Every holiday season seems to involve more digital documentation in photo and video form, and this one is no different. Luckily, the days of laboriously printing and pasting photos (or wrangling pixels) to create stories out of our holiday memories with family and friends are a thing of the past. Here are five ways to use tech to make preserving special times — holiday or all-year-round — easy and fun.
1. Print Your Instagram Photos in a Snap
If it's good enough to share on Instagram, it's good enough to print, and the app PostalPix couldn't make it easier. Just download the app, and you can choose Instagram photos (or any photo on your smartphone) from several size options to be printed and sent to you in a few days — straight from your smartphone or tablet. One clever way some users are using PostalPix is as a new-fashioned thank-you note: just select a group of memorable photos from your visit along with a picture of yourselves holding a sign that says "Thank You," and have the whole group of photos sent directly to your family members or friends for a delightful surprise in the mail.
2. Edit Those Videos Like a Pro
Now you can create much more interesting videos that will hold the attention of viewers for posterity with the Fly Video app. The app makes professional video tricks such as cuts, dissolves, split screens, picture-in-picture and more as easy as a few taps. You can even add narration and music, or film a scene from multiple angles like the pros do, giving you a lasting story of your holiday good times.
3. Create Easy Photo Books
The web offers plenty of photo book purveyors, but Artifact Uprising stands out for offering an "Instagram-friendly" option that creates beautiful soft-cover books of your square Instagram photos with no uploading needed — Artifact Uprising connects directly to your Instagram feed. They also make traditional photo books with 100% recycled paper and competitive pricing.
4. Make and Share a Digital Story Together
Storypress is a platform that allows users to record, save and share personal and family stories. Users pick a topic and answer prompts about their experience — or they can choose to freestyle with their own topic ("New Year's Eve 2014," for example). The platform uses audio, video and photo responses to create a narrative that plays back as one video. One excellent use of this app is for gathering and saving the stories of older relatives to share with future generations.
5. Create a Family Story Book
Weeva is similar to Storypress in that it's a platform that allows users to create a story together, but Weeva uses digital tools to prompt family members to share memories in text and photo form. The words and images are put in a private "tapestry" collection that only invited members can see. If a family loves their tapestry, they can have it printed into a family keepsake book with one click.
Data usage applies for app download and use.