Category Archives: memories

Surprisingly Perfect Days with Cherished Memories

By our guest blogger, Wendy Reynolds:

I am so glad I didn’t listen to the initial weather report that Siri provided to me on my drive home last Friday. I asked her what the weather was going to be like on Sunday in St. Augustine. For those of you who prefer Android, live under a rock or are over the age of 60…Siri is the name of the helpful voice inside the iPhone 4S and higher. Thinking she was being helpful, she told me it wasn’t looking so good on Sunday…complete with a temperature of 66 degrees and scattered thunderstorms. Ugh! There is no way I plan to take my kids back to the beach when it’s cold and/or rainy. Much less when it’s both.

So, we told my Aunt and Uncle from New Hampshire that we wouldn’t be able to join them in St. Augustine on Sunday, and we would shoot for next Friday instead. I was bummed, so you know how bummed my 5-year-olds must have been. Later that night, I looked at the extended report on the weather channel’s site. Much to my surprise, the LOW was 66 degrees (who cares?) and the chance of rain was 30%. Um…not sure why Siri felt the need to report only the negative stuff, but at this point I decided to ignore her.

What a beautiful day it turned out to be! We spent the morning on the beach and the girls played in the water and built sandcastles. After lunch, they wanted to go in the pool. Siri must have provided the pool water temperature, because even with the sun out, my little munchkins had purple lips and tears in their eyes. They were not happy. Oh no…how am I going to salvage the afternoon? That is when I decided to drive into downtown St. Augustine. I loaded up my girls and my Mom, and off we went on a mini adventure.

We took the bridge into St. Augustine, curved to the right and ended up in the parking lot of Castillo de San Marcos. When the girls saw some neat old building that resembled a castle, they were hooked.

We got out to go exploring, and had a great time! The girls seem to be intrigued with history now (much to their Dad’s pleasure), and it was so enjoyable to share one of my childhood experiences with them. To add to an already perfect trip, we got there right on time to watch (mainly hear) the cannons being fired.

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It was one of those days that just couldn’t have been better! From the weather (sunny, breezy and beautiful – thank you very much!) to the spur of the moment plans that worked out just right…it was simply perfect!

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We now have plans to go back to St. Augustine as a family. Maybe ride the trolley from landmark to landmark and share the stories of the oldest city in the United States with our sweet girls! I love when they can experience things that we did as children, and of course I will be documenting it all along the way. Sunday was a gentle reminder that sometimes it’s the unexpected and unplanned days that turn out to be the best. Go ahead and take the family for a drive…and cherish the memories you find along the way!

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If you wish to follow Wendy Reynolds personally, click here:

www.preventivedoublemastectomy.wordpress.com

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Girls Gone Sentimental

Welcome our guest blogger, Wendy Reynolds!

For my next memory capturing adventure, I’m hoping for a warmer time at the beach. Last month I couldn’t even take my jacket off in Anna Maria Island. This Friday, I am headed to St. Simons Island in Georgia for a little R&R with my cousins! No kids, no men, no cooking, no cleaning, no grocery shopping and plenty of fun to be had. We are attempting to make this an annual thing, and I can’t wait!! It may only be for two nights, but we’ll all take what we can get!

St. Simon's Island, GA

St. Simon’s Island, GA
For more images of St. Simon’s Island go to http://www.patrickanderson.net

For this trip, I’m not worried about packing up any camera equipment. We captured plenty on our phones during our last trip to Savannah. Some of which was deleted the next morning for good reason. What happens in Savannah, stays in Savannah! I’m sure the same will ring true for St. Simons. We have dinner planned at The Rooftop on Friday night…which looks like a beautiful place, and then some dancing at Ziggy’s. As for the rest of the trip, who knows? We’ll have a pool, tiki bar and an ocean at our disposal. Sounds like we can figure something out!

It means so much to me that my cousins and I started doing this. Not only is it something to look forward to each year, but it also keeps us close like sisters. We make fun memories and plenty of inside jokes to carry us to the next trip. We plan things six months in advance just so we can be surprised by how fast life is passing us by. We stay connected because we understand when it’s all said and done, family is always there…no matter what.

In these busy, hectic lives of ours…we are taking a weekend off…together. We will remember these times forever, and cherish the memories made. Some memories will be documented, and others will just have to stay in our hearts for only us to share. I am blessed to have these women in my life, and I hope they know how thankful I am.

Are you capturing your vacation memories on your phone or cameras?

If you would like to follow Wendy personally, click here: www.preventivedoublemastectomy.wordpress.com

 

Putting Birthday Songs on a CD

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

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?

Photos in the Digital Age

Saturday was a special day. My stepdaughter, Chandler, was going to Prom with her boyfriend, Alex. He is a really good guy…she has chosen well. Chandler invited me to come hang out while her and her girlfriends were getting their hair and makeup done. Before I said yes, I asked her if this would be a special mommy/daughter time because I didn’t want to interfere. She paused and said “you’re my mommy, too.” I replied, “you are going to make me cry….okay, I’m tearing up now!” How blessed am I? Her mother has given me such a beautiful gift of allowing me to love on her daughter and son without boundaries.

Throughout the afternoon, her friends alternated between hair and makeup taking place in the bathroom. In order to watch comfortably, they put pillows in the bathtub. But, of course!

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Each of the girls are simply beautiful without makeup but once they were done, they evolved into these freaks of beauty. Talk about going from 16 to 26 in a flash! As the bathroom got busier, I decided the toilet was going to be the seat in the house. I found Chandler sitting on my lap soon after. It was another fun opportunity to take pictures. Nothing like being 47 and taking close up pictures with a soon to be 17 year old! Auughh…

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Now most of our pictures are taken with our iPhone or an HD Camera so there is no need to digitize them. But there are many of us with older photos that need to be scanned. I took a picture from my wedding in 2004, which I had to download and placed it next to a special moment last Saturday. The day of my wedding, Chandler helped me with the buttons on the back of my dress. Saturday, Chandler needed help with the back of her dress. What a role reversal we had taken.

www.movieme.co

Is there a special photo you can align with a current memory? Juxtapose your memories and be sure to have your older photos scanned into digital images so you can manipulate them with fun software like we did above. Share your pictures with us http://www.facebook.com/MovieMe!

PS~Here’s her date!

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For more on how to scan your photos, see our media conversion website http://www.bigstufvideo.com

Need more information on how to organize your photos? http://wp.me/p1lhCI-dr

Converting your Old-Fashioned Photographs into Digital Images

Welcome our new guest blogger, Julie!

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.
Happy converting!

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.

Looking Forward into the Future

Like most people, I love having things to look forward to. I’m talking about the reasons we charge the batteries in our video camera. You know, the things that make the mundane weekdays seem brighter. I hear that my girls’ class will be leading Chapel on Friday, and I make arrangements to be there regardless of what I have to move around. Why? To capture this youth, this innocence, this love for my attention that five-year-olds seem to have endless amounts of. They are growing and learning and changing so fast. It’s hard to keep up.

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What keeps me charging the batteries, is knowing the dynamic will change all too soon. Suddenly the years will be upon me where my girls don’t think I’m the best thing since sliced bread. They won’t want Mommy to see everything or be everywhere. These precious years where Daddy is King, I am the Queen and they are the Princesses will be over. It makes me sad to think about it.

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However, this Queen will have everything on record. I will have proof, and I will show them! The King and I can sit back years from now and watch the beauty that is five-years-old. We will watch the love and admiration our children have for us, and we will probably cry tears of joy. I am determined to have enough footage to last the entire teenage years and into the early twenties. For I know, by the age of 25…they will love us again.

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We may never again be the King and Queen, but we will be blessed to have our daughters admire us once more. And these memories that we are making now will help bridge that gap. Perhaps we will be lucky and our kids will admire us through adolescence, but if our girls follow the status quo…I will be ready. Looking forward is what good parents do, but I remind you as I remind myself…take the time to enjoy what is going on now. Five-years-old will never happen again. Be sure to grab it and embrace it as it flies by.

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Creative Client Movie Examples

Securing memories is not only limited to birthdays and anniversaries…here are some creative ideas clients have requested in recent months:

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  • Anniversaries are a fun time to pull the memories together on how you met, dating life, marriage and kids. A recent client went a step further and dreamed of what his grandkids future reality might be like. See clip http://vimeo.com/60035885 (music removed)

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  • Another client found several slide carousels of when their family took a trip across the nation in 1964. Fun to see the types of cars, outfits worn and what Disneyland looked like back then.

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  • Recently a client was going to NYC and wanted DVDs of her daughter’s acting/singing/dancing career to hand out to prospective clients. See clip http://vimeo.com/60036103

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  • The storyline for this particular movie was a Mom, who put a movie together of all the special moments between their Dad and their sons. She had her boys introduce each section. A creative idea instead of just using title slides.

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Another client had several Videotapes converted with us and wanted just their son’s football game pulled out and several copies made for family. You don’t have to be extensive and tell a life story, sometimes sharing the weekend moments is a gift in of itself.

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What unique story/moment would you put together?