Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tech Tuesday ~ Do Something Traditional With Those Photos!

For those of you just joining us, please check out my previous posts on Scandia Musings discussing how my family digitized our slides and photos and organized all our jpegs into a workable (but never ending) project of photo organization. Now onward to play with those photos!

It’s all well and good to preserve, protect and organize your images, but the whole point of this digitization and organization exercise (and the true test) is to be able find, use and share images with others. I maintain both a Family Media Library (all the images from our slide and print scan project as well as the more recent images received from my parents, siblings and extended family members) and a Personal Media Library (all my images relating to my travel and genealogy research) with Memory Manager. How I organize my Personal Media Library is a story for another day/blog.
  • As a result of organizing in Memory Manger, I can quickly find, use and share our family images. Some recent examples include
    • gathering images for a slideshow for a relative’s funeral reception
    • poster boards for recent high school and college graduations
    • scrapbook albums for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary
    • scrapbook albums for our family vacations and reunions

When a cousin died a few years back her siblings contacted my father to ask if he had any slides or prints they could use to put together a slideshow remembrance at her funeral reception. They knew they had a few photographs but they were having trouble finding them. My father called me, I opened our Family Media Library, clicked on the extended family sort box, clicked on their family folder, dragged and dropped a number of jpegs into the work area, sent them to desktop folder and emailed them to my cousin – all in a matter of minutes.
  • Suggestion – please take lots of photographs; save them, organize them and share them. It was sad to think that her family did not have more than a handful of photos. At the funeral reception, lots of extended family commented that they had not seen the images before or they remembered the holiday and vacation images from our childhood slideshows and they all wanted copies.

When family members graduate we make posterboards for their parties.  We use the school colors for background contrast, pick a theme or hobby that reflects their interests, gather images from their early childhood and school years, images of friends and family, as well as vacations, travels and activities.  We make a collage of sorts and add something unique and personal.  Examples of these posterboards are shown below.

Ashley’s Graduation Posterboards - All jpegs were found in Ashley’s family sort box and Ashley’s folder and printed locally. Ashley has collected favorite quotes over the years and we typed some of them into a Word document, printed them on parchment paper, attached them to scrapbook paper (in her school colors) and made individual bookmark size cards that we laid out along the table top.

Emily’s Graduation Posterboards - All jpegs were found in Emily’s family sort box and Emily’s folder and printed locally. Here we used Emily’s love of travel and photography as our theme and included several images and stories about the places she has visited.

Parents’ Anniversary Albums
We had a party for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. One of the things we did was ask everyone to provide a memory or comment together with a photograph to include in an Anniversary Album. We provided them with the paper and a return envelope. We received an amazing number of lovely letters and images which we made into scrapbook pages. These pages were interspersed with pages of my parents’ early years, their family, church and work lives, their travels, and pages relating to the anniversary festivities. At the time, we put this together traditionally (a few pages are shown below) but we also photographed each page so we now have scans and could print these pages as a digital album (it is amazing how far digital scrapbooking has come in the past few years).

We wrote up the story of how my parents' anniversary party came about.

In addition to having a simple two color scheme for the albums, 
we rounded all the photo and story corners.
Whatever you decide upon, consistency helps people focus.

We came up with favors representing both families and we wrote about them here
and also included family photos.

 Through the Years - we reproduced the centerpieces for these pages

Take advantage of shapes and page designs that are repeated 
throughout the album - we used my parents' favorite colors, 
purple and red, as our color scheme and picked a few complementary patterns
(it helps to focus attention on the photos and stories).

 Lots of close friends shared memories of their own weddings
and their long friendship with my parents.

 Be sure to get photos and letters to include in the albums.

 Too young to write a letter? Original art in the form of drawings is great!

Our parents' wedding reception in 1954.

Our parents' anniversary reception in 2004.

Family Vacations & Reunions Albums
Because my sister Karen and I are gluttons for punishment such wonderful daughters (and since we had jpegs in Memory Manager and the prints that related to our family and extended family), we decided to put together a Family Vacations & Reunions Album. This 2 volume set (we have a large family, we all vacationed together in the early days, and we have a big reunion every 5 years) contains images from each vacation and reunion as well as a 2 page story introducing the vacation or reunion.  These albums turned out really well. We also photographed each page and Karen had both albums printed as digital albums (my parents have the traditional albums). The digital album is a nice way to share with extended family members (none of whom take pictures but all of whom enjoy looking at them).

 Come up with a theme and complementary colors for your album pages.

 Here we wrote about specific vacations and family reunions. Get creative and have fun.

 Include photos and remember that a few comments will add to the stories.

Play with fonts and colors but make sure to not be too busy.
Also come up with a set number of page designs that you can then repeat.
Remember the focus should be on the photos and the stories! 

 Include maps and descriptions about the places you vacationed. 
(Google can be a lifesaver here but also remember to check out tourism sites) 
Be sure to add any postcards or ticket stubs.

 Have fun and be sure to get lots of candid shots.
People enjoy seeing themselves and sharing those memories.

 Be sure to include any special things your family does together.

For traditional scrapbooks, be sure to have pages made up and ready
for that next vacation or reunion. It is easy to add to the albums and you
won't be disappointed if the paper is no longer available!

And just for fun (and to make sure our projects have our signature on them) we made 3 inch decals to attach to them.  Use your imagination, lots of color and have some fun!  Ours read:

Another Exceptional Endeavor by Those Sensational Snappy Sisters
(we know who we are and we love alliteration)

I know that there is a variety of excellent photo organizing software available.  Many people use online or dedicated photo editing software (Google’s Picasa or Adobe’s Photoshop), or the photo software that came with their computers (Windows Live Photo Gallery for PCs and iPhoto for Macs).   However, I started using Memory Manager and StoryBook Creator in 2008, I like working with them, and the updates have been excellent.

Creative Memories has been in business since 1987 and they focus exclusively on preserving photos and providing excellent products (both traditional and digital) to share those photos. The Creative Memories’ website lists their products as well as several video tutorials and pdfs (for those who like to read and watch how to do something) that clearly explain step by step how to do a variety of things (backing up media, editing photos, organizing and printing & sharing your photos).  Check out their pdfs here. So, how do you share your family photos? What projects have you made that include your family photos and stories? Please share!

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