am behind on posting a new photo or video for that day, but as a result of my family pestering, I have amassed an incredible – and highly organized – diary of my daughter’s life.
I choose who to share with and invite them into what Tinybeans calls a Nurture Network. Unlike posting to Facebook, where my network extends beyond my close family to work colleagues, primary school friends, and friends of friends of friends, my Tinybeans connections are close-knit: my husband, mum, dad, sister, husband, grandmother, aunty and a few very close friends who also want to see photos of my baby girl covered in yogurt and doing nudie runs on a daily basis!
Those same friends can share their Tinybeans album with me too – and I am so grateful for that, and honored to see so many of their intimate family moments.
Once I upload photos to Tinybeans, my Nurture Network gets notifications that I’ve shared moments (photos) with them. These notifications include in- app notices on their phone or ipad, or daily emails which is especially great for my grandmother who is has mastered email, but it terrified of her phone and has pretty strong opinions about Facebook is the downfall of society!
Just like Facebook, everyone can comment on the photos.
I can easily add milestones and other observations. Hey, can you really remember exactly when your kids got their first tooth, or learned to walk? Yeah, our memories get murky pretty quickly. Tinybeans solves that problem.
It’s a great way to share and keep my photos of my daughter organized and together. If you want a photobook, you can do that directly through Tinybeans too, though I’ve got another favorite for that (see below).
I know a lot of people use Facebook as a way to share photos with ease, but it isn’t always the ideal solution. Whether it’s privacy concerns or relatives who just don’t want to be on Facebook (some days I think they have the right idea!), or whether your Facebook friends can truly handle the shear volume of images you need to share in order to keep your mother and mother-in-law happy, Facebook isn’t the best choice for sharing photos of your little ones.
Tinybeans is specifically designed for sharing photos with family and friends, so it’s much easier to keep a handle on who sees pictures of your kids.
I love that I can share digital files in an instant, but when’s the last time you printed a photo? (I’ll wait while you try to remember.)
Prints, cards, photobooks . . . it’s time to get some of your lovely images out of your phone into your home. While both Photoshop Express and Tinybeans give you the option to make photobooks, I love Artifact Uprising for printing.
And their products are simple, classic, and gorgeous – and it’s home grown in Colorado. They didn’t chose the name Artifact for nothing. The paper quality, binding, and covers make for a really special family keepsake. So what’s been happening lately—baby’s first year? Graduation? Wedding? Family vacation? Celebrate it and make something tangible with those memories. Artifact Uprising makes it easy.
I create up to 100 page soft-cover photo books, and their Wood Block + (25) Prints right from their app on my phone. It’s very easy to use, and the app pulls photos directly from your phone, or from DropBox if you have created a back-up system. I actually like pulling the photos from the phone before I back-up my phone to DropBox and/or iPhoto. As soon as I download my photos to these back-up solutions, the date order of the photos inevitably gets royally messed up, which makes creating photos books a terribly time-consuming task. By using the AU app, I circumvent this nightmare. And I can do it all while watching The Daily Show.
I love that the AU photo books are simple in their design and layouts, and focused on the beauty of the photos. No rainbows and unicorns, cutesy text, and crazy photo layouts that add infinite hours to the photo book making process. No wonder everyone puts off making books. All this kitsch customization turns printing a few photos into a mammoth project.
- (Almost) Everyday, I (try to) take a few happy snaps
- At the end of the day, when I can finally put my feet up, in the iPhone photo app I choose the photos I like best, and delete the rest. (If I don’t do it then and there, my photo library gets out of control).
- I open my fav photos in the Photoshop Express app and color edit them: a little brighter, a little more contrast, a little more color saturation (or vice versa)
- I post the edited images to TinyBeans (and usually try to delete the un-edited ones in the iPhone photo app, again to keep the photo library organized)
- Every few months, I create a photo book of all the photos using the Artifact Uprising app, and on special occasions, I create Wood Block + Prints as gifts, or to update my own collections around our house
These are the apps I use on the personal side to make the most of my photos. What photo (or other fun) apps are you playing with right now?