Monday, November 5, 2012

ADD VIDEO to your Heritage Makers project!

I heard a comment, "I feel like I'm in The Jetsons!"

It's true!  You can actually add a QR Code (video) to your Heritage Makers project!  I'm pretty sure this year I'm going to be sending out the coolest Christmas card I've EVER sent!!!!

Want to learn how?  It's detailed in this video--which is a lesson in QR Codes themselves if you are brand new to QR codes like I am!!  This video contains a lot of other fun things, but if you want to skip straight to the QR Code part, go ahead to 33 minutes.


(P.S.  The QR Code above is just a "dummy" one with the Heritage Makers logo in the middle.  It won't scan anything.)

Also, here are the basic instructions for using a QR Code in a Heritage Makers project.

  1. Record a short video greeting (less than 3 minutes is best).  Use a webcam, phone, video recorder, etc.  
  2. Upload the video to your YouTube account.  You need to do this so your video has a URL.  QR Codes are generated by URLs, and when QR Codes are scanned, they will send the person scanning it to that specific website or URL.  With YouTube, if you choose a "private" setting, only 50 people can view the video.  If you choose "public," it's unlimited.
  3. Once your video is in your YouTube account, copy its URL.
  4. Using a free QR Generator website such as or, paste the URL code into the QR Generator.  It will create your QR Code.
  5. Once your QR Code is created, right-click on the QR Code.  Choose "save image as" and save it to your computer just like you'd save a picture.  Save it as a PNG file.    
  6. Upload the QR Code to your Heritage Makers account, treating it just like a picture.  Use it in your Heritage Makers projects just like you would a photo.
  7. TEST YOUR QR CODE BEFORE YOU PRINT IT IN YOUR PROJECT!  You can easily find a QR Code Scanning app for your smartphone.  You can scan it from your computer, which I personally think is amazing.
  8. When using your new QR Code in your Heritage Makers project, don't make it less than about 3/4 inch - 1 inch.  The smaller it is the less readable it will be.  Use the "ruler" option in the "view" pull-down menu to measure 1 inch.
  9. When using a QR Code in a Heritage Makers project, be sure to include right in the project some directions on how to use it.  Some people won't know.  Here's what I put in my Christmas letter:  See our video greeting by scanning this QR Code with your smartphone!  (You can get a free QR Code reader app on your smartphone, then use it to scan this QR Code at the left!) 

Monday, August 13, 2012

INSPIRATIONS: Christmas gift, cards & crafts!

There was a great "Inspirations" class (a weekly class offered by the Heritage Makers home office) in July about Christmas gift and card ideas.  I thought it was really fun and wanted to share.  The presenter highlights some really creative, fun, and sweet ideas.  (You don't have to watch it from start to finish--you can fast forward or scroll through to things you're interested in, too!)

Friday, July 6, 2012

my HM workshop videos now online all the time!

One of my favorite things to do is present Heritage Makers VIRTUAL (online) workshops.  (You can read about them by clicking here.)

I'm really excited to now have a recorded virtual workshop online all the time!!!  This is great if you are a workshop host and you have a guest who is really interested but has a conflict with your scheduled workshop time.  This is great if you are thinking about hosting a virtual workshop yourself and would like to know what it would be like.  This is also great--because the workshop is divided up into five separate videos--if you have attended a workshop and just want a refresher about something we discussed.

*drum roll*  I am excited to share my private YouTube Heritage Makers Channel!!  You can find all 5 sections of a recorded virtual workshop (each 10-15 minutes).  Watching them in order 1-5 makes the most sense, but feel free to refresh your memory by watching any section you'd like.  ...And feel free to pass this link on to anyone you know who would love Heritage Makers.

View all or any of the five segments of a VIRTUAL WORKSHOP here:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Need some inspiration?  Heritage Makers holds "Inspirations Classes" twice every month!!  They are live webinars--so you just sit in front of your computer to participate.  They're really neat!!!  There is a different theme to each one, and you learn all sorts of tips & tricks while getting GREAT ideas!!

To find them (upcoming ones, or past ones that have been recorded), go to the website,, and click "see how Studio works" below my picture at the left.  You'll see all sorts of tutorials (which are SO great), but scroll down until you see "Inspirations."  Register for the upcoming class, or watch a recorded recent one.  Get inspired!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Storybook in Every Home

"A Storybook in Every Home" is the name of Heritage Makers' charitable donation program providing free storybooks for those in need.  It has two parts-- "Tucked In" for children in homeless shelters, and "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" for families experiencing the death of an infant.  A storybook is a treasure to anyone, but these families especially treasure the priceless storybooks they receive through these programs.

You can get involved by donating your own publishing points (or cash, which Heritage Makers will MATCH at 100%!!), by creating the books themselves, or by nominating people to receive these free books.  There is so much good we can do, and so many hearts we can touch!  You can find out more information at the website:

Monday, January 9, 2012


A friend of mine posted this on Facebook.  Neither she nor I know the people mentioned here, but it could be anyone among us, and it poignantly describes why photos are indeed priceless.  It also describes why *I* do what I do--why I share Heritage Makers.  It's for all those people who take pictures and don't know what to do with them.  It's for all those people who would like to have time or an easier way to publish their pictures.  It's for all those people with a story to tell and a life to share.

A letter on my door step. portraits are more than paper.

There will be no portrait photos in this post.  This letter wasn’t mailed – it was at my doorstep when I got home a couple months ago.  I read it, I cried, and read it again – probably a hundred times by now.  It wasn’t easy to read – and honestly, as much as it validates what I do for a living – I wasn’t sure I was going to share it either – Until today, when a past client said that my print prices were too expensive.  If you choose to read through the letter, you will know why I’ve finally chosen to share it.
July 2nd, 2011
Jeanine - 
Today I am writing for a couple of reasons.  I have some quiet time at the moment and need to get a couple of things off my mind.  I will leave this for my husband to deliver to you when he is ready.
You photographed my wedding, you photographed my first pregnancy and my first baby.  I contacted you awhile back to photograph my 2nd child and family.  After getting prices and realizing I would want all of the pictures as we love your work – I decided against spending $500+ – which is what I normally spend for portraits and prints with you..  Please know it is not because I don’t value your amazing eye, or how much we love the experience.
That week that I decided to NOT do a session with you, this is how I spent some money.
On Sunday I called and cancelled our session.  Monday I went out and got my hair cut ($39+tip), and colored ($65), Thursday I had my nails done ($24), my family went out to dinner at a somewhat expensive restaurant for no particular reason costing us $79 + tip.  This was just 4 days since canceling our session, already totaling over $200 for un necessary things.  My nails only lasted about 2 weeks, my hair is gone, and seven weeks passed when I got the phone call from our doctor.  It was not something I expected and the cancer has spread very quickly.  I will be leaving my husband, my 6 year old girl and my now 2 year old – not by choice.  It is very hard for me to talk about it which is why I need to write you.
I watch your Facebook page and your posts about the value of a photo and if I could give back all of those things that I purchased this few weeks after I cancelled my session with you, knowing what I know now, and have that session, well… I would do it in a heartbeat. 
Now my time is done and there are no more chances for me.  The next time someone cancels a session – my wish is that you forward this letter to them.  Time is fragile, it is gone before you know you had it.  If you charged $200 for one print it wouldn’t be enough for what it is actually worth.  I cringe to think that my priorities were a manicure over a memory to pass onto my babies and husband.
My love and thanks for what you have given us from past photos.  I am so sorry that I did not see it as more than paper until now.
Karen L.

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