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5 Steps in Making a Funeral Video for a Loved One

Last week we received a phone call for a family preparing for a funeral. It’s already stressful ironing out all the logistics but it’s an additional strain trying to put a video together when you never have done one before.

I shared that we create Celebration of Life Movies (see example at the bottom,) that includes music and narration. We do not provide ‘funeral’ videos since most Funeral Homes now provide this service. This client wanted her ‘funeral’ video to be more customized than the Funeral Home was willing to provide so I walked her through some ideas to consider:

  1. Will you be showing the video before/after the funeral?  If showing before/after, you don’t need to worry about music choice since most people will not hear the video during this time, unless on a professional sound system.
  2. Will you be showing during the funeral?  If yes, consider the size of your audience. If large, keep video under 5 minutes. If more private and family oriented, 5-10 minutes might be appropriate.
  3. What photos to choose?  Choose your favorite photos if showing before/after. If showing during the funeral, you may need to include other photos that help tell the story of the person.
  4. Should the photos be in order?  If video shown before/after, order of pictures is not important because most likely folks will not see the video in its entirety. If shown during the funeral, try to have some order. You’re telling a story and people like to follow the order of events. 
  5. How many photos makes up a 5 minute video? Appx 60-75 pictures

We have found there is an increasing need for Celebration of Life Movies. This do not replace the funeral video but is something typically put together months later and shared with a larger group of family & friends. To view an example, see


The “Other” Memories

Written by Guest Blogger, Wendy Reynolds!

What does the word “memories” mean to you? The first image that comes into my mind is of my children. And they are smiling. And waving. And it’s in slow motion. With a slight blur due to the sunshine coming down perfectly from the sky. HA! Hollywood hasn’t shaped our imaginations at all, has it? While most of the memories we care to hang on to are happy ones, it doesn’t hurt to give yourself a dose of reality by documenting some of the not-so-happy ones. These are usually the “funny, embarrassing or just plain mean” photos that are often used in the videos shown at your graduation party or rehearsal dinner.

I have a few really good ones saved up to use on my girls. There is one of Brooke screaming like a banshee in her crib because she didn’t want to nap at 9 months old.

The baby cries and calls mum from a bed

Then another one of Brooke sitting on the froggy potty with her dad’s glasses on.

Child on potty

And I could never forget the picture in front of the beautiful poinsettia plants at Gaylord Palms Resort where Brooke has her finger up her nose! Poor, poor Brooke. The embarrassed high school graduate. I’m sure I have some of her sister as well, but those come to my mind quite easily.

These are the photos that make you pause because they tell a story of life, reality and truth. Sure the posed, smiley professional photos are great to hang on the wall and admire, but what can compare to the photo that brings the big belly laugh from grandpa? Or the sheepish grin from across the room at the rehearsal dinner? Or the smiles of understanding from a lifetime of loving (and dealing) with one another?

So, I urge you to include these one-of-a-kind photos! When MovieMe is preparing a beautiful presentation for your next family gathering, throw in the funny ones! Show off the real side of life…the natural, un-posed, raw beauty of what we all go through. The child-rearing years are definitely some of the best (so they tell me). I’m right in the thick of it, so it’s hard to see past it…but I’m beginning to believe that I will wish for it back one day. And the funny photos I leave behind will be my best way to remember these “perfect-because-they’re-mine” memories!

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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

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?

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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?

Vacation Pictures by Kids – Smaller Points of View

Please welcome Wendy Reynolds, our guest blogger! Show her your enjoyment of the blog by clicking ‘like’ on one of the social media buttons below.

Last week was our COLD trip to the beach. Who knew the high would be in the 60s during the last week of March in FLORIDA?? Certainly not me when I made our reservations back in December. Oh well, we tried to make the best of it. My girls wore their sweatshirts and tennis shoes to play in the sand, and the fact that I haven’t had a pedicure recently never became an issue.

When packing for the trip, I made sure to bring all my camera equipment along. I charged the batteries for my Olympus SLR, my Canon G10 and both my girls’ point and shoot cameras. I even had my back-up batteries charged and brought extra memory cards of various sizes. I don’t know if it was the cold weather, or simply that I love the camera on my iPhone 5…but I never even unzipped my camera bag while I was there. It is so nice to carry something convenient around that happens to have a good camera on it. And the ability to send the pictures to friends and upload them to Facebook within seconds is hard to beat. I think phones are slowly taking the place of cameras that do nothing but…oh my goodness…take pictures!

However, my little photographers were requesting their cameras even before we got there. I may have gotten some great shots with my phone, but nothing evoked the joy I felt when reviewing what was on my girls’ cameras once we got home. I have decided to make this a tradition. I will make sure they are able to document whatever they want to on our vacations, and then I will burn it onto a CD and probably save it on my external hard drive for later enjoyment.

vacation pictures with kids

Vacation through the eyes of a 5-year-old is an amazing thing. From pictures of themselves in the mirror standing on the new bed, to photos of beautiful things in shops we would never buy…I was enamored by the simple beauty they captured. They took pictures of the inside of our cottage, the sandcastles and shells they found, along with pictures of each other making the goofy faces they reserve only for their twin sister. I can also appreciate the world from their height…I never realized how much they have to look up to see everything.  And the simple things they find worthy of capturing make me realize it really is all about the little things. Life sure is beautiful from these smaller points of view.

vacation pictures

What do you do with your pictures taken on vacation? Do your kids take pictures, as well?

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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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