Friday, December 21, 2012

photo storage in your Heritage Makers account

"Your photos are life records and a window into the people, places, and events that you and your family hold dear.  They deserve to be shared and celebrated, and the very best way to do that is to publish them in a Heritage Makers project."  ~Heritage Makers team

Earlier this year, Heritage Makers decided to change their photo storage services.  They have to pay their servers for photo storage, and so they had to make a choice:  raise prices across the board to cover the rising cost of photo storage, or revamp the photo storage system and keep prices where they are.  In trying to make the decision, here's what they discovered:

"Heritage Makers is currently archiving 154 Terabytes of data on its servers. That's 154,000 Gigabytes of storage that grows at the rate of 4,000 GB a month, with only 15% ever used in published projects. The storage and maintenance fees associated with such large volumes of photos, coupled with the fact that Club HM members now pay 25-34% less for their publishing, leads to the question, "How do we continue to finance the costs associated with this steadily increasing storage volume?"  We've noticed that clients who have their photos organized and "cleaned up" in Studio find it much easier to create their projects. However, many clients don't take the time to be selective, and end up uploading everything from their camera's memory card. Going forward, our strategy will be to provide a place for you to store and archive the photos you want to preserve and share through creative projects."

Heritage Makers' new photo storage system makes a lot of sense.  Heritage Makers encourages clients to preserve and store their best photos in their Heritage Makers accounts and use them in Heritage Makers projects.  This not only keeps the photos better organized and easier to use (as opposed to dumping all the pictures from your camera--blurry ones, eyes closed, etc.--into your Heritage Makers account), but it also allows Heritage Makers keep their costs down.  Heritage Makers, at its core, is a PUBLISHING company, not a photo storage company.  The idea of only uploading your best photos into your Heritage Makers account brings the focus back to using your cherished photos in beautiful projects to share.

Here are the photo storage allowances for ACTIVE accounts.  (An account is ACTIVE if an order has been published during the last 365 days or if the account has valid publishing points.)

  • BASIC ACCOUNT:  1 GB (approx. 230-550 photos) free unpublished storage allowance and 5 GB (approx. 1900-2500 photos) free published* storage allowance.
  • PREMIER/CLUB HM ACCOUNT:  5 GB (approx. 1900-2500 photos) free unpublished storage allowance, and UNLIMITED free published* storage allowance.

* Unpublished photos are those that you have put in your Heritage Makers account but haven't yet published in a project.  Published photos are those that have been used in a project you have published.

Another important change is that any photo that is used in a Heritage Makers project must always be saved in your Heritage Makers account if you ever want to re-order that project.  Because your projects are saved in your personal account forever, I always recommend not deleting any photo that you have used in a project.  Even if you think you'll never want to re-order the project, you never know if it will be lost, damaged, or destroyed.  Your Heritage Makers account is a safe place to "insure" your projects just in case!  So I would advise that you never delete a photo that you've used in a Heritage Makers project.  If you need to sort through your photos and you decide to delete some to free up more storage, always start with what you haven't used in a project, and ones you won't use (blurry, etc.).    

Either client (Basic or Premier/Club HM) can also purchase additional photo storage for the cost of $12.50 or 25 publishing points per year for each additional 5 GB storage if he/she desires.  (But do remember that PUBLISHED photo storage in a Club HM/Premier account is UNLIMITED!!!)

It is wise to backup photos as you would important documents, and save them in more than one place.  Heritage Makers has been researching this over the past year and is joining forces with another company called Milleniata to now offer PhotoSafe discs to any Heritage Makers client.  You can read more about what makes Milleniata different, how much PhotoSafe discs cost, etc., here:  http://www.heritagemakers.com/comm/go/2012/photoSafe/.  Be sure to also click on the link to see the PhotoSafe flyer for full information.

If you have questions about photo storage, feel free to call the Heritage Makers home office at 1.866.694.3763.  They will help you with your specific questions.

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aY-GhQ62Ac&feature=youtu.be

ISN'T THIS SO COOL?!?

(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 qrcode.kaywa.com or www.quikqr.com, 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!) 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

NEW products... iPhone cases!!

Starting October 2, Heritage Makers will offer the following new products--as always, 100% customizable.  Look how FUN these are!!!



ORNAMENTS:  Two-sided, printed on white aluminum (no metallic sheen).  Comes with red ribbon.  Use for holiday ornaments, luggage tags, door hangers, etc.  29 publishing points

MUGS:  11-ounce, white with black interior, dishwasher & microwave safe.  29 publishing points

iPHONE CASE:  Two-piece case makes the interior piece interchangeable!!  For iPhone 4/4S (iPhone 5 will be added later).  Black or white case with customizable metal insert 49 publishing points; Customizable metal insert only 19 publishing points.

METAL PRINT:  Metal print for vibrant colors and stunning, contemporary home decor; two sizes.  99 publishing points for the 12x18 print; 59 publishing points for the 8x10 print.

BAGS:  High quality microfiber bags with zippered closure and dye-sublimation print, completely customizable.  Double-sided print and leather upgrades available.  Bucket Bag 185 publishing points; Grand Bucket Bag 210 publishing points.  

ALSO COMING IN OCTOBER:

  • lite paper for 12x12 scrapbook pages
  • double-sided printing for 12x12 scrapbook pages and 8.5x11 flyers
  • saddle-stitch binding for 11x8.5 calendars (as an alternative to coil binding)
  • four new FONTS!!!  
  • an online support center
  • product design guides (you'll see these overlay guides within your opened project; they are toggled on and off; they will point out design tips and areas to watch)
  • group copy and paste!!!!!  WOO HOO!!

Seriously.  HAVE FUN!  And don't forget you'll get the lowest prices with Club HM.  1 publishing point = $1, but Club HM gives you 25-34% off, PLUS you can get an additional 10% off if you publish items during specific monthly publishing specials.  You can always find the current publishing special at the tab above marked "The Very Best Price:  Club HM and Specials."

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:
http://www.youtube.com/user/JWiseHeritageMakers

Thursday, June 28, 2012

How Do the Publishing Specials Work?

Monthly Publishing Specials are a great thing to take advantage of!  Each month, a specific product is "on sale" when published during that month.  When you publish that item during the sale month, you get an extra 10% off.  This is in addition to the discounted publishing points you would be getting with Club HM (the best price on Heritage Makers products).    

You can get more information on specific monthly publishing specials as well as Club HM at the tab at the top of this page called "monthly publishing specials," but in this post I want to talk about what these things really mean IN DOLLARS.

So let's look at an example of what a combination of Club HM and the Monthly Publishing Special saves you.  Let's take the August 2012 publishing special:

12x12 storybook, full online (retail) price = $70
Club HM Silver level 29% off retail price    -$20
publishing the book in August for 10% off    -$7
                                                            TOTAL $43

This is an average cost since the Silver level of Club HM is in the middle--you could save a little more (34%) on the Gold level or a little less (25%) on the Bronze level, but no matter how you look at it, the combination of Club HM and the Monthly Publishing Specials is definitely the way to go!

My example here is the monetary equivalent.  I can also explain it in points.  If you've bought discounted publishing points (which I highly recommend over paying the full price online), then this is how it will actually work--you'll use points.  The way it works with points is that the 12x12 storybook would cost you 70 POINTS to publish because it's worth $70 retail.  If you buy the points on the Bronze level of Club HM (25% off), those 70 points cost you $52.50.  So you're getting a $70 book for $52.50.  On the Silver level of Club HM (29% off), those 70 points cost you $50.00.  On the Gold level of Club HM (34% off), those 70 points cost you $46.67.  So even though you're using the full 70 POINTS, they cost you much less than the $70 retail price you'd get online.

When you add in the 10% off Monthly Publishing Special, you save 10% of the points.  When you check out, it won't charge you 70 points.  It will charge you 70 - 7 (10% off) for a total of 63 points.  Again, you bought those 63 points for less than $63 (depending on your Club HM level).

Also good to know:  Heritage Makers Consultants get that Publishing Special ALL THE TIME, no matter what month it is.  We save 10-15% on all our publishing all the time.  Just one more perk to being a consultant!  More consultant information can be found at the "The Business Side..." tab along the top of this page.  

NOTE:  Discounted publishing points are also available at a Basic rate.  The Basic points are available at 10% off retail (55 points for $50) or 15% off retail (120 points for $100).  Basic points are a one-time purchase and don't renew like Club HM does.  Basic points work the very same way I've discussed above, only the savings isn't as great.  I always talk about Club HM because they are the cheapest discounted points (25-34% off) and instead of buying all the points at once, you can have them deposited in your account each month for as little as $30 (Bronze level), which is easier on the budget than those Basic points options.  But either Basic points or Club HM points all get you the same Heritage Makers products.  Combine those discounted points with the Monthly Publishing Specials to get the best deal you can!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

NEW host REWARDS!!

This is brand new in June 2012!  And with my Virtual Workshop capability, this is available to EVERYONE!

I love workshop hosts!  And so does Heritage Makers !  So the workshop host rewards just got better!

A workshop is a time to share Heritage Makers.  It's sort of like an in-home "party," but better.  Instead of just "going shopping," the host and her guests actually learn a skill and find the antidote to "I have no time/interest/money/skill for scrapbooking" or "I don't know what to do with all the digital photos I have" or "I have a big event coming up (graduation, anniversary, special birthday) and I have to give something AMAZING."

Updated 2015:  The current rewards can be found {by clicking right here.}

A workshop can be in-home, live and in person, OR it can be done virtually (online).  The virtual option is nice for several reasons.  First, the workshop host doesn't have to clean the house or make treats.  :)  Second, attendees can do so in their pajamas if they like.  :)  But mostly, hosts can invite MANY people, and not just people within driving distance!  I e-mail the host a Heritage Makers Virtual Workshop invitation which she e-mails to friends, old college roommates, cousins, the dentist, anyone she can think of.  The higher the number of attendees, the higher the sales, and the higher the rewards for the host!  Then we all "meet" at the specified time in front of our individual computers across the state or across the country and click on a link where we hear and see a virtual Heritage Makers workshop LIVE, see firsthand how Heritage Makers works, ask and answer questions, and get started MAKING Heritage!

Give me a call or e-mail if you want to host a virtual workshop!  It's REALLY fun, and the rewards, as you can see, are pretty great!  You can always host more than one workshop, and you can also just gather together a group order if your would-be guests already know about Heritage Makers.  Your host rewards are the same! 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

new Studio demonstration video

"Studio" is Heritage Makers' AMAZING online program for creating Heritage Makers projects--books, calendars, cookbooks, canvases, etc.  It's 9  1/2 minutes and gives a great overview of Heritage Makers plus some tricks you can use when you make your projects.  Very worth your time!  :)  Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

get a Premier Membership using your publishing points


There are two collections of Art in Heritage Makers' Studio (where you make your projects), and two kinds of Heritage Makers memberships:  Basic and Premier.

The Basic Art is nice.  It has about 6,000 pieces of digital art--backgrounds/papers, alphabets, embellishments, etc.  It includes solids, stripes, florals, and patterned paper, with a few specific collections such as Christmas, baby, wedding, and calendar.  The template gallery includes about 800 pre-designed templates made with Basic Art for you to use.  Basic Art is free with your (free) Heritage Makers account.  Using a template is also free, too.  A Basic Heritage Makers account allows you 1 GB of storage for not-yet-published photos, and 5 GB of storage for photos you have published in a project.

Premier Art is like having free reign in a digital scrapbook store!  Premier Art has about 90,000 pieces of digital art.  It includes many very specific art collections, such as cooking/recipes, school, sports, amusement parks, multiple collections for many holidays, kids, church, travel (with specific countries, even!), and more.  The template gallery includes about 8,000 pre-designed templates made with Premier Art for you to use.  Premier Art is $20/month or $35/quarter, BUT ABSOLUTELY FREE with Club HM!!  A Premier account also has free upgrades on certain projects and also gives you more photo storage within your account (5 GB unpublished and unlimited published).

OR you can purchase Premier using publishing points you already have!  Keep in mind, though, after the initial period (1, 3, or 12 months, as you choose), your credit card will automatically be charged for additional months of Premier (it automatically renews), so if you only want the one month's worth (or 3, or whatever you want), BE SURE TO CANCEL the renewal before that initial period is up.

Here are instructions on how to get Premier using your publishing points:

Login at www.heritagemakers.com/jenniferwise.  Click "my account" at the upper right.  At the right you will see an option to join Club HM along with an option to upgrade your account to a Premier membership.  Click the link "purchase Premier membership."  1 publishing point = $1.  You can choose 1 month of Premier for 20 points, 3 months of Premier for 35 points, or 12 months of Premier for 100 points.  Then check the box indicating that you want to use points instead of a credit card.  Then you continue to check out.  You will be required to enter a credit card number because Premier is set up to automatically renew each month.  If you don't want your Premier to automatically renew, be sure to go back in to "my account" and click "change renewal preferences" so that it will not renew.

Using your publishing points to purchase Premier is a great option for someone who is just going off Club HM temporarily and just wants to maintain her Premier membership (more photo storage and access to Premier Art and templates) until she joins Club HM again.

Remember that Premier is free with Club HM.  So just keep in mind that the $20 for a month of Premier isn't much less than the $30/month on the Bronze (lowest) level of Club HM--in my opinion it's worth it to get Premier for free and get 40 points worth of publishing for my money instead of just "renting" Premier for a month, but I know different people have different needs, so do whatever works for you!  :)  That's the great thing about options.  :)

(Click here if you need to know more about Club HM:  http://lifetalesbooks.blogspot.com/p/the-very-best-prices-club-hm-and.html)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Using a TEMPLATE makes everything EASY!

One of the best features of Heritage Makers (...I know I always say that, but they're all true) is that if you want to design something yourself, you can, and if you DON'T want to spend the time designing something yourself, you can use a TEMPLATE.

A template is something someone else has already created and made available for others to use.  Use of templates is always free.  AND if there are any elements you don't like (you want a blue flower instead of a red flower), you can change them.  You can move pages around and rearrange a page if you want, too, just like in a design-it-yourself project.  You get exactly what you want every time!  There are literally thousands of templates to choose from, and new ones get added all the time.



Take a few minute to watch this GREAT video about how to create a project using a template!  (This is also a good overview for how to make anything with Heritage Makers, template or not.)  And you'll see why I said templates are one of the best features of Heritage Makers!

Monday, February 6, 2012

how to use the "my favorites" tab

This is AMAZING!  You can "collect" all your favorite Heritage Makers Studio artwork and keep it in one place!  This short video shows how you use the "my favorites" tab.  How cool is this?!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"Inspirations"

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, www.heritagemakers.com/jenniferwise, 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:

http://www.heritagemakers.com/storybookcharity/

Monday, January 9, 2012

*priceless*

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.

Original post at http://fototails.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/a-letter-on-my-doorstep-portraits-are-more-than-paper/