how to get started

At Photo & Story Treasures, we only recommend heirloom-quality photo products (such as photo-storybooks and digital scrap pages) from companies that maintain private photo storage and don't reserve rights to your photos in their fine print.

Because Photo & Story Treasures recommends two different companies to turn your good ideas into treasures you can hold, you'll find instructions below for both Forever and Heritage Makers-YPhoto.  (Heritage Makers' upcoming new software platform will be called YPhoto and in time the Heritage Makers name will be retired.)

You may prefer one over the other, or you may prefer to use both!  For a side-by-side comparison, click here

Remember you can contact me if you have any questions!

  1.  Open your free Forever account at my website:  You'll get a $20 coupon (good for 60 days), so you could try out a mini book, mug, mousepad, etc. for free.  
  2. Upload photos to your account.  You get 2 GB of free storage but you can purchase additional storage as you like.  (That means you OWN the storage, you don't rent it or have to pay upkeep or other fees.)  When you're logged in to the Forever home page, click "library" below your name at the right.
  3. Click "Create and Print" from the home page.  You can choose between AutoPrint and Design & Print.  AutoPrint lets you click a button to auto-fill all your chosen photos into your project, then just adjust pictures as needed, add captions and a background color, and you're done.  Design & Print has beautiful pre-designed templates and page layouts you can adjust and personalize--drop pictures in designated spots and add your story (text).  It's digital scrapbooking in a snap.  (For full creativity and flexibility, have a look at Artisan, Forever's digital scrapbooking software.)  Your project will be saved in your account, just like your pictures.   See the videos below to get an overview of each of these three different options.
  4. Joining Forever Club is highly recommended because it's free and it saves you an extra 5%!  Forever Club is like a savings account (Forever Club Dollars don't expire), and you can save up for larger items or multiple items easily, too.  Click the "Club" link at the website for more information.  There are 4 different levels to choose from.
  5. Before you place your order, check the yellow Deals tab to see if your desired item is on sale.  Use the link to copy the coupon code so you can "paste" it in the coupon section before you check out.  Don't forget to apply your $20 coupon, too!  (When you open your account, you also get a referral link which you can share with others.  Anyone who opens a Forever account using your referral link gets a $20 coupon and so do you!  So you may have additional $20 coupons coming your way.)
Here, I explain the difference between the three different print platforms you can choose with Forever.  I love that there are three different ones because you can find whatever fits your available time and creative needs.

You can also see each of these 3 platforms individually for more information:
overview of AutoPrint by Forever (free, web-based)

overview of Design & Print by Forever (free, web-based)

overview of Artisan by Forever (purchased and downloaded; 30-day free trial available)

Forever has a unique photo storage service, too! 

If you're not sure how that compares to other, common cloud storage:

Even if you're a "skimmer," be sure you read every detail so that you'll have all the information you need.  Heritage Makers-YPhoto is set up differently than Forever.

Please note that Heritage Makers' free software has always run on Adobe Flash, and when Adobe discontinued Flash, Heritage Makers then required a special workaround to run.  Heritage Makers' software will be replaced by a new platform called YPhoto which will not require Flash or any special workaround, but in the meantime Heritage Makers access requires an additional step.  Contact me for details of the workaround.

1.  Choose your account type and open your account by going to and click "sign up" at the upper right .  
  • There are three types of accounts:  Retail, Preferred, and Distributor.  A Retail account is free, but you save the most with a Preferred account since you save 10% on everything.  A Distributor (Consultant) account allows you to share Heritage Makers and earn commission.

2.  Click "products" to decide which kind of product you want (or contact me for ideas & helps).  You can see product specs as well as pricing options here.  It's good to get an idea of how much your project will cost (do you need multiple copies?) so that you will know how to get the best price for your needs.

3.  Consider joining Club HM.  It's optional but has some great perks.  Club HM is free to join and gives you $10 free each month you're on it.  One huge perk is that Club HM gives you free access to Premier art and Premier templates.  Find the details at the graphics below, or Learn about HM Club at this link.  (I have been a Club HM member ever since it started in 2012!)

If you choose not to join HM Club, you'll have access to the smaller Basic Art Collection and Basic Templates.  You will probably want to check the "Basic" box in the template gallery, or the "hide Premier" box in the Art Collection tab in Studio (where you edit your project) so you won't have to sift through the many hundreds of Premier Art pieces and Templates.

Here's an overview comparison:

4.  Now it's time to create!  Using the Heritage Makers program, Studio, is a lot like working in Microsoft Publisher or Canva, but there are so many more little tools and extra possibilities that it can be quite helpful to have some tips.  Here are three YouTube videos I made for you that allow you to SEE how Studio works.  Remember--Heritage Makers is designed so that if you want something simple, you can do that, and if you want fancy-dancy, you can do that, too.

You can get right to it if you like, or watch the videos below to lead you along--just like we were sitting down together in front of your laptop.

UPDATE 2021:  Heritage Makers' software program, Studio, has run on Adobe Flash since it began over 17 years ago.  Anticipating Adobe's decision to discontinue Adobe Flash in 2020, and desiring to update the software program, Heritage Makers is working on a new software platform (which will be called YPhoto).  Due to a few bugs, YPhoto was not ready for release before Flash was discontinued, so Heritage Makers collaborated with Adobe and with Firefox or Pale Moon (web browsers) to provide a workaround.  We may continue to use Studio as normal this way.  Directions for the workaround are provided at upon login, but you may also request a written version by emailing  

Here's a basic introduction to Heritage Makers and to Studio.  The first 4 minutes are about what you can do with Heritage Makers and why it's the best out there.  The last 9 minutes are a screen share where I show you the basics, from uploading photos to using text boxes and embellishments.

If you need to know more and would like to know ALL the basics of Studio, Heritage Makers Studio 101 is for you:

If you're interested in The Works, you'll love Heritage Makers Studio 201 where you will learn some time-saving tricks like the "swap" feature, the manage/duplicate pages feature, {the import page feature}, and the "paste special" feature.

If you're using a template, you might be interested in this video:

5.  Submit your project for printing!  Here's a little step-by-step guide through the process of ordering your completed custom Heritage Makers product if you need it:

Warning: The hardest part of this whole process is WAITING for the treasure you've created to be printed and come to your door.  :)