Storyteller Productions

Organizing, Preserving, and
Showcasing your Special Photos

Restored Photograph (early 1900’s)

May 28th, 2018

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, contact us!

 

photo-restoration-sample-ellen

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Posted in Photo Restoration, Photo Scanning |

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Video Memories are Priceless

May 14th, 2018

“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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Importance of turning VHS tapes into Digital

April 30th, 2018

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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Preserve your Child’s Art Work

April 16th, 2018

1.) Make a 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.

05

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

Posted in Kids Art Work, Photo Scanning |

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3 Common Mistakes to Avoid when Scanning Photos!

April 2nd, 2018

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.

 
 

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Posted in Photo Scanning |

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Help! How do I organize my twin’s B’nai Mitzvah Video Montage?

October 24th, 2016

How do you organize a B’nai or B’not Mitzvah montage for a set of twins? Believe it or not, you can follow the same categories, and outline that you would for an individual girl or boy, everything is just doubled.

There are two options on how to organize:

  • By Category (one song per category)
  • By Chronological Story (simply 13 photos from each year with 4-5 songs)

If you decide to go with categories (which we actually recommend), we’ve listed the appropriate folders to form on your desktop for making a 150 photo montage (8-10 minutes long). Here is a sample of a B’not Mitzvah which follows a category outline. It has other video clips interspersed between the categories (which is not required), but you can see what we mean.

 

 

Category 1: Baby Pics (Ages 1-3)

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Category 2: Sibling Pics

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Category 3: Immediate Family Pics

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Category 4: Extended Family Pics

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Category 5: School/ Camp Friend Pics

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Category 6: Sports/Activity/Hobby Pics

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Category 7: Solo Pics (Ages 4-13)

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And Wa-La! There you have it. For more answers to your questions, and in depth guidelines on how to get started, contact the team at Storyteller today!

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Posted in Photo Slideshows, Special Events Video |

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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!

Posted in Cloud Storage for Photos, Photo Restoration, Photo Scanning |

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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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