Monday, March 3, 2014

the story.

Last week was a biggie in the world of memory keeping.  There was real earth-shaking movement, and now that the dust has settled your options for digital tools & services just got bigger & better!

Last week, Rhonda Anderson resigned from Creative Memories, the company she founded 27 years ago, to continue her mission with Heritage Makers. And I went with her.  In Rhonda's own words "To preserve my personal integrity I had to leave. I lost my peace. I had a pit in my stomach that said it's time - I had to go."  Please read the whole story in this article:  Co-Founder Rhonda Anderson Resigns.

Rhonda's heart, passion and integrity were a big part of my decision to make Creative Memories part of my life for the past 21 years.  I am excited about my new adventure with Heritage Makers. If you would like to explore my web site for the myriad of digital products & services they provide, please click here.  Soon, with Rhonda's help, you will be able to get quality traditional albums supplies as well. 

The good news for you - You have more options than ever for getting your photos off your devices & into your life!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

good advice.

This past weekend I was privileged to attend a conference in Dallas for The Association of Professional Photo Organizers, or APPO for short.  Everyone there had an appreciation and passion for all-things-photo.  I learned that 880 billion photos will be snapped this year.  I learned that there are 30,000 photos a minute uploaded to Instagram.  I learned that billions of photos are in jeopardy because we don't understand & respect technology.  I learned that photos are an easy marker of what is good, bad & meaningful in our lives.

One of my favorite quotes of the weekend was from the mouth of photographer Kevin Gilbert who said "A picture has no value if you can't find it."

In the spirit of these wise words, I want to share some good advice that I gleaned from the conference.  I compiled wisdom from the above mentioned Kevin Gilbert, and from Nick Kelsh's presentation.  Call it Ten Good Ideas.

1. Get your memories off your old computers, phones, tablets and onto a modern computer.

2. Put all your photos in one place on your computer.  This could be a file labeled PHOTOS or I use Panstoria's Historian (formerly Memory Manager).  Whatever the case, put them in ONE PLACE. 

You want them in one place because if / when your computer crashes you have ONE FILE to save. You want the file named PHOTOS because if something would happen to you, it won't be a mystery to family members as to where to retrieve the photos!

3. Re-name all your photos. CRV1026 means nothing to me... or to anybody.   This can be as simple as "Charlotte's Birthday" or "Dallas Trip".  This will enable you to locate your photos more easily. 

4. Sort them into folders. Think like a librarian.  This is how you organize your photos - by renaming them and naming your folders.  Nick Kelsh said "It takes discipline, but the time you spend doing it is less than when you can't find one."

Creating folders is super easy in programs like Historian. Since I have mentioned it twice now I will give you the link. Click here if you want to know more about the photo organizing software I love.

5. Create a "Greatest Hits" folder.  These are photos that make you gasp when they appear on the screen.  These are photos you want to share with the world.  These are photos you are proud of.  These are photos you gave a 5-star rating.

6. Get your photos from social media and back into YOUR files.

7. Back up your entire photo collection onto an external hard drive AND in the cloud. 

External Hard Drive backup is a one button process using the SHADOW COPY feature in Historian. And FYI, I use Carbonite for my cloud backup.  There are many options out there, just do it.

8. Treat your originals lovingly.  Remember that if you edit in PhotoShop, you trash your original image when you edit.  I like software (like Historian) that always keep the original image, no matter how many times you edit.  OK, I am sorry that this sounds like a commercial, but I cannot help sharing what I am doing & loving as part of the sound advice.

9. PRINT YOUR PHOTOS.  There are 1000 creative ways to do it. Honestly, this is the only way to guarantee that your photos will be around in 10 years... or even 5.

10.  Enjoy your photos. Reminisce.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

take a photo.

Do it. Nick says that this is quickest route to photographic success. 

clean up tool.

This is a commercial for Historian software from Panstoria. This is the upgrade to our beloved Memory Manager software from Creative Memories.  I want you to know that I think the CLEAN UP TOOL alone on the new version is worth the $39.95 price tag.

This is a scanned photo of Mollie Kate.  It is a favorite childhood photo that she picked for her Senior Class Graduation Slideshow.  It was originally cut into an oval with a scissors.  I cropped it to rectangular in the scanning process.  The photo is well worn and grainy.  Can you see the noise, scratches and wear? I was worried about how much work it would be to clean up for the big screen. 

Then I tried the one-touch CLEAN UP button in the Historian (MM) software.  One touch of one button and I was sold on Historian for this feature alone.  When you are scan a photo you often get film grain and other noise distortions in the dark areas.  Now there is a one-touch solution for that!

I like the photo so much after the CLEAN UP that I am going to have it enlarged for the party! There is a soft finish to the AFTER photo that makes it more elegant. Now you notice the darling tear in her eye more than the fuzz in the dark spaces!

Try it. You'll like it.

How? Select the photo. Then click on the ADJUST tab. Click the CLEANUP button on the FOCUS tab. Easy as can be.

And click here to find out more about Historian software. It is time for you to upgrade if you haven't already.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

are you game?

Remember the Memory Game? 24 little cards. You turn them over two at a time. And you have to use your memory to remember where you saw the matching card!  Very exciting when you are little.  Check out this Valentines Day version of the classic game featuring YOUR kids or grand kids.

Yesterday I made the game for our house  when the grand-girls are here.  I love the pinky-pink limited edition that Pinhole Press is offering right now.  (Don't worry. Chic Black and Fun Blue versions are available too.)

It took me under 15 minutes to create the project and cost my pocketbook only $19.99.  A deal. 

To be honest, it took me longer to select the photos I wanted to use.  Smile. You need 12 photos (because there are two of each card in the game.)  With our 6 darling grand daughters I got to pick two photos of each girl.  You could create your game with 12 different family members... or 12 photos of one precious kid. Want to see the pics I used?

I remember loving this game as a very little girl because it is one of the first board games you can play when you are very young.  I have memories of feeling very proud that I was BIG enough to play a table game. I look forward to playing this game again on about the 50 anniversary of the first time I played it. ha

Check it out here at   PINHOLE PRESS .

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

family flashcards.

want a great gift idea for kids in your family?
 The photo flashcards that Aunt Abby made for Charlotte & Eleanor this Christmas were all the rage on Christmas morning... And still are!

Family Flashcards are one of many creative photo projects available for the making at Pinhole Press Please use my link to check out the fun for yourself! You can find these Flashcards under Games & Education.

 Right here:  Pinhole Press. 

This is an easy drop-and-drag project.  Even the backs of the cards are colorful & fun.  The flashcards are made of a sturdy cardboard and super-reasonably priced at $24.99.  Another cool feature is that you can change up the alphabet letters to fit your family.  You might notice that we have lots of M's... and no Q or X.  It is 26 letters of your choice.

the insta-album.

If you are landing on this blog, you know that one of my passions is helping people get their photos off their devices and into their lives.   I became more serious about posting photos to Facebook and Instagram sometime in early 2012 when I learned that this is the hipster-way to stay connected to our kids. I can follow their lives in photo and word-snips, and they can follow me. They are the ones who told me that "Facebook is for old people" and I quickly learned that most of their social media comings-and-goings happened on Instagram.   It was easy to became a fan of Instagram because it is about sharing PHOTOS.   You can send your photo out into cyberspace with a caption, or just plain. But a photo is what is doing the bulk of the communicating.  Instagram comes with a set of editing filters and is a pretty fun way to communicate with family and friends.

One of my goals in January is to get my Instagram photos off my iPhone and into an album for safe keeping into the future.  For my Insta-Album, I chose a little hardcover 5.25 x 5.25 60-page book from Pinhole Press.   Since 2012, I have sent about 250 photos into cyberspace as "instagrams". These are the ones going in the books.  Not all 4000 photos I took on my iPhone are going into keepsake books... just the ones that were favorite enough to post to my Instagram world.   It looks like 4 little sixty-page books will get me current. This one is my first! Volume 2 and Volume 3 are on their way. 

When deciding what size / shape / style of album I wanted for preserving my Instagrams, I opted for something tiny and something hardcover.  Tiny because Instagrams are created & viewed in a pretty tiny format (phone screen size) and it suits them.  Hardcover because all of our family albums see a lot of wear & tear.  This does not mean we are careless with our albums.  It means that almost every time that the kids are home, I can find them pulling albums from the shelves and traveling down Memory Lane in the pages.  It is what happens when you have photo albums... and it is a truly marvelous thing.

Because I wanted a square photo frame on each page AND because I wanted to include the text that accompanied my Instagrams, I set up the page layout using Artisan (formerly StoryBook Creator) software.  I used the CUSTOM setting with Height 5.25 and Width 10.5.  I inserted a square photo frame on each side of the layout (mine are just over 3.5" square) and inserted text boxes under each photo frame. My guess is that Instagram uses Helvetica font, but since I don't own this expensive but classic font, I used the free cousin-font Arial. Once I create my blank custom layout, I duplicated it 28 times.  (Each 60 page Panoramic Mini Photo Book holds 28 - 2 photo - layouts.)

Then it is just drop & drag the Instagram images from your phone - and add the text!  Next step is -  SAVE AS jpegs, and upload using this link to Pinhole Press.  Nice and easy.  To create the album exactly like mine, just select the 'full bleed' page layout option for every page - and drag your created page into place.  There are prompts to help you personalize the cover and inside page.

I would like to create a mini how-to video to demonstrate how truly easy it is.  Maybe watch for it to show up in a couple weeks.  But don't hold your breath.  And don't wait to try it on your own!

 Please check out  Pinhole Press  for yourself!  I am totally in love with the clever and creative products that they offer.  My personal favorites are the Family Flashcards, the Memory Game personalized with your photos, address labels and wine bottle labels for a wedding or party. Please use my link to check it out for yourself.

Pinhole Press