Because this was originally part of a post of another title in another blog of mine, I decided to edit it some and post it here where it might be more helpful.
Some friends have taken up the challenge to digiscrap. I guess if you're a beginner like me, and intimidated by Photoshop like me, here are a few pointers that could prove very useful:
1) You only need internet really to download kits, and maybe upload your pictures. And since kits are usually big files, dial-up connections would suck.
2) But when you're obssessed about getting better, learning more, or getting a kit for free, you can also join chat sessions (they usually announce the date and time in their message boards and newsletters).
3) If you're just starting out and not yet an addict, get the most out of FREEBIE offerings. ShabbyPrincess.Com and Scrapbookflair.com are great sites to start downloading from as these offer complete kits with alphas (letters in .png format), elements, papers, etc. already. Go through the top Digital Freebie Sites if you have to so you can also check out TUTORIALS and actual LAYOUTS as well as register for the FORUMS. You also try ikeagoddess.blogspot.com
4) If you don't know sh!t about Photoshop, do what I did... I printed tutorials. Of course, some tutorials prefer certain PS versions. And yes, you can also use Paint Shop Pro or Corel Draw and some sites offer tutorials for them too. Make Google Search your friend.
5) When I say you're downloading big files, think HUGE. Usual paper size is more than 1 mb. That's because you want to preserve the quality of every element. Best to use pictures of the same size too (even if you're going to resize them).
6) Have them printed if you want. That was my main motivation to learn it, and i've had several printed and they're all cute. Unfortunately, there are some minor discrepancies between a digital 5x7 to a picture of the same size (5R) but it's ok, you'll learn your lesson soon enough.
7) Consider fancy fonts to embellish your layout. Think Dings but only install those you think you can really use (sooner or later, you'll be confident enough to transform the dings into PNG format and then delete the font from your font folder). Or you can also just install/load them when you need them. The same is true for brushes.
8) Installing so many fonts can be fun, but it will reduce loading time for fonts. In time, you may have to download and install a font manager. Or maybe you can just limit your font options to fonts you know you'd use time and again (I love Lainie Day, beautiful, jane austen and calvin n hobbes), and just install-delete special fonts you'd only use for a time.
9) You'd need a lot of space. Freebie kits and embellishments alone can already take up 1-2 gigs, what more your own layouts. Kits burned in CDs should still be saved in your hard drive, otherwise it will delay your PC's processing time.
10) Don't be scared of making mistakes. The good thing about Photoshop is it has this History column at your right where you can easily return to where you were before you committed the mistake. Do try the different filters. There's no other way to make you feel less intimidated. Save the .psd file before saving in jpeg format.
11) Have and take lots of pictures. But when modifying your pictures, do not save changes when you're closing the file so you perserve the original (or save modified versions as a different file).
12) Have fun. Be honest with your sentiments (journalling). Feel free to fuss and be mushy. Feel free to be wacky.