Storyteller Productions

Organizing, Preserving, and
Showcasing your Special Photos

Photo Scanning

Why you should scan your paper photos

October 10th, 2016

Everyone has paper photos. Many of us have stored our older paper photographs in photo albums or shoeboxes. And while we may think that they are protected, the truth is…older photo albums and non-acidic boxes which hold our treasured memories, often damage the images they are meant to protect.

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They turn brown

You heard it right. Based off of the type of ink that was used for printing the photo and how it’s stored, our photos fade. Some turn a brown, yellow or reddish shade of color. Paper photos are also susceptible to mold damage, so you should always store your photos in a place within the home that has the most consistently median heat (50 to 70 F) and low humidity.

They are inaccessible

Who wants to dig through the attic or a scary basement to look for those long lost memories? Albums and shoeboxes are so clunky and dusty – no wonder they never receive any visitors. Make it easier by scanning those paper photos and making digital photo albums on sites like Shutterfly or Mixbook. Better yet, contact Storyteller to design one for you!

Fire or Flood Loss Prevention

Fires and floods do happen, and they have the power to swallow up those memories forever. But if you digitize your photos, they’ll not only be in a safe place (ie: an external hard drive or cloud), but your other family members may enjoy them as well.

 

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Scanning photos might seem easy, but like everything with technology, there are a few things that can go wrong.

  • People forget to crop the images
  • Scanners might have default settings turned on, which should be turned off
  • People don’t scan the right resolution
  • The photos are saved in the wrong format
  • The scanner used is not optimum for archiving purposes

When preserving your memories, why not hire the a professional who can save you the time and stress? Contact us for finding ways on how we can help you get started on scanning your photo collection!

If you’re a DIY’er, we recommend educating yourself before taking on the huge task of scanning your own photo collection if you have no prior experience. Proceed with caution, and scan in small batches to ensure everything has been properly archived!

You wouldn’t want to scan 1500 paper photos, only then to find out that a setting was wrong. We urge you to either contact a professional like Storyteller, or seriously educate yourself on scanning your own materials.

Happy Memory Preserving!

 

3 Common Mistakes to Avoid when Scanning Photos!

September 26th, 2016

If you have time and are taking on the huge task of scanning your own photos, please read these tips for better scans!

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1. Crop the Previewed Image.

Many people make the mistake of not cropping the photo before they hit the scan button. This will cause a white background to appear on all sides of the photo, resulting in a lower quality scan of the actual photo.

2. Choose the right resolution.

A good rule of thumb is to scan your photos at a minimum of 300dpi (Dots Per Inch) to assure decent quality for enhancement and restoration techniques. If your photo is smaller than the usual size (2×4 or smaller), scanning it at 600dpi or larger would be better.

3. Avoid using correction effects while scanning.

While checking certain effects like unsharp mask or color correction may seem like time savers, they might make your photos look worse. Just scan your image with its original look. Then afterwards, try to make any corrections in a graphics software program which offers much more control.

 
 

Prepare for your video montage

August 1st, 2016

A video montage intertwines photos, video snippets, titles, graphics and music, making it the perfect time capsule for your Guest of Honor growing up. Whether it’s for a bar or bat mitzvah, wedding, sweet 16, birthday or anniversary party, this video is guaranteed to generate an emotional response.

Here is a short video excerpt of a video montage for a young man’s Bar Mitzvah party, who wanted a family oriented slideshow intertwined with several video clips which included his love of sports. See for yourself how we bring your story alive through the use of photos, videos, music, transitions and 2D effects!
Nathan Bar Mitzvah

Is it worth the money?

Yes, it is worth it! Unlike, the decor, food and flowers…a video montage documenting your special loved one will be an everlasting memory. In addition to enjoying the video during your special event, you’ll also be able to show future generations this video on TVs, smart phones, and tablets forever!

How do I get started?

Creating a fascinating video might seem overwhelming and difficult at first. But with thoughtful preplanning and the use of our tips, you’ll be able to assemble a collection of the best photos, videos and music that will produce an exceptional keepsake to enjoy in the years to come.

 

Tips for creating a good montage:

1. Know your video length and budget

We find that for events, anything around 10 minutes with catchy media, music and graphics is a success. With that in mind, we offer sample packages which range in timing, based on popularity with clients. Of course, we offer videos that may be below or above these guidelines as well, depending on the scope of the project and the amount of media included! For pricing, and more information, contact jenny@storytellerpro.com.

100 photos (6-8 minute video)

  • Up to 100 photosclock_cropped
  • Up to 1 video clips
  • Up to 4 songs

150 photos (8-10 minute video)

  • Up to 150 photos
  • Up to 2 video clips
  • Up to 5 songs

200 photos (10-12 minute video)

  • Up to 200 photos
  • Up to 3 video clips
  • Up to 6 songs

 

2. Create an outline

Bummed out about having this homework? No worries – we’ve got you covered! If you don’t have any ideas of creating an outline, we’ll do it for you. This is included in our consultation process at no extra charge!

Basically, your viewers are expecting to be told a story, through photos and video snippets, documenting an event or theme. We’ll work with you to decide what kind of montage you’d prefer. Whether you want a documentary based style video that echoes the warmth of your family, or a more humorous video with movie or TV snippets – we’ll make the process a breeze, exceeding your expectations!

lady hand writingAs a generality, you can do a chronological order of things. Or you can also have sub themes such as baby birth, family, sports, vacations, etc.

In some of our montages, we’ve incorporated a little bit of both the chronological themes as well as sub themes. IE: a chronological grouping of a child and her dance recitals.

 

3. Photo Selection

Beck-14-2389178709-HAfter you’ve come up with an outline, you can start to choose your photos and videos. Remember, you want quality vs. quantity. No, you don’t have to have sparkling, perfect professional photos…but try to choose pictures that are not too pixelated, light, dark, blurry or low in quality and file size. With today’s 2D and 3D effects, we can make any photo look great (whether it’s horizontal or vertical). Also, don’t worry if your child is in a wide shot. We generally zoom in or out fast with those, so anything works….as long as the subject is in focus.

We take digital and hard copy paper photos, which can be scanned. Each photo is also looked at individually to crop, take out red eye, minor dust and scratches so your photo montage experience can be the best that it can be!

4. Add short video clips

Think about sprinkling in several 10-15 second video clips throughout the slideshow. This is a great way to break up the video montage and keep the audience’s interest. We accept a variety of video formats, including Hi-8, VHS, Mini-DV and digital clips.

5. Choose the music

Music is a very important part to the process, as it will create the mood that you desire for your audience. A great way to start off is to choose songs that have lyrics which compliment your story, and are meaningful to you and your family. You can have a mixture of sentimental songs (slower) with some more upbeat songs (faster and cheerful).

If you are stumped on music and can’t think of any songs, don’t worry – we have a ton of selections that you can choose from…ranging from warm-hearted and sentimental to upbeat and funny!

6. Test your equipment before showing

You find yourself at a family event and the equipment does not work. It is very embarrassing trying to get your prized DVD photo montage to play, all the while losing your viewer’s attention. Always test ALL the equipment prior to the big day if possible. Make sure the projector or television, DVD Player or Laptop, and sound equipment are working properly.

7. Enjoy the show!

Enjoy this video at your event, and enjoy the reactions that arise out of your guests. In addition to enjoying the video during your special event, you’ll also be able to show future generations this video on TVs, smart phones, and tablets forever!

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Ideas to Preserve your Child’s Art Work

July 4th, 2016

1.) Make a Photo Book using Plum Print

If you’re too busy to scan, upload and design your own photo books on Shutterfly, Mixbook or Snapfish, Plum Print who will do all the hard work for you. Mail them your artwork, and WA-LA- you’ve got a beautiful coffee table book.

Displaying-Kids-Artwork

Source: Paislee Press

2.) Collage and Portrait Combo

Collages and portraits are a great way to combine art papers, along with showing off the artist. You can follow guidelines here for getting started.

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Source: A Thousand Words

3.) The Masterworks

If you have various papers you’d like to combine within one frame, we love Simply Create Kids! Just send them your kids art work, and they’ll frame it into a masterpiece.

Masterworks

Source: Simply Create Kids

4.) Turn it into a Shirt

This is so clever, and a great way to involve your child for a rainy day project. Guidance on making this: Wearing Art

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Source: Create Celebrate Explore

5.) Clip on a Wire

Clipping art work on a metal wire or hanger can have a modern industrial look for those parents who live in loft style housing.

Clip-Up-Art

Source: The Style Files

6.) Convert into a Key Chain

This is a great unique gift for Mother or Father’s Day. Visit Formia Design to find out more info.

Make-Functional-Key-Chain

Source: Formia Design

8.) Make a stuffed animal

Budsies can create a cuddly stuffed animal. Your child’s imagination comes to life!

Make-Stuffed-Animal

Source: Budsies

9.) Floor to Ceiling Art Gallery

If you’ve got a little extra time on your hands, making a grid on the wall of your child’s artwork can be a masterpiece. Check out guidance for creating this on Martha Stewart Living.

Grid

Source: ©2011, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., originally published in the September issue of Martha Stewart

Archiving your photos digitally using Forever.com

June 20th, 2016

If you’re looking for a cloud based option to permanently archive AND share all your photos digitally, forever.com is a great choice. I personally use Forever.com for my own family, and have thoroughly researched this software. If you need help with organizing your photos and setting up an account, contact us for a photo organizing session and we can get you started!

Reasons We Love This Site:

1.) IT’S PERMANENT – Unlike other website like Google, Facebook, or Apple, its a Guaranteed Fund (similar to an endowment or insurance policy).

2.) SECURE & PRIVATE –  You keep ownership of your content, which is triple backed up and encrypted

3.) PLAN FOR SUCCESSION & LEGACY – You have tools to hand down your account so it can be managed by your children and their children

4.) EASILY ACCESSIBLE & SHAREABLE – Share and access your entire library on your phone or the web

Watch this video to learn more!

Video Memories are Priceless

November 30th, 2015

“A Minute of Video is worth 1.8 Million Words” – Dr. James McQuivey

Being in the video field and specializing in video montages, I’ve seen Dr. McQuivey’s quote all over the internet. Some people consider it misinformation and for some, it’s just a form of hyperbole. The fact of the matter is that a moving image is powerful. It has the ability to stir our emotions in ways we can’t control, particularly for our own private memories.

This was especially apparent to me, after recently watching a video montage I made of my son’s very first year growing up (5 years ago). After shedding some tears and reminiscing, I asked myself, how many words was this video worth to me?

I then admitted that, in actuality, THERE WERE NO WORDS, (not even 1.8 Million words), which would describe this video. My son’s exact smile, the sound of his baby giggle, and the way his curls bounced as he walked. Words to me, wouldn’t catch the full effect (see what I mean by watching the video below).

 

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The art of consolidating your video clips and photographs

Truthfully, my son’s first year was a blur as I was dealing with the sleep deprivation many parents go through, along with balancing a family. Had I not made this video montage, my memories would have been lost and forgotten on an external drive in a drawer.

The problem with media in today’s society is that there is too much of it. Without consolidation and organization, photos and videos appear to be unwatched for years. Many people have no idea where their media is (stuck on Facebook, on a camera, in a folder on your desktop). Unfortunately, this is habit which causes those memories to be lost or deleted.

How can you preserve your media?

The trick is to develop a system and keep that system throughout the years. The hardest part is getting started. After recently getting certified as a professional photo/video organizer, I’ve worked with clients’ photo collections and have found that once everything is initially organized, it’s fairly easy to keep organized with the proper guidance.

We basically sum it up in 6 steps.

1.) Consolidate all photos and videos onto 1 Hub
2.) Create Core File/ Folder Structure
3.) Delete all Duplicates
4.) Name those files (year-month-event)
5.) Upload/ Share onto a cloud based photo site
6.) Create Photo Books and Video Montages!

For some tech-savvy people, you might be able to do all of the above steps on your own with a little, errr (A LOT) of time invested. However, for those families and individuals who are too busy to take care of their memories, I recommend contacting us for ways on how we can help you get yourself organized with our photo/video organization packages!

Restored Photograph (early 1900’s)

November 23rd, 2015

All of us have ancestral paper photos stashed somewhere, or know someone in our family who might have those photos. Although some of them may already be digitized, there is a good chance that they have faded and will need proper restoration. The special fact about restoring a family photograph, is that it can actually safeguard that personal legacy, and be passed on to younger loved ones who have questions about their history and ancestry.

Whether you put that photo in a photo book, a personalized frame or on the internet, it can make a priceless heirloom gift that will be cherished in the years to come. We recently had one happy client who had her family photograph back from the early 1900’s restored, and framed as a keepsake to view on her wall. What an incredible memory!

For questions on the process or pricing for restoring your photograph, click here.

 

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Best Photo Sharing Sites 2012

August 9th, 2012

Are you looking for a site where you can share and archive your photos? With all the choices out there today, making a decision can be a little overwhelming. The key is finding a site that suits your photo sharing needs and sticking with it.

If you’re only looking to share your images with others online, you should go where your friends are, which often means social networking sites like Facebook. But if you want to archive your photos, make prints, or create photo crafts, you’ll need a different type of photo sharing site. There are a bunch of them out there, so check out our picks to find the one that delivers what you need.

For a quick review guide of the top 10 photo sharing sites of 2012, click here.

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Archiving Old Memories

May 11th, 2012

Archiving a Shoebox at a Time

Proof that times have changed: Grandma just friended you on Facebook, and your 1-year-old says “iPad” amongst his first words. Storyteller digitally converts those moments caught on photograph, film, or video…so your family can access and share those memories to their heart’s content (on the internet or at home).

Memories to Archive may include:

– Mom wearing purple bell-bottoms

– Mullet haircuts and yearbook photos

– Your little squirt’s first bicycle ride

– Old 8mm family footage

– Embarrassing baby pictures

– Prom night; Pink dress; Poofy hair

We make it easy to digitally convert, organize and share pictures, slides, negatives, film and video. Using the latest technology, the Storyteller team scans fragile photos, and can convert any film footage – 16mm to High-8 to VHS.