The best part of my job is helping people bring their memories to life. The most common way is making a movie using photos, video clips set to favorite music. But it’s always fun when a customer comes up with an idea that I had not considered.
Happy Birthday Songs
A client called this morning about a 50th birthday party she is throwing for her girlfriend. During the party, she wants to play her favorite songs. So she is trying to get a playlist from her friend. She will then call me with the playlist and I’m going to burn several copies of the CD that she will hand out as party gift favors. What a neat idea and a great way to relive the memories of the party!
Do you have any other creative ideas you can share with our audience?
I remember as a child, my parents always had a nice camera and took family photos of all our vacations. My mother has spent over a decade going through family photos which were all thrown into a big metal box. She ended up organizing them by time periods and then by year (for the ones she could actually figure out the year for.) It is always fun looking back through family photos and making reprints to surprise family members with. But, what do you do with your boxes and boxes of old photographs?
As a photographer, everything I shoot is digital. I am addicted to taking pictures. My cell phone alone has around 2,500 photos on it just from the last 12 months. The digital era has allowed us to go hog-wild with the photo taking.
In the days where you had to use film, every photo became an issue of cost (cost for film and cost for developing). Now that film cost is gone, we can shoot events and take hundreds or thousands of pictures in a single day and not think twice about it!
With the development of digital photos came the explosion of photo creativity through programs like Adobe Photoshop. When I photograph a wedding, my favorite part is playing with the pictures afterward and putting special effects on my favorite photos from the event.
For all those hundreds or thousands of photos you took with film or slides, you aren’t out of luck when it comes to editing or special effects! Through BigStuf Video and MovieMe, you can take your “old fashioned” photos and turn them into digital images and then play with them on the computer ‘till your hearts content!
Think of all the fun you will have when you get your older images back in a digital format and turn them into collages, make some of them be sepia or black and white. Or how about my favorite… black and white with a splash of color! The memories you made will bring new emotions for you as you allow yourself to take those family photos out of a box and turn them into high resolution digital photos and start being creative with them.
I would suggest making a plan of action for converting your print images to digital jpg pictures.
Step 1: Go through your printed pictures and pick out all the ones you want to make sure you have available to pass down to your children or grand-children. Those are the ones you want to have converted to digital images.
Step 2: Decide if you want to simply convert all your photos at once or convert them on a project-by-project basis.
Step 3: Think of an upcoming birthday or anniversary and go through your photos to figure out which old photos would make the perfect gift.
Step 4: Make a calendar for your photo projects and when they each need to be finished. That way you have a visual to help keep you on track and not let another year go by and those pictures are still sitting in a box.
Step 5: Decide what kind of photo gifts you want to make for the different projects in step 4. (e.g.: collages, photo mugs, digital photo coffee table books, etc.)
Step 6: Once you get your photos converted to digital images, start with your first project and have a blast!
A few years ago, I started converting old family movies into digital movies. I remember giving a DVD to my grandfather and the videos of his mother’s 100th birthday party touched him so much, he couldn’t stop the tears. It made all the time I put into it well worth it. Memories fade over time and converting photos or old movies into digital copies can make those memories come to life again and will mean the world to your family members.
Have fun converting your old-fashioned photos into digital images and then turning them into fun things like blankets or calendars or slide show movies with your favorite songs. There are countless things you can do to your pictures once they are converted.
Of course, those of us with tens of thousands of digital images never end up printing them in the first place! I am working on the massive project of taking the digital photos of my children from the past ten years and deciding which ones to print and which ones to turn into fun gifts and poster sized prints.
Julie has been a wedding and portrait photographer for the past 9 years. She loves being a mom to her two children and her miniature pom-chi puppy. Julie also has a long-time passion for writing and marketing.
We’ve also been blessed using his service to narrate our movies. It’s really special to add narration on Celebration of Life movies when sharing the story about a loved one.
In June 2009, my husband and I made a decision for me to retire from my 20 year career. It was a decision I embraced and looked forward to contributing more to our family. Part of the contribution was securing our life events both with video and pictures. Initially, videotaping and photographing sporting events was just fun and my only New Year’s Resolution was to capture as many memories as I could in a year. I soon refined what I captured down to highlights, and eventually added music.
As my hobby grew, I asked friends for opportunities to make movies for them. It grew into doing more and more Movie projects until my friends of friends circle became strangers requesting a Movie. I was beyond thrilled because deep down under all the Hazardous Waste knowledge was a passion for putting someone’s story together in a beautiful unique way.
It’s more than a montage…I spend time finding the right song, lining up the words to help tell the story and ordering the pictures and video clips to maximize the emotional impact. In the Hazardous Waste industry, a typical phone call was demanding. Today a typical phone call is appreciation and tears. That part took some getting used to but now I see how putting pictures and video clips to the right kind of music at the right time can make a huge emotional impact.
This service is not for everyone but if you don’t have the time or not the type to create a movie on your own, we’d love to hear your story and make it come alive for you. The beauty of this new found career is I’m still at home and allows me to be committed to our initial family goal. A book that helped me navigate this next stage of life was called Quitter by Jon Acuff…good read.
Many thanks for the feedback on our last blog posting Reflections and Recommendation of MovieMe! —> http://wp.me/p1lhCI-eM
Something that has been on my mind lately is we are only a couple of generations removed from not being known by our grandchildren’s children. There might be the misplaced photos they find or a home movie someone runs across but nothing that really tells a story and/or ties it all together. When I think about my stepchildren’s children’s children, what will they know about us, what will they think about our time here on earth, will they learn about us from random photos, video clips we shot and/or blogs we’ve written?
Since we are using a medium, DVDs, that are here to stay for a while vs. tapes, that deteriorate over time, why not build your own legacy project? If you read last week’s blog, you can see the daunting overwhelming experience it can be putting a movie together of someone else’s life, especially after they are gone. So you’re thinking you are too young to put one together? Or you feel it is awkward to start on something like that right now? Think of it in a different way….on your next birthday put a Year in Review together. You can choose to share or not share. But how special would it be when someone wants to showcase your life either for a decade birthday, anniversary, retirement party, etc… to edit from years of ‘movies’ you have put together. It certainly will keep you focused on the story you want to tell, the story you want your life to reflect.
Andy Stanley, a sought-after leadership communicator, author, pastor, and the founder of North Point Ministries, Inc. (NPM) says, What story do I want to tell? – After a week, a month, a year, or longer, what story do you want to tell about a decision or a choice you have made. Andy says, “Do not make a choice that will make you a liar for life. Make decisions that allow you to tell a story that you are proud to tell…. Your story is with you forever.” Andy’s books include The Next Generation Leader, Visioneering and The Principle of the Path.
Put a movie together of your Year in Review or your children’s Year that reflects all your hopes and dreams and share that gift with friends and family! Your loved ones might learn something new about you.
Usually, the next question is how does MovieMe pricing work? Because there are so different facets to the pricing let me break it down in 3 sections:
How many photos do you want to share? Who is your audience? From there I guide folks with a baseline example of 100 pictures will produce a 7 minute movie. The picture pricing is divided as follows:
25 or fewer is $75
26-50 is $125
51-100 is $175, etc…
Second, I ask if there are any video clips available. Adding video clips really adds another dimension to the ‘movie.’
Both converting the media into a downloadable file and editing are $10 each. For example, if you have two video clips on 1 DVD. It would be $10 to download the one DVD into the movie software and $20 to edit the two video clips.
Third, I ask for favorite songs that follow the timing of the pictures. Doing a growing up ‘movie’ for your husband, choose music from his high school times, college, etc… Music is bought on iTunes with no markup to you. All music is laid on the movie and burned on the DVD. You also receive a CD copy of all the music used in the movie and I delete it off my database to stay within legal limits.
So what do we have?
100 Photos = $175
2 Video Clips on 1 DVD = $30
iTunes (3 songs) = $1.29 x 3 = $3.87
Movie of your family and friends to share forever = Priceless!
Do you have a family member or friend’s birthday coming up? Check out this fun way to share memories with them! Credits go to Holly Burns – her blog nothingbutbonfires.com. Click on link to read about this lovely idea. http://nothingbutbonfires.com/2011/06/sixty-years-memories
We also love surprise birthday parties! This party (movie link below picture) wasn’t your typical – let’s hide inside and jump out when they walk in – surprise party. A gal at the party suggested we stand in the driveway so when her husband drives them home, we would all be standing there waving and yelling, “Surprise!” I love the look on the wife’s face as she tries to understand why a bunch of people are standing in her driveway. Inside the house, her husband had flowers arranged and food set out, ready for a party. Be sure to videotape your next birthday party and blend with pictures to make a movie…it’s fun to send out afterwards for everyone to relive the moments!
If you are engaged or know someone who is getting married then the next two blogs are for you. Like a photographer, MovieMe! enjoys capturing different events of life. We have put together movies such as Football Movies for graduating seniors, Birthday Movies, Valentine Movies, Baptism Movies, Weddings, etc…the idea is to create a unique look back at your favorite memories in fun way to share with family and friends.
In this blog, we will discuss some Engagement/Wedding ideas that you can join into your dream event that create lasting memories and next week we will take a look at telling your story in a ‘movie.’
One of the ideas I have run across that I love is an idea I found on http://bit.ly/eBjCaX. Whether it is for Valentine’s Day or a special engagement gift for your honey, this gift takes some work but incredibly special to look back upon.
Another idea is to use photo tags of the people attending your rehearsal dinner or use these as the tags to show people where they will sit at your reception. Credits go to http://bit.ly/15Tpi.
During our wedding we had the fun idea of putting disposable cameras on each of the reception tables. We loved this idea until we had the pictures developed….90% of the pictures had been taken by children. Of course, we didn’t mind them taking a few but we had 20 cameras distributed throughout the room. haha Yes, the joke was on us so if you use this idea, hand out the cameras to the adults and encourage them to take pictures. And don’t forget to have an obvious place for them to be dropped off at the end of the evening. We did get a few pictures that we love and are grateful to see the evening through the eyes of our guests.
Share some engagement/wedding ideas you have come across on our MovieMe page with us!