Storyteller Productions

Organizing, Preserving, and
Showcasing your Special Photos

Help! How do I get rid of my Duplicate Photos!

June 6th, 2016

Many of our clients’ photo collections have one common problem: DUPLICATES!!! You can rest easy, we’re here to help.

How do we get rid of these duplicates without spending days popping our eyeballs out!! Depending on whether you’re Mac or PC based, we have the right solutions for you.

Keep in mind that although these softwares save you DAYS of sifting through duplicates, it will still take HOURS of spot-checking. Like any new software, we recommend reading the instructions and conducting various tests. If you are not real tech-savvy, we recommend contacting us if you feel overwhelmed and need to purchase a photo organizing session!

For Mac Based Clients:

PhotosweeperPhotoSweeper is an amazing software for $9.99. You can find out more info by clicking here. This software finds identical and highly similar photos, which it then marks for deletion.

I recommend to always spotcheck the photos to make sure you’re deleting the lower quality duplicates, not the original photos. It has image comparison methods with adjustable settings and a great tech support team if you ever get stuck while using the software.

 

For PC Based Clients:

Duplicate CleanerWe’ve heard great reviews for Duplicate Cleaner. For $29.99, you can download this on your PC and begin sorting through your messy digital life. You can find our more info by clicking here.

Not only can Duplicate Cleaner be used for Photos, but it can also be used for detecting duplicated files and music! This is only Windows Based, so it can’t be used on a Mac.

 

Posted in Photo Organizing |

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Photo Organizing Post-Event (Holiday, Birthdays, Travel)

December 14th, 2015

The average number of pictures taken per year with smart phones for the typical individual can be any where from 500-2000! Because we acquire so much media, it’s important to be efficient so that in the years to come, we don’t accidentally delete something. We also don’t want to overwhelm the next generation with gobs of disorganized media, creating more work for them!

How do I get started?

Clients have asked us, how do I get started on organizing my collection? The most important step is creating a Core Folder and File Structure which is non-software based. What does non-software based mean?

It means organizing your photo collection without using such photo softwares like iPhoto, Photos, Picassa and Adobe Lightroom. A non-software based photo collection can be seen on any platform (Mac or PC), and free from future problems if the software company changes direction (ie: Apple’s iPhoto software now becoming unavailable and changing to Photos).

Core Folder Structure Sample:

An organized photo collection should have one folder for each month of the year, labeled numerically as shown below. The number for each month is better than the name of each month because you can sort folders chronologically within any platform when labeled this way. IE: January of 2015 would be labeled numerically ‘2015-01’ (the ‘-01’ standing for January), and so forth.

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 2.53.46 PM

Core File Naming Sample:

We all know the familiar default photo names like ‘IMG_7832’ or ‘DCM_0542’. But when you’re trying to find a certain photo from a particular date, it can cause a challenge! Even if your photos are divided in to named folders, files can accidentally be switched from folder to folder. This leads to the photo organizers greatest secret: the file naming system of the who-what-where.

file-naming

I don’t have time to organize myself!!

If you don’t have time, that’s what we’re here for! Call us for discussing your project needs, and we can discuss our packages which will yield a priceless (and peaceful) result.

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Posted in Photo Organizing |

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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).

 

holiday-video

 

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!

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Posted in Photo Restoration, Photo Scanning, Photo Slideshows, Special Events Video, Video, Video Conversion |

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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.

 

photo-restoration-sample-ellen

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Posted in Photo Restoration, Photo Scanning |

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Organize your Photos: 3 simple tips

March 28th, 2014

hands-holding-phoneIf one of your resolutions for 2014 was to “get more organized,” you might look at the endless stream of post-holiday photos and think, “Oh, wow!” followed by “Do I really have time for this?!”

And after about 20 minutes, you turn your attention to a more fun project like planning your family’s summer vacation or making more coffee.

Try not to abandon the project before you get started! You’d be surprised at how 15-20 minutes a month will keep you organized and less stressed with organizing and viewing those cute snapshots of your friends and family.

1. Clean Out your Smart Phone

Delete those blurry photos while you’re waiting in line at the grocery or doctor’s office. You’ll instantly have less photos to download to your computer and won’t have to sift through a ton of bad snapshots.

2. Download Photos on a Monthly Basis

Set a monthly calendar reminder to download the photos on your phone and/or camera into Picasa, iPhoto, or the photo management system of your choice. As soon as they’re downloaded, take 15 to 20 minutes to edit them ruthlessly. Only keep the truly special, funny, and beautiful photos and delete any duplicates.

3. File and Organize

Create Master folders for vacations, holidays, birthdays and every day life. Sort by year, followed by month. Ie: If a birthday was taken on July, 27th, 2011 – Put 2011 (07-27) Birthday. When organized by year, you’ll be able to sort the folders sequentially in any software, which is the best way to find older photos.

Also, make sure you back up your photos. This is a critical step to do, so don’t skip it, or one day, you could find all of those special memories gone. You can manually move photos to an external hard drive or to the cloud via DropBox. Another recommended program is Backblaze, which backs your computer up every time you connect to the internet.

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Posted in Photo Slideshows |

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Importance of turning VHS tapes into Digital

October 29th, 2013

How long do VHS tapes last?

Families thinking about preserving their memories currently stored in the VHS format – and are considering transferring them to DVD in order to preserve those memories – often call our customer service line to ask us, “how long do VHS tapes last?”

The short answer is that VHS tapes, properly stored and in good condition, can last up to 10-25 years, and sometimes even longer! But due to VHS tapes being a magnetic storage media, there can be noticeable loss of picture quality in as few as four to five years.

How to store your VHS tapes:

In reality, the durability of VHS tapes is really a function of a number of factors. Properly stored VHS tapes can last a long time, and improperly stored VHS tapes can last a short amount of time. So, the longer answer is, “it depends.” Below are some of the factors that will affect how long your VHS will last and whether the memories stored on them will be able to be converted to DVD.

 

  • Steady temperatures can help VHS tapes last longer

VHS tapes prefer to be stored in an environment where the temperature is steady.  Temperature fluctuations – say, where the VHS tapes are constantly changing from hot to cold – can damage VHS tapes and limit their longevity.

  • A cool and dry environment are better for VHS tapes

However, even if tapes are stored in a place where the temperature is steady, VHS tapes do much better when the temperature in which they are stored is slightly cool.  Our customers from the Philippines and Hawaii typically experience the most issues with their tapes, given their very warm and humid environment.

  • Direct sunlight can harm VHS tapes

One of the most damaging environmental conditions that can degrade the longevity of a VHS tape is if it has been stored in direct sunlight.  Direct sunlight dramatically reduces how long a VHS tape can last.

  • Don’t store VHS tapes near toxins

Finally, VHS tapes can be negatively affected – and the length of time they last can be significantly reduced – if they are stored in areas where they are exposed to environmental toxins.  Your VHS tapes will last longer if they have not been stored in a garage (or a storage space above a garage) where they were exposed to paint or gasoline fumes or other airborne toxins.

Can old VHS tapes still be transferred?

The good news is that most tapes – even those from the early 80′s – can still be transferred to DVD…although time may be running out. Storyteller employs a number of production processes to maximize the quality of the remaining video signal on your VHS tape to ensure the highest-quality possible playback from your tape prior to converting your VHS to DVD.

These processes include adjusting tracking issues with playback, and boosting and stabilizing the video signal through the use of Time-based correction.

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Posted in Video Conversion |

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Chromecast – Internet Video and Music in your Living Room

August 21st, 2013

Google’s new tiny digital video Internet receiver is called Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player. It’s the size of a thumb drive. Just plug it into your HDMI input on your HDTV, connect it to WiFi and use your Apple or Win smartphones, tablets or laptops to show videos or music on the big screen.

For now, it can play content from Google Play, YouTube, Netflix and Google Music. Pandora and others are coming soon. Chromecast automatically updates to work with a growing number of apps.

 

Chromecast is $35 and requires no subscription! It comes with 3 free months of Netflix. The nearest competitor is Apple TV which costs $100!

There’s No Remote

Control the playback, and volume using your device. There no remote to learn, which is a big plus. Looks like Google has a winner with this new product. This video shows how it works.

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Posted in Video |

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Make a Tribute Video Today!

June 11th, 2013

Ever wanted to make a video tribute? It’s pretty much a video dedicated to something you love – maybe your family, friends or team. Here is how you can make yours excellent.

1) Choose a topic. If you are reading this, chances are you already know what you want to make the tribute about. You should be somewhat passionate about your tribute-subject, otherwise it’s not really much of a tribute.

2) Get pictures or video. Pick inspiring or dramatic photos. If you pick photos that cast your subject in a bad light, again, then it’s not much of a tribute.

3) Import your photos into your movie making program (iMovie or Windows Movie Maker). Arrange them in an order you think would be appealing.

4) Add music. This is one of the most important parts. The music may be what determines whether your audience watches or decides to look at something else. A silent tribute is the worst you could do, because then it’s just like staring at still pictures which lacks emotion. Pick a song that is a personal favorite, or one that fits the subject of the tribute in a certain way.

5) Upload your video to YouTube or another video sharing site. Name it something like “[Insert Name here] Tribute” or “A Tribute to [Insert Name here].

Don’t have time to make a tribute video, or need to sprinkle some extra awesomeness into a movie for entertainment? Contact us today to make a video tribute for you! View a sample here:

Posted in Special Events Video |

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Consolidation at its Best!

January 30th, 2013

Here at Storyteller, we live to organize your photo and video collections. Decluttering is a way of life for us. So imagine our reaction when we found this article of great suggestions about organizing and decluttering space with everyday products such as toilet paper rolls, can openers or bread clips?! One word: AWESOME!

Check out this link to see what we mean:

http://twistedsifter.com/2013/01/50-life-hacks-to-simplify-your-world/

 

 

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Posted in Video Conversion |

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Sandy Aftermath – Back up those photos and videos

November 30th, 2012

In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, thousands of families have not only lost power, but they’ve lost some priced possessions as well…including old family heirlooms.

After speaking with several clients, Storyteller thought it important to remind people that accidents do happen. Whether it’s from a fire, flood, or just having a fried computer or phone…backing up those memories are essential. Here’s how to do it.

 

UPLOAD PHOTOS AND VIDEO TO INTERNET, AND STORE ONLINE!

Popular sites include: Flickr, Photobucket, Snapfish, Shutterfly, Picassa, Smugmug, and Cloud Storage Sites. Not sure which one to use? For the Pros and Cons of all these sites, click here.

 

 

STORE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS ON EXTERNAL HARD DRIVES!

When storing on external hard drives, the trick is to have more than one external hard drive with the same data. Send the extra drive to a family member, safety deposit box, or your office. There are plenty of external hard drives available at a reasonable price, even with a storage capacity of up to 3 Terabytes. To find out which external drives are the best for you with pricing comparisons, click here.

 

USE DATA DISCS!

When the other options aren’t available, Data Discs will make do. As with the external hard drives, make sure you make copies of the data discs and send them to a family member, safety deposit box, or office.

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Posted in Video |

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