Category Archives: photos

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!

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…

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.

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!

PS~Here’s her date!

For more on how to scan your photos, see our media conversion website

Need more information on how to organize your photos?


Vacation Bound – Making Memories with a New Camera

Welcome Wendy, one of our favorite bloggers!

My style of writing is very conversational. I usually just start on a whim from a single thought and go from there. This usually works for me, but apparently not when I’m so ready for a vacation from work that I could cry. My vacation starts the day after tomorrow, and I won’t return for 12 days. I cannot express how happy this thought makes me. I’m looking forward to 12 solid days of family togetherness.

Family Vacation New Memories

We are going on a trip, but not until the middle of next week. Before that, my girls will be going on their first field trip at school (with their mother in tow). The documenter will be present, of course. The day after that is their classroom Spring Party, and I just received word from their teacher that one of my little kittens will be getting Student of the Week. It’s Haley. The one I missed last time. The award will be given this Friday at chapel, and come hell or high water…Mommy will be there this time! Redemption is near. I can taste it.

student of the week award

As any of you with a full-time career know, preparation to be out of work for vacation is clearly the most stressful time of all. I have the type of job where answers cannot wait long, so I have to be sure to fully prepare the unassuming co-workers I am leaving behind. I probably over-prepare people for my absence, but hopefully they appreciate it. I do not like to be surprised by other people’s emergencies, so I tend to treat others as if they wouldn’t want to be surprised by mine.


So, tomorrow afternoon…once the last email update is sent and the out-of-office assistant is turned on, this mother will be a happy camper. I will be happy to just be “mom” for a while…also known as “memory documenter extraordinaire.” Doing what I love most, even if only for a short period of time. Snapping pictures and rolling video in the hopes that my children can share it with their children and so on. We are a happy family, lovers of life…and making good memories is what we do best! I am looking forward to our new adventures with my camera in hand.

New Camera New Memories

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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.

Harrison_#6_040 - Version 2

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:


  • 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 (music removed)

Image 1

  • 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.


  • 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

Mary Caroline Owens headshot

  • 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.


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.


What unique story/moment would you put together?

Photograph Faux Pas

By: Wendy Reynolds, our favorite guest blogger!

I would like to thank my 5-year-old for giving me blogging inspiration; however, I sure wasn’t thanking her at the time. That being said, I have learned a valuable lesson about the display of important photographs. Most of the photos of my girls from birth to present are housed on some type of electronic storage device. But mixed in-between my digital documentaries are the professional photos we have purchased through the years. A particular favorite session of mine was when the girls were 9 months old. They were old enough to sit up, so it made life easier for the photographer. We got some adorable shots of the girls sitting in a small white bathtub together. Where would you think it is appropriate to display photos of your children in the bathtub? Well, in the bathroom of course. Do you see where this is going?

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Last night, I was loading the dishwasher after dinner, and my other 5-year-old walked into the kitchen carrying one of my favorite framed bath tub photos. She said, “Look what sissy did to the picture, Mommy!” I immediately grabbed it from her and realized it was covered in water. And it was covered in enough water that it had seeped into the frame. And it had been long enough that the photo was now stuck to the glass. Anyone who has experienced this before knows what happens when you try to peel the photo from the glass. It is not a pretty picture…literally. I was so upset. This is one of the sessions where I did not splurge for the full disc of pictures with rights to the photos. We were a one-income household at that point, and having pictures at all was considered a luxury.

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So, being the “quick-to-freak-out-slow-to-think-of-consequences” person that I am, I marched over to the bathroom to give “sissy” a piece of my mind. Her little eyes were like saucers as I approached her…already on my rampage about how important this photo was to me and how now it is ruined! She dropped the plastic tea pot (clearly the destructive device) into the sink, and ran to her room for cover. She was upset because she upset Mommy. Then I was upset because I upset her. And the tattling sissy was upset because we were both upset. My husband was upset with me because (from his point of view) this was MY fault. I was the one to put the photo on the bathroom counter in a KIDS bathroom. What did I expect? The only family member not upset at this point was the dog.

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I went back to my dishes in the kitchen so I could stew in peace. Once I settled down, I quietly took the picture and frame into my closet. I have decided not to try and take it out of the frame. I just hope the spot covering the bottom left quarter of the photo doesn’t get any worse. And I guess it won’t since I took it out of the bathroom! Moral of the story…if the bathroom is ventilated from shower steam, it is fine to hang pictures on the wall. However, if the counter is small and/or used by anyone below the age of 21…do NOT place your favorite photos on the counter. No matter how tempting. One day I will personally thank my daughter for this valuable lesson, but for now I think I owe her at least one more day of the “evil eye.”

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Collecting Convenient Memories

by Guest Blogger, Wendy Reynolds

Welcome to 2013… which feels like an entirely new century to me (A.K.A. the proud owner of a new iPhone5). My birthday was over the holidays, and the iPhone is definitely my favorite (and only) present. The thing is simply amazing, and Siri could probably even cook dinner for me if I could figure out just the right way to ask.

So, while I was cruising around the app store in search of the perfect FREE apps, I stumbled across “Collect.” This app is basically a calendar which will remind you to take a picture every day. You can then create a caption for the picture and provide any detail you want. What a perfect idea…a digital diary to remind you of how exciting (or boring) your days are.


This is the only app that I allow to give me notifications. And every night around 7 p.m. it asks me if I have remembered to collect my photo of the day. Usually I haven’t, so there is an overwhelmingly large amount of pictures of my kids in their pajamas, but at least I can also write a couple sentences about my day.

I am grateful for this app because it will also help me stay organized. I can record milestones that my girls reach, which I can transfer to their baby books (eventually). And when we are on vacations later this year, I know I can choose my favorite photo of the day to highlight our trip. These possibilities excite me. And looking at my tiny screen-sized month of January covered in pictures of my girls makes me happy too.

I highly recommend the app, and I know there are probably others like it out there. But Collect is user-friendly, the reviews were good and the price was certainly right J And let’s face it, whatever I can do to conveniently make the days count surely works for me!

Happy Collecting!