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Happy National Camera Day!

June 28, 2016
“You don’t take a photograph. You make it.” Ansel Adams   Johann Zahn envisioned the concept of the first camera in 1685 and 129 years later, in 1814, the very first photograph was snapped by Joseph Nicephore Niepce. We’ve come a long way since then. Gone are the days of bulky cameras, flash reflectors and running for the timers. Instead here we are with cameras available at the swipe of a button, the touch of a touch pad and all at a moment’s notice. As you probably know, we’re big camera lovers here at PhotoBox – after all, photos are our thing! So, this National Camera Day we’re aiming to take as many photos as we can! From the everyday to the extraordinary day and every little moment that happens in between. Capturing memories in a photograph is a great way to make the most of the great milestones that life brings our way. And, once you’ve snapped the best of all those great moments it’s important to cherish them. After all so many of our photos these days get left stored on phones, tablets and computers – abandoned and unloved. So, we thought we’d come up with a little PhotoBox guide on ways to use your photos to create some great products with us. Retro Canvas Our Retro Canvases are a great way to take a snapshot and showcase it. You can also add your own text below like a location name or even a quote. Plus, it’s customisable text too! Photo Diary We love these nifty little Photo Diaries as they’re such a great way to relive all your favourite snaps. Especially the ones that don’t quite make it onto Canvases or Prints. You can add a different photo for evry week of the year and a personlaised front and back cover. Feeling fancy? We’ll throw in a case too if you like. Gorgeous Gifts! Our collection of gifts are a great way to showcase your favourite memories whilst you brighten up a loved one’s day. We’ve Photo Mugs to make even the sleepiest of mornings mug-nificent (we couldn’t resist that one), lovely packs of Retro Prints (customisable with your own text) and Photo Keyrings too. Treats for your tech We love our range of bright and fun iPad cases. They’re fully customisable so you can add your own photos, pick a background colour or if you can’t choose just one photo you can create a collage. Personalisation made easy! Happy creating PhotoBox-ers! And don’t forget to share your creations with us using #MyPhotoBox on Instagram and Twitter. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Welcome to the world, little one!

June 28, 2016
It’s no secret that welcoming a new baby into the family will take over all aspects of your life – not least, your camera roll and memory card! In fact, a survey found that new parents will snap an average of 780 photos of their little one before their first birthday! But what to do with all those photos? We’ve asked lifestyle, beauty and parenting blogger, Liza Prideaux, who welcomed little Renzo (brother to Vinny) into the world just a few months ago, to help us come up with some great ideas on making the most of your photos. Over to you, Liza! ”Looking for creative ways to announce your newborns arrival to friends and family? I have the perfect solution for you and it’s no only going to be super personal to you but also very unique. When I had my son Vinny I never really thought about ways to announce his arrival and ended up doing it by texting! These days we have so many different social media channels which is a modern way to announce, but how about we take things back and go even more old school but with an added twist? Birth announcement cards are the perfect way to share your exciting news with the family and it’s also a great way to show off your gorgeous little bundle. My son, Renzo, was born April 21st 2016, he is our second son and I couldn’t wait to share his birth with the world! We got these birth announcement cards printed for friends and family, and had such a positive response after we sent them out. When you first have your little one doesn’t everyone ask for photos? With these cards you can add your own photos and really personalise your creation. Some things to consider adding to your card are; babies name, weight, gender, birth date and any other personal messages you’d like to share. These are all things that people usually like to ask when baby is born so it’s a great way to include all of this information and keep everyone up to date. PhotoBox makes it super easy for you to narrow down the card selection – there is such a huge variety to choose from which is great. You can select the gender, choose your own format and number of pictures you’d like to include and you can even add your own style and look to the card and personalise the design – perfect for busy new mums! Cards start from just 75p per card and you can buy them in packs of 10 or 20, up to 250 cards if you really want to go all out! Check out the rest of the birth announcement card range here and start creating your birth announcement cards now!” Keep an eye on our blog, as Liza will be sharing more of her top tips and creative ideas on how to document your baby’s first year.

Top tips to help your children take photos

June 9, 2016
As part of our ‘Focus On Dad‘ Father’s Day campaign, we asked award winning photography blogger Darren Coleshill from Photalife to give us some of his expertise on encouraging your kids to get creative behind the camera. Over to you, Darren!  ”If you look back over your family photos what do they show? What can you see? If they’re anything like ours then they will show the children, on rare occasions they show one parent and the girls, while I’m taking the photos. I honestly can’t remember the last time I appeared in a photo and I certainly can’t remember the last time my wife and I had a photo together! Both my girls are at the age when I want to get them interested in taking photos and personally I think getting children interested at a young age is so important. We all know that children absorb information so quickly when they’re at school, so this is a perfect time. I’m hoping my tips will help you get your children taking photos. I’m not talking about teaching them about ISO, shutter speeds but small tips that will help them take photos they can be proud of. Pick The Right Camera  From experience, picking the right camera is key – there’s really no point in getting them an expensive all singing all dancing camera, but equally a disposable camera isn’t right for them either. A simple basic camera with a zoom and importantly a screen is perfect. Even a phone with a camera is fine. Children need to see what they have taken a photo of and this needs to be instant, not a few days later! Holding the Camera Before you get them to snap away show them how to hold the camera. If they are using a phone then showing them a grip where they hold it in each corner is normally good. Show them what happens if fingers are in front of the lens. No one enjoys looking through photos where little fingers are in the way. Show them beforehand so they won’t get disappointed when you look back at the photos later. Setting up the photo When getting children interested in taking photos don’t bombard them with too much information. The best way to start is to tell them to start by getting everything in the center then they won’t go too far wrong. This is where having a screen is ideal as they can see exactly what they’re taking a photo of. Experiment  The beauty of digital photos and smartphones is that you can take endless amounts of photos and it doesn’t matter. If they get a disposable camera then it’s limited to 24 or 36, which is no good. My tip would be to give them a camera on a day out and just let them snap away. You can then look back over them together and pick out their favourites, or work on different ways they can improve. Get up Close On most cameras there

Father’s Day gift ideas for first time Dads

May 26, 2016
So, it’s his first Father’s Day and you’re looking for an extra special gift to show him how much he means to you & baby. We’ve come up with some of our top picks that we’re sure Dad is going to love…have a read!  Photo blocks Capture three generations in one gift using our Photo Blocks. All you’ll need is 3 photos – one of the newest member of the family looking adorable, another photo with Dad, and finally one with Grandad & baby. Simply upload & add each photo to a Photo Block, choosing the best size to fit the photo, and you’re ready to go. These nifty little blocks can be displayed just about anywhere. Order an extra set & that’s Grandad’s present sorted as well! Personalised mug Whether they’re newborn, or almost a year old – we’re sure there’s been some disrupted sleep in your household. Dad is going to need somewhere to put all that much-needed caffeine, so why not add a photo of your little one smiling away, to remind him that those 5am starts are all worth it. Retro prints Although your baby may not be able to talk yet, but don’t let that stop you writing a little message on some Retro Prints on their behalf. Choose photos of their first smile or the day they were born, or a photo from each month of their 1st year. The best part? You can update these each year as your baby grows – guaranteed to be a gift that Dad keeps a hold of for years to come. 

Top Tips for creating a ‘Dad’ Photo Book

May 22, 2016
Hands up if your family have got boxes & boxes of old photos tucked away in the loft or a cupboard upstairs? There’s nothing we like better than an afternoon spent flicking through old photos & remembering when your Dad still had hair, or wore all of those terrible 80’s tracksuits (or was that just our Dad?) This Father’s Day, we want you to dig out your old photos and give them some love, alongside your new, carefully posed digital photos as well – a great excuse to show how close you still are with your Pa’, or even how much he loves being a Grandad to your own kids! We’re not short on ideas or products to show you how to do this, so we’re focusing on our ‘Dad’ photo book – if you’ve ever thought about creating a photo book for Dad, now is the time. What you’ll need: A selection of photos, old (printed) & new (digital) A DSLR / point & shoot camera – ideally, but a high quality smartphone will work too Access to a computer or laptop (to crop/edit photos) Step 1: Take a look through your older photos and organise them into groups – this will help you to ‘tell a story’ throughout your photo book. We chose photos from old – new, but you could group them based on individuals, so favourite photos from each child, or even photos that suit a certain theme, such as holidays or birthdays. Step 2: For your older, printed photos, you’ll need to use your scanner or camera (or even smartphone set on highest quality setting), to take a photo…of a photo. Once you’ve photographed all of your chosen photos, upload these snaps to your computer so you can crop and edit where necessary. We used Photoshop for this, but you can easily use a free tool like Picasa or Pic Monkey  to crop and edit your photos. Top tip: You can check the quality of your photos using the PhotoBox ‘smiley’ indicator – a green or orange face means the photos will print at good or suitable quality, while a red unhappy face means they are likely to be pixelated. Step 3: Once you’ve cropped and edited photos, it’s time to get organised – the more organised you can be, the quicker the photo book creation process will be. We started by re-naming our photos in the order we wanted to include them in the photo book – do this with your more recent, digital photos as well. Sign in to your PhotoBox account, and begin by creating an album where you will put all of your Dad photo book images. You can do this by clicking on ‘My Account’ > ‘My Albums’ > ‘Create a new album’. Top Tip: Upload all of your photos before you begin creating the photo book, to ensure they are all saved properly. Step 4: Now it’s time to get creating – you have two choices, to add each photo manually, so you can play around