Summing up that Sport

In the last six months, both my children marked major milestones:

  • Ethan (age 9) became a first degree black belt in Taekwondo

  • Morgan (age 13) became a second degree black belt in Taekwondo

We have celebrated each milestone in their progress toward their black belts, and have the “belt towers” to commemorate these steps. However as they step back, I felt it was important to have something tangible as a point of pride, something to share with others “hey I did it!”. For each, I made them an 8x8 album.

Looking back on their early days as white belts (they look so young!) they are clearly eager to learn about this ancient tradition and it’s place in today’s world. As they moved forward they understood more about leadership, compassion, responsibility and respect. Ethan responds to many requests at our house with “Yes Ma'am or Yes Sir!” Morgan leverages her boost in confidence born of being selected as a student instructor.

The amount of practice and dedication they both exhibited toward their goals is commendable at their young age. Both felt after several years of this hard work it was time “retire” (they can go back at any time) to pursue new interests. For Ethan that is basketball and guitar, for Morgan that is silks. However their accomplishments shouldn’t be forgotten, and more importantly should be easy to share. These simple photo books help them do that!

Does your child participate in an activity that you want to commemorate? Contact me for your free 30-minute phone consultation.

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Small Gift from the Heart

For many friends my age, we find it challenging to select the right gift for our parents. They don’t seem to need anything so birthdays, Father’s day and more are a challenge.

One year I was flipping through some old black and white photographs of downtown Columbus Ohio that my husband’s Grandfather had taken in the 1930s. We decided to go out on a sunny day and shoot those same urban scenes today. I printed and placed those photos side by side in a small album.

I gave this album to my Dad one Father’s Day. As a lifelong resident of Columbus and a business owner in the construction industry, he was intimately familiar with most buildings downtown. This simple gift was an instant hit and for months he carried that album in his briefcase sharing it with other longtime construction colleagues.

This little album didn’t take long to create and didn’t cost much. Today digital photo books make it even easier to assemble. But the value to the recipient is priceless.

Do you have someone special with an interest you would like to bring to life? Contact me for your free 30 minute phone consultation and let’s see what we can create!

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New Year Old Mess?

When the holidays are over I always feel a sense of organization returning, putting things back where they belong when the decorations come down. It’s a chance to fluff up, dust off, and refresh each room just a little bit (not the heavy-duty spring cleaning that comes later in the year!). It’s also that time to reset and get the steps in place to get in shape.

Do you feel you are ready to dust off and refresh those digital pictures from last year? When I talk about photo organizing, many people are put off by the sheer effort of trying to get their digital memories in shape. When they think about 2016 and the number of devices, digital cards, websites, flash drives that all of their digital content lives on, it’s enough to reach for the last of the holiday cookies.

Never fear, digital organization is one of the quickest ways to get your memories in shape. Once organized, the possibilities open up for some photo books, albums, 2017 calendars, slideshows, and more. What's the best part? You don't have to get anything "ready" for an organizer to help you out. We are used to mess...it's okay! 

Want to get started? Contact me for your free 30-minute phone consultation where we will discuss 2016 as you remember it, and how you would like to see it!

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Get Sorting...Get Organizing in Three Simple Steps!

One of the greatest joys I receive in helping people with their photos is providing relief for clients  when we develop a strategy to tackle their memories. I’ve heard sighs of relief and expressions of gratitude for just developing a strategy (without touching a single photo). Regardless if your photos are in boxes a prints or slides, or on hard drives or devices, feeling overwhelmed is common. By focusing in on a smaller chunk of work, you can begin the organizing process for yourself. Do you think your pile is impossible? Try these three simple steps.

First ask yourself:

  • What would organized photos look like (boxed neatly, scanned, organized digital folders)?
  • If my photos were all organized what would I do with them (frame some, put in an album, make a book)?
  • How would others enjoy my photos (walking past pictures, flipping through pages, watching a slide show)?

Second, once you have this vision, determine if there is a year or topic or event that is exceptionally meaningful for you:

  • Would you like to have all of your son’s soccer photos in one book showcasing his efforts from elementary school to high school?
  • Would you want a beautiful digital slide show of your fabulous vacation set to music?
  • Would you want to pull out the last 5 years of family group photos and hang them on your wall?

Finally, start small. Pull only the photos that fit this goal out of your boxes or off your devices. Afraid of getting sidetracked by other images? See if a child or friend can help. Ask them to find every photo that has a soccer uniform or soccer ball in it. Make it a game. Once you have your images, quickly sort through and put aside any that are not worth working with (blurry, out of frame, duplicate).

Now you have a selection of images ready to move forward towards your vision. Need someone to digitize, organize, produce or publish these images? Contact me for your free 30-minute phone consultation.

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Sharing Memories

The transition from summer to fall is one of my favorites of the year. As a kid summer meant riding horses, swimming (a lot) and loads of time cutting grass. Moving into fall meant sweatshirts, crisp leaves, playing at the park, and still cutting grass. How do I remember this? I have pictures.

 

The last couple of summers-into-fall have been a bit different. As the temperatures change I reflect on fond memories, then I pull down an album or photo book to take to my Mom--as she suffers from early-onset Alzheimer's. While older memories are readily available to her, the more recent seasons with family and grandkids are not.

Dropping off a recent photo book, or an old family album brings her more joy than any other gift could. Events from my childhood she can recall and laugh about. More recent events with my siblings or children she looks at with a smile...she knows the faces even if she can’t remember all the details.

While she enjoys flipping through those formal wedding albums and other key events, she seems to take pleasure in what I call the “everyday” albums -- the ones that capture little events in the course of a year, the ones that include my kids’ artwork and certificates (digitized and included).

We didn’t see the Alzheimer's coming, but I am thankful that I have always enjoyed photos and memorabilia, that I find it rewarding to pull those items together in a book that can be shared. Now we have a “family library” of her images and mine that she checks out and keeps for weeks, to revisit all the times in her life--as well as the lives in the the generations after her.

Are you overwhelmed by photos from that recent wedding or graduation? Not sure where to start? Let’s talk! Contact me for a free 30 min assessment and we can form a plan to digitize your photos, tackle your memorabilia, and bring your stories out for you to share.

#yourstoryletstalk

 

Attic Treasures

When I was 11 years old I thought it was really cool when my parents pulled that just-out-of-reach cord and pulled down the ladder that led to our garage attic. As a small child I never made it past one or two rungs on the ladder going up--it just seemed so high. But at 11 years old, we were moving and it was time to go up and figure out what was sitting in this garage attic.

My mom and I headed up one early summer morning (before it got too hot). Crouched almost in half, we looked around at the mishmash of boxes, old appliances, tools and other assorted bits spread out across planks laying over the rafters. My Mom immediately zeroed in on a pile of boxes labeled with her handwriting. Before we could start evaluating the entire storage situation, she had pulled the lids off, sat down, and started revisiting old memories. These boxes contained all kinds of items I had never seen before...the cloth napkin from the fancy restaurant she and my dad went to for prom, porcelain dogs wrapped in faded newspaper (she apparently collected as a teen), old photos that she inherited from her parent’s move years before. As I sat with her listening to explanations of items, two thoughts kept swirling…

  • Why have I never seen this stuff before?

  • Why do we have to sit in a dusty, stale attic to enjoy these things?

These two questions stayed with me as I established home after home in my adult life and now the home with my husband and our children. Photos and other memorabilia should be easily accessible, and it should be something I can easily share with family, friends, and my children.

I believe having these items handy when a story comes up, helps my children understand who I was growing up, who my husband was, what our families were like, what the times were like, and ever more, what their grandparents  and other family members and friends were like “way back when.” It’s a challenge to try to store everything thing we treasure, but why not take pictures of those items and make a book, tell a story, and share those memories without climbing a ladder or dusting off a box? Whether you keep the items as well, or part with them and keep the book close, pulling together photos and memorabilia is a great way to quickly call up a story...whenever you want to share.

Are your memories tucked away in a basement or attic? Not sure where to start? Let’s talk! Contact me for a free 30 min assessment and we can form a plan to digitize your photos, tackle your memorabilia, and bring your stories out for you to share.

#yourstoryletstalk

World Photo Day

Have you ever seen an image that takes your breath away? Is it a landscape? A portrait? An amazing active shot? Something that captures a treasured memory for you?

 

If you can say yes to any question above, then I’m happy to share with you World Photo Day --coming August 19, 2016. This day is all about celebrating the joy and power of photography. Founded in 2009 and based on the anniversary of the Daguerreotype as the first practical photo process, World Photo Day is a great day to think about and appreciate all of the great photography in your life.

Do photos in your life overwhelm you? Are they spread across all of your digital devices? Do you have boxes of prints in your basement or attic, closet or under the bed that cause more stress than joy? World Photo Day is a great day to get focused and make a plan in 3 easy steps:

1 - ASSESS

How many boxes of printed photos do you have?

Approximately how many digital images do you have?

2 - LOOK AHEAD

Would you rather have printed photos in digital form?

Would you prefer your digital images are easy to search and retrieve while safely backed up?

3 - MAKE A CALL

Reach out to a Personal Photo Organizer to get more information on digitizing photos, organizing files and securely backing up these treasured memories.

World Photo Day brings attention to a medium that triggers memories, stories, and sharing. Take the steps you need to make these memories, stories and opportunities for sharing easy and enjoyable.

Click on the World Photo Day banner above for more information. 

Have you answered questions one and two. Ready to move ahead? Let’s talk! Contact me for a free 30 minute assessment and we can form a plan to digitize your photos, tackle your memorabilia, and bring your stories out for you to share.

#yourstoryletstalk

Wedding Photos...Revisited

With wedding season upon us, I started thinking about my 18th wedding anniversary around the corner--and my 20th in just two short years. Although hard for me to believe, what is more painful is realizing there are so many memories I don’t have.

See back when I got married, the photographer I CAREFULLY selected due to his AMAZING photography only shot slide film. Post-wedding, my husband and I gathered at his studio to revisit the day all over again on the “big screen” as we flipped through slides and determined what was going into our album.

Of course at that time we could not afford much, so our final wedding album had around 50 photos, mostly the obligatory photos of formal family groupings (make sure everyone is pictured at least once!). I remember being at the studio in TEARS because I couldn’t afford all of the wonderful photos captured on our special day.

Fast-forward 15 years, by the time my brother and his fiancee get married, he simply purchases ALL the photos from the wedding photographer. He has EVERYTHING. However their challenge became trying to assemble a meaningful wedding album from SO MANY photos.

Since our anniversary was looming, I recently reached out to my wedding photographer--did they even keep those slides from 18 years ago? The answer was yes AND they were having a vault sale where they were discounting the purchase of ALL the images from an archived event. My dream come true! So as a professional photo book designer, I rushed over and purchased my archive. Then (with the kids on the couch and some popcorn at the ready) we used a borrowed slide projector to flip through the more than 300 images from our wedding. The kids got to enjoy the “big screen” photos and the fact at one time their Dad had hair! From there I curated the key images to tell a new story, and sent them off to a trusted vendor to be scanned. What now? A fabulous wedding album is currently in the works with more than 175 images telling the story we couldn’t tell before. I couldn’t be more delighted and I hope to do the same for you.

 

Do you have a CD full of images but are not sure how to make a meaningful photo book or wedding album? Let’s talk! Contact me for a free 30 min assessment and we can form a plan to digitize your photos, tackle your memorabilia, and make the images for your stories available to share.

#yourstoryletstalk