Welcome to the Winter 2022 issue!
Happy New Year! My wish for you and your family is that your legacy of life stories continues to grow throughout 2022.
I hope you enjoy this issue of the Family Legacy Video® e-Newsletter. Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone toll-free (888.662.1294) with any questions or comments you have.
Cheers! – – Steve Pender
How does a Family Legacy Video Q&A look & sound?
It may not have all the “bells & whistles” of our Deluxe Legacy Video productions, but Family Legacy Video’s entry-level Q&A Legacy Video still has a lot to offer.
And now you can see for yourself!
In response to many requests from potential clients, we now feature an excerpt from a Q&A video on our site. To check it out, head on over to the Sample Video Clips page. You’ll see the Q&A clip at the top of the list.
After watching the clip we’re sure you’ll agree that a lower budget doesn’t have to mean lower quality.
Don’t bogart your family photos & videos!
I had just emptied my post office box. As I headed across the lobby to the door, I noticed something odd on one of the counters folks use to open their mail.
“Are those photos?” I thought as I walked over for a closer look.
ORPHANED FAMILY PHOTOS – A SAD SCENE
Sure enough, scattered across the countertop were eight to ten vintage family photos. Some were square black & white shots with white edges and black curlicues around the borders. Others were slightly faded color Instamatic-style prints – probably from the late 1960s or early 1970s, judging by the bell-bottoms and teased hair.
Spotting another photo face down on the floor, I picked it up. A note on the back listed two names and the year: 1949. Turning it over revealed a pristine, glossy color shot of two boys sitting on a sofa.
I sadly wondered why these family photos were abandoned. After all, they looked like irreplaceable originals. Did one family member mail them to another, only to have that person discard them? I’ll never know.
What I do know is that too many family photos have suffered similar fates over the years. Many were dumped, unmarked, into shoe boxes. Others made it into albums that never left the hands of one family member, eventually to be tossed out and forgotten.
ARCHIVING & CURATING FAMILY PHOTOS – A CHALLENGE
And I’m just talking about prints from the film days. I have to think the archiving challenge has only grown since most of us have gone digital, with phones crammed full of photos and no plan for sorting and saving them. Not to mention the risk of losing them if a phone crashes or is lost.
So what do you do if you’re the one with a pile of one-of-a-kind family photos that you want to share with siblings and other relatives? I was in this exact situation recently.
A little background: I bought my first camera off a rack in a local sweet shop or 5 & 10 in the mid-1960s. It was plastic and took roll film. But it worked, and I used it to shoot my first photos – mainly of my mom and dad, and my brothers. Several Instamatic cameras followed, and then 35mm when I was working and able to afford it. Photos also came my way from my mother and other sources over the years.
I was pretty diligent about putting my 35mm prints into albums. But the older pics were another story. The prospect of organizing and archiving those snapshots was pretty daunting, and I let them languish for years – until the pandemic slowdown finally presented an opportunity.
CREATING A FAMILY PHOTO & VIDEO ARCHIVE
I had to face facts. I was on the cusp of turning 65. My health was good, but who knew what the future held? Did I want to take the chance of not being able to share all these priceless images with my brothers and their families? Deciding that it was now or never, I gritted my teeth, and got to work.
I collated my photos, putting them into chronological order as best I could. I wrote notes on the back of each. I purchased archival albums, storage boxes, and other supplies. And then, I spent hours arranging the photos in albums.
Of course, this still left all the photos residing in just one place. So the next thing I did was scan the prints. I gave each a number and a descriptive title, including names, places, and dates. These all went into several folders.
In addition to the pictures, I also had some video files – legacy videos I created years ago featuring my grandmother and mother. These went into folders as well.
I then ordered some custom-engraved flash drives and storage boxes, transferred all the files onto the drives, and shipped them off to my brothers in time for Christmas.
THE FINAL VERDICT
The response was heartwarming. My youngest brother said he sat down with one of his daughters and immediately watched my mom’s legacy video. Another brother told me how much fun his kids were having figuring out which of their elders they looked most like. He also marveled at how much information could fit on a “little stick.”
They were all grateful – and I felt relieved and fulfilled, knowing that these family photos were now spread throughout my family in formats that could be easily shared with coming generations.
Was it time-consuming? Yes. Did it cost me some green? Yes. Was it worth it? YES!
WHERE TO GO IF YOU NEED HELP
In case you have the desire to organize and share your photos, but lack the time and expertise to do it yourself, there are professionals who can do the heavy lifting for you. You can find them through associations like The Photo Managers.
– Steve Pender