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January 21, 20143 Tips to Photographing Kids

Take better photos of your children
3 Tips to Photographing Kids

Have you ever seen pictures of children where they look so well behaved and angelic, wearing coordinating outfits, smiling from ear to ear while one child playfully touches their sibling on their shoulder? Did you immediately wonder what kind of magical potion they are on? Or more likely, what type of magical potion is their mother on to have that kind of patience? Here at Pint Size Productions, we say if you want awesome pictures, forget those ridiculously high photographer fees and pick up your own camera! Here are some tips to photographing your children:

1) Don’t be a photographer, be a photo journalist.
Let your children participate in an activity that is natural to them, one that they enjoy and observe them with your camera at hand. Start snapping and your gauranteed to have some frame worthy pictures.

2) Get on their level.
When photographing children we typically stand and take a picture from above them. Next time, try getting into a position that allows you to capture them from their perspective.

3) Ditch the word “CHEEEEESE”.
Try using something more organic; come up with a natural way of grabbing your children’s attention. If all else fails, make a funny face! That way you are sure to get a candid reaction from your child.

December 3, 20135 Tips to Better Photos

5 Tips to Better Photos

The art of photography is full of complex variables like exposure, ISO, aperture, and shutter speed just to name a few. Our Pint Size Productions team, by no means pretends to know all of the answers, however we have seen millions of photos and consequently know little bit about what makes an interesting photograph. The following are 5 easy tips that we hope help you compose better photographs.

1) Have a clear subject matter
Simplify your photo by only including what is essential to your shot. If, for example, you are shooting at your child’s first birthday party we understand it is important to take photos of everything including chaotic scenes filled with 20 people and piles of wrapping paper. While this photo makes for great memories, it also might be the one that you should leave out of your book.

2) Fill Your Frame
Leading off the first tip, take your subject and completely fill your frame with it. Take an up close shot of your subject and it will not only be a much clearer photo but it will also be more interesting.

3) Cropping
Effective cropping can make any picture interesting. You can take an existing photo and crop it to make the viewer focus more on your subject, removing distractions that would otherwise be included in your photo. You can also create balance in the image through cropping. For example, you wanted to take a photo of your child and have them dead center in the image and for whatever reason, they are slightly off center. Cropping can fix this and put your child in the center again. The options are endless with cropping!

4) Rule of Thirds
Imagine that you have a Tic Tac Toe board placed on your subject matter and your trying to decide what will be the most interesting image to capture. According to this theory your points of interest should be placed near the intersections of the horizontal and vertical lines.

5) Odd vs. Even
When grouping items or people, odd numbers are visually more appealing, memorable and effective than even numbers. This theory states that when items are grouped in odd numbers, the image seems more natural than if the grouping consists of an even number of items. Groupings with even numbers create symmetry which is not always interesting to the human eye.

November 26, 2013Tip Tuesday: How To Take Better Photos From Your Smart Phone

In a society that is becoming more mobile by the minute, it should come as no surprise that many of the photos people are using to create their custom board books are captured via their smart phones. While smart phone cameras are convenient, they are not necessarily known for producing print quality images.

So without further adieu, we present to you our:

5 Tips to Producing Better Smart phone Pictures

  • Have Adequate Lighting

Poor lighting can ruin a picture and create a grainy, dark print. In general, try to keep the light source behind your subject. Also, make sure you utilize your flash. You can set your flash to auto on most smart phones where is is only used when the phone determines it needs to be. The flash is very useful because it can pick up details that often gets lost in dark photos.

  • All I wanna do is a Zoom, Zoom, Zoom, and a Boom, Boom

It goes without saying that camera phones have certainly advanced significantly within the last several years. However, the zoom feature just isn’t there yet- use it with caution.

  • Stay Still & Steady

Some cameras allow for movements to be made without effecting the integrity of the shot. Camera phones unfortunately do not. Try to stand as still as possible and use both hands while trying to get your shot- this will ensure a much clearer picture!

  • Use the HDR Feature

High Dynamic Range (HDR) can be turned on when needed to create a more detailed image. When on, it takes multiple exposures of the same scene to enhance the quality of the image. Make sure to turn the HDR off though when you are not using it as images taken in HDR take up a lot of space.

  • Focus, Focus, Focus!!

Many smart phones, specifically the iPhone have auto focus. This automatically brings the focus of the photo to a specific area when you tap that area of the screen. Also, for you iPhone users, utilize AE/AF Lock. AE/AF Lock automatically focuses your photo. How great is that?!

BONUS TIP:

Remember to Keep Your Screen Clean!

This may sound ridiculous and pretty much a given but you’d surprised how much of a difference this can make and how often it gets overlooked!

January 7, 2014How to Incorporate a Foreign Language into Your Custom Board Books

How to Incorporate a Foreign Language into Your Custom Board Books

Looking to write a book in another language? Interesting in incorporating foreign characters in your custom board book? This is a feature that is available using the Custom Interactive Templates! Once you have logged in to your account and picked either the 16 page or 24 page Custom Interactive book you can begin to create a unique custom board book. To incorporate a foreign language please change your font to “ArialUnicodeMS” (pictured above). You can then use any character set you have previously downloaded to create whatever content you’d like!

If you do not have a character set downloaded but would still like to write in foreign characters, try this:

– Visit http://translate.google.com/m/translate

– Set the first language option to English and set the second language to whatever language you will be using.

– Write your message in the blank space provided and click the magnifying glass.

– Your translated message will appear below.

– Highlight and copy the message you would like to have in your book.

– Access your Custom Interactive book, set the font to “ArialUnicodeMS” and paste your message in to the text box of your liking.

– Repeat these steps as many times as necessary and please remember to hit “Approve” often.

How to Incorporate Special Characters  into Your Custom Board Book

Do you need to add a special character to a word in your board book? Use these helpful articles to find how to make special characters based on what type of computer you are using:

June 17, 2014How To Create a New Shipping Address

How To Create a New Shipping Address:

1) Log in with your username and password.
2) Click “Profile”.
3) Click on the “My Addresses” tab.
4) The address that appears in the grey rectangle is your current shipping address. Above that is a smaller rectangle that says “Add New Address”- click on that box.
5) Fill in all of the necessary information for your new shipping address and hit “save”. All of your addresses will now be saved in your “My Addresses” tab.
6) Go to view your shopping cart. Your shopping cart and all of your items will appear to be checked out. To the right of the image of your item, it will say “Ship To:” with a drop down box underneath. When you select the drop down box, all of your saved addresses will appear. Choose whatever address you would like the item shipped to.

Please note that you can choose a different shipping address for each item in your cart.

December 25, 2013How to Reorder Your Custom Board Books

How to Reorder Your Custom Board Books

The best complement we get here at Pint Size Productions is when customers express their desire to reorder a book they created! Are you interested in reordering a book you created? Follow the five screen shots provided above and in no time you’ll have another copy of your unique book!

HINT: Please remember to set your calendar date back to around the time you originally created it as illustrated in the second screen shot.

ENJOY!

November 19, 2013Tip Tuesday: How To Empty Your Cache

Good afternoon to all of our Pint Size pals and welcome to our blog! One of our goals with this blog is to create a resource for our customers- a place where they can come to find tutorials, troubleshooting tips, creative ideas, inspiring articles, and of course all things board books!

One of the more common emails we receive is from customers who are having trouble uploading their photos and adding their book to their shopping cart. This can happen for many reasons, some of which are out of our control, but what we often tell customers to do is to “empty your cache, end and reopen your browser session, log back into the site and then access your active project”. While this is the advise we give customers because it typically takes care of the problem we also realize that tech talk isn’t for everyone and this may sound like a mumbo jumbo of words to some. After all, what’s a cache? So it’s not just a clothing store with sparkly dresses?

OK, it turns out the cache is an important part of your computer’s hard drive. Think of it as a place where your computer stores files from websites you have visited. Your computer can load websites faster because of the files you have saved in your cache. In one respect your cache is awesome because it saves you time. However, on the other hand, it can be problematic because it in order to save time loading pages, it uses old files and these old files do not consist of the photos you have uploaded or the text you have added.

So, how do you empty your cache? It actually depends on what Internet browser you are using. Here s a link where you can find step by step instructions on how to empty your cache based on what browser you are using:

https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/32050?hl=en

The next step is to end your browser session. While you have your internet browser open, click on “File” and then hit “Close”. After it has been shut down, you can then reopen your browser, go to PintSizeProductions.com and log in with your user name and password and access any project you have be working on or any project you have previously completed.

If you are still having trouble viewing your photos or text please email us at: CustomerService2@PintSizeProductions.com so we can better help you!

August 14, 2014The More The Merrier: How to Save on International Shipping

As everyone knows, international shipping rates can be very pricey. We are fortunate as a company to be able to say that we have customers all over the world. As we have no control over the shipping rates we often tell people to ask their friends and family if they are interested in creating a book and if so, place your orders together so shipping charge is shared by the group.

An easy way to do this is to create a “framily” username and password that can be shared with everyone in your group. When people complete their book, add it to the cart and store it there until everyone has completed their custom board book. When everyone has completed their books, simply go to your shopping cart and check out!

Just remember that your “framily’s” username and password must be created from an email address that does not already have an existing account associated with it and only one user should be logged into the account at a given time.

 

December 10, 2013How to Edit Your Saved Board Book

How to Edit Your Saved Board Book

The Holiday Season is in full force here at Pint Size Productions and our elves are very busy getting everyone’s orders completed! One of the requests we have been receiving frequently is how to edit a saved project in your cart- if you ask, you shall receive! Above are a series of screen shots that walk you through how to edit and submit a saved item in your cart. Please remember to save your project frequently, especially this time of the year when we are experiencing a high volume of traffic on our site!

February 25, 2014How to Redeem a Pint Size Productions Gift Certificate

How to Redeem a Pint Size Productions Gift Certificate:

Step 1: 

While in your cart, select the tab that says “Submit Order via PayPal/ Gift Certificate” and then click the blue button that also states “Submit Order via PayPal/ Gift

Step 2:

Log into PayPal. You must have a PayPal account to redeem your gift certificate. You do not however, need a PayPal account to purchase a Pint Size Productions gift certificate.

Step 3:

Click “Redeem” where is says PayPal gift card, certificate, reward, or other discount.

Step 4:

Enter your specific redemption code (found on your Pint Size Productions gift certificate) and hit “Redeem”.

Step 5:

 Yahoo! You are all done, purchase is complete! Look for your adorable creation in the mail!

Please note that to fully set up your PayPal account, PayPal requires you to link your account to a credit or debit card. Your credit or debit card will only be charged if you a) choose that payment method, b) exceed the value of the gift certificate.