~Things you will need~
1. Naturally, you will need photos. Most people these days are buying digital cameras. These are awesome of course (I have one) but ever since these neat digi gadgets came out, more and more of us seem to just empty our media/memory cards onto our computers and then what? Sure, you can send photos to your family and friends via email, and sure you can burn your images to a cd for safe keeping. (Lasts about 10 years) Just doing this doesn't really show off the photos you've taken for generations to come.
I'll be the first to admit, I am guilty of saving most of my photos to the computer and burning them onto a cd. I will of course have hard copies printed as I can.
One of the best things about digital photos is that not every photo you take is going to come out all that great, so you don't need to have those printed or even keep it. Just do what I do...hit your delete button on the camera. :)
Now, if you do not have a digital camera yet, what to do with all those printed 1 hour service photos? Can you still digi scrap? You bet. You will of course need a decent scanner. I bought one from Epson as well as my printer. I know there are tons of different scanners out there and you need to shop around for what is best for you. My scanner happens to scan at a very high dpi. I don't really know if I'll ever need anything above 600. What you need or would be best for scanning photos to look great would be a scanner that will scan at least 300 dpi. This is my opinion. Store your original printed photos in a safe place. However, it doesn't hurt to get them into your computer and burn to a cd as a precaution. You never know when you will have a fire or flood. I plan on taking copies of all my cds and placing them in either a safe deposit box or give to a family member I can trust.
Digital Scrapbooking has been around at least a hand-full of years and it keeps getting better every year. It is very useful and sometimes takes much less time that traditional scrapbooking.
2. No matter how you got your photos into the computer, now you can start digi scrapin'. You should now have a photo editing/graphic type software already installed onto your computer. Read my first post "I'm No Expert" about some of the software available. I'm not real sure about the MS Paint that sometimes comes with your computer. You might want to do a tutorial search for that. I use both Paintshop Pro and Photoshop to do all my digi scrapin' in. There are many cheaper programs to start you out. You want to make sure that the software you buy lets you do layers! Very important because everything evolves around layers when digi scrapin'. You'll learn that soon enough.
3. Get familiar with the program of your choice. Play around like you were a little kid. Always read up on the help file that your software comes with. If you don't know what something is for...look it up by clicking your help button. You can also do searches for different things on the internet. Don't let any of this overwhelm you! Take it day by day and practice. It's the best advice, trust me. No one, not even any of us designers started out our 1st layout as a masterpiece. If we did, we'd all be rich. We all get better with much practice and once you get going...you're going to end up with tons and tons of layout pages in no time. Lots quicker than you would doing traditional scrapbooking. Although...I still love to do that too.
4. Always remember to SAVE, SAVE, SAVE and save often during the building of you layouts. Sometimes, computers or the program you're in may freeze and you have to restart your computer. Well guess what then...what you did so far is gone and lost forever. I've wanted to toss my computer across the room a few times because I forgot to save something while I was working. What I like to do first is make a folder and name it what you will and place your on going work in there. You don't want to scream and kick something and break your toe now do you? :)