Video is everywhere.Where's yours?

Video is Everywhere.Where’s Yours?

Video is Everywhere. Where’s Yours?

When a dear friend recently lost her father, she poured her grief into the preparation of the memorial slide show. As the family’s unofficial keeper of memories, she already had access to their photo collections.

Her passion for photography and archiving had equipped her well for the task but she said she was surprised and disappointed to find out that videos of her father were almost impossible to find. She knew he was in old home movies on videotape and likely old movie film as a child. She knew where they were but even if she had the equipment to play them, there was no time to search for the right clips, let alone have them converted into a format she could use in her slideshow.

Knowing that she had precious footage that she wouldn’t be able to share left her feeling an even deeper loss. Unfortunately, this is the part of the story I’m all too familiar with. In our photo stores, many of our video transfer clients come to us to revive memories of a recent family member. It’s not the knowledge that the media is deteriorating or obsolete or cumbersome that brings them in. What calls us to act is the disappointment of not being able to share the immeasurable presence of a loved one during a time of sadness.

This isn’t just a sad story. It’s meant to be a reminder that you might have something very valuable and very inaccessible. You don’t have to rally the family to start the project of converting old movies. One of my favorite customers became a regular by visiting us every few weeks with one videotape or movie reel for transfer. Trickling them in helped her offset the cost and prolong the joy of rediscovery. We’d transfer everything to MP4, just like the videos your phone captures, so she could share them online with her family spread across the globe. If that sounds like another daunting piece of the endeavor that’s holding you back, then stay tuned. In the next post, I’ll explain how this senior citizen mastered video editing and built a digital video library. (hint: it’s youtube and it’s pretty easy).

Printing for young memories

Printing for Young Memories

When you think back to your surroundings growing up; your bedroom, living room, what do you remember? The furniture? The patterns on the walls and floor? I remember photos. Some of them probably still hang in a hallway in my parents’ house. They are my family. Me, grandparents, cousins. I wouldn’t have forgotten about those people had the photos not been there. Well, maybe a couple of them. But the photos helped cement in my mind just how important family was to us. What do your walls say about you now?

My kids are growing up in the screen age. Their photos are on Instagram, Google Drive, hard drives. The ubiquity of glowing pixels and endless streams of content everywhere makes it hard to assign a value to select images. And less likely that you’ll find any adorning the walls in our homes.

For Mother’s Day, I compiled all the photos of my kids with their grandmother in the last year and made a calendar for her. I stopped at 200. With that kind of abundance, is each one still as valuable as the single snapshots that hung in my childhood bedroom? Maybe. I print them anyway.

I hang little galleries in their bedroom and one in the hallway.  Some are recent, others are a decade old or more. I rearrange them when they’re knocked off the wall in epic boy battles. They don’t notice them. But they know they’re there. The people in them are more important than those floating by in Facebook feeds. And they’ll remember them later.

As a population, we take more pictures than ever before in history. It’s easier and less expensive to print them than it’s ever been. But we make fewer. I think that makes each one more valuable.