Photo Project: Alphabet Soup



Letters, words, signage – everywhere you look. So much so that we usually take it for granted. In this photo project, stop and take a moment to capture some of these interesting, abstract, and often beautiful shapes.

Ready to get started? First, download the Keepsy iPhone app, and click the “+” to start your own Alphabet Soup photo set. Then invite some friends to join you in the treasure hunt for text.

Delight is in the details: Think about the design elements of the the letter you’re photographing. Is it block text or script? Heavy or light? Off-set or embossed? A strong mix will add a richness and balance to your collection.

If it feels good: To give your collection some depth and variety, look for different kinds of textures, like wood, stucco, paper, metal, plastic, concrete, etc.

Simplicity: This project is great for honing your composition techniques because unintended visual noise can be a great distraction. Be thinking about what is creeping into your frame.

The “I’s have it: Challenge yourself by shooting as many examples of a single letter that you can find. Good luck finding Q.

Head on: Taking photos of signage printed on shiny objects like glass or metal may result in an unintended self-portrait. See if you can use this to your advantage.

Imagineering: Instead of literal letters, do an abstract set of found objects. For example, things that start with “A”. Or create an A-Z photo book for a toddler.

Want to check out some more samples? Check out this photo set.


How to take great photos of clouds with your iPhone

Clear skies are nice for picnics, but for great photos give us a big juicy Cumulonimbus cloud to chew on any day. Are there any forms that exhibit such a range of emotion and drama as clouds? Here are some tips for getting better cloud photography:

Brace yourself: You’re shooting something very far away. Don’t ruin the fine details with blur from camera shake.

Exposure: Make sure your exposure is focused on the clouds, not the sky or the foreground. That way you’ll get more contrast and depth in the shapes. To set your exposure and focus, just tap the cloud if you’re using the iPhone camera. If you’re using an app like Camera+ you can split your focus and exposure controls by ‘zooming’ (spreading) your finger and thumb apart while in the camera. It’s a very nice feature.

Horizons: Experiment with skylines and landscapes to give your shots a sense of scale. Birds are also great subjects if they’re flocking nearby. So are trees, particularly in winter when you have exposed branches that have fine detail.

Wait for it: Clouds are always moving and changing shape. What looks boring one moment may change for the better in just minutes. Be patient and see what unfolds next.

Airborne: The next time you’re flying, try for a window seat, preferably away from the wing. Take-off and landing usually have the best angles for composition, but you can get some great shots at altitude, too, depending on the weather.

Cool Hack:
Those fancy sunglasses propped on your noggin? If they are polarized, you’ve got an awesome lens filter to play with. Just hold the glasses close to your camera and rotate until you’ve caught the sun at 90-degrees. You’ll know when you’re there because the clouds and sky will practically pop off the screen. Grey (neutral) lenses are best, but even if your sunglasses are another tint, you can still get some great shots, albeit a bit warmer in tone.

Want to win a free photo book of your cloud photography? Share your photo set with contests@keepsy.com or on Twitter via the Keepsy app. We choose book winners every week.


How to make a Calendar or Scrapbook with your iPhone photos

How to make a Calendar or Scrapbook with your iPhone photos

If you’ve already downloaded the Keepsy app, you already know how fast and easy it is to make photo sets and order Pocket Books right from your iPhone.

But what if you want to make a full-blown coffee table book or calendar with your iPhone pics? It’s also super easy… but kind of a hidden feature. Here’s how:

(1) Once you’ve created your photo set in the iPhone app, you can upload the photos to the Keepsy.com servers by tapping “Share”

(2) On the Share page, tap “Email”

(3) Tap Ok

(4) You’ll see your photos begin to upload.

If you don’t want to share with anyone, you can just cancel the email and your photos will continue to upload. Once the upload is complete, head over to your computer and log-in to keepsy.com.

(5) After logging into your account, click on “My Stuff”.

(6) You’ll see your Photo Set appear in your library. Click to open it.

(7) When your Photo Set loads, click either the “Book” or “Calendar” button. (In this case I’ve chosen “Book”)

(8) After selecting your style, you’ll see on the “Select Photos” see that the Keepsy tab is loaded, and all your iPhone photos from the set are there!

Just “Select All” and continue – You’re on your way to building a gorgeous album or calendar with your iPhone pics!


Project 365: How to start a daily photo journal (and keep it up)


I love the idea of a diary, but I’m way too lazy, busy, distracted… (pick any excuse) to actually do it. That’s why I keep a daily photo journal. With the Keepsy app, it’s a really fun way to document my life, and the iPhone makes it ridiculously easy since it’s always with me.

What’s the best way to get started? Here are some tips:

Pick a time you’ll be free to take photos. This might be when you are brushing your teeth or maybe when you’re winding down after work. The key is to you choose a time you’re not busy (e.g. driving, in class, or in a meeting).

Set a daily alarm: Sometimes it’s easy to forget that your iPhone makes an excellent alarm clock. Set an alarm – or a few – so that you’ll remember to take the photo. When the alarm goes off, just fire up the Keepsy and add your photo to the 365 Project that appears when you install the app. I have two alarms set – one for 10:20am and the other for 7:15pm. That way If I miss the morning shot, there’s always time for a make-up later.

Share with friends: It’s fun to see what other friends are doing and where they are at the exact same time. So invite some friends to add their photos by sharing the project with them. Be sure to tell them to set their alarms, too! 

Walk the Plank: Push the limits of your creativity by adding a theme. Maybe your daily photo always includes the same object in different location. Maybe it’s a self-portrait in a new pose or facial expression each day. Tebow-ing and Planking come to mind… but we’re sure you can improve on that.

Best of all, at the end of the year, you can print your best shots in a photo book, and voila, you have your journal.

So go set your alarms and get snapping!


The Keepsy iPhone App is here!

Keepsy iPhone AppThe Keepsy team is excited to announce the release of our first iPhone app. What’s that? Another photo app, you say? We know, there are a lot of them out there. So what makes Keepsy different?

Here are some of the very cool things you can do with Keepsy for iPhone:

Get organized
The first thing the Keepsy app does is scan your photos and separate them into Photo Sets, organized by date and time. The app analyzes your shooting habits, time, and location, and then create Photo Sets based on events in your life. You can also create your own Photo Sets by just tapping a selection of photos from your iPhone’s photo library, or Instagram.

Share with anyone.
You can share and update Photo Sets with anyone. Best of all, they don’t even need an iPhone. Just send an email or text a link to the grandparents and they can view and even comment on your Photo Set right from their Mac or PC browser. You can also enable others to add their photos to your collection to make a group Photo Set. Can you imagine how cool the Photo Set from your next party could be?

Take better photos.
It’s nifty to snap a pic of your fancy cappuccino, apply a filter, and post it for the world to see. That’s why we’ve included some great editing and filter tools from Aviary inside the app. But after taking a few dozen of these types of photos, the magic begins to wear off. We wanted something more fun and challenging. Something that would stretch your imagination a bit. So, each week, the app will update you with a new Photo Project theme – filled with photography tips, and designed to help you get more from your iPhone camera.

Print a book from your iPhone with Keepsy

Print a book from your iPhone with Keepsy

Print a photo book – right from your iPhone.
We know you’re busy – so we wanted to make ordering a photo book super simple. Our new hardback Pocket Books are as beautiful as they are easy to make. The new size (7″ x 5″) is super-stylish, and easy to slide into a handbag or purse for carrying with you (and honestly, it’s a lot more fun handing someone a book of photos than showing them your phone).

The app is free, so give it a try and please let us know what you think!


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