Friday, September 16, 2016

how photos help through loss and grief

If there's one thing ALL of us have in common, it's loss.  Loss is so personal and so deep that it's hard to really put into words sometimes.  

I recently read this beautiful article by Julie over at about how photos can help us through loss and grief that I really wanted to share with you:

Wasn't that beautiful and inspiring?

One of the best ways I know of (from seeing the experience of others and from my own personal experience) of coping with loss is a creating a tribute book.

And I have made books for others as well, so if you need that service, let me know!  (You can read about it at that link.)  

You're always welcome to contact me with questions, too.

Please share this post with anyone you know going through grief and loss.  It's a shared experience, so let's help each other through it!

Monday, September 12, 2016

digital photo storage is a back up, not a goal

If you learn nothing else from this blog, let it be this.

There's kind of a trend right now, a focus on how many ways we can back up our digital photos, how to safely store them, how to make sure they are secure.  But I'm afraid we're missing the point.

The point of taking photos is not to store them somewhere.  The point of taking photos is to be able to look at them, read their stories, and recall happy memories while doing it.  

The gift of photos is that they can allow you to re-live a moment, to enjoy something all over again, to fall in love again, even to grieve and heal.   That happens when we interact with the photos, hold them, see them, and love them with their stories.  

That doesn't happen by saving them to an external hard drive or some paid online photo storage place.

Think about it like this:  Back in the "olden days" we would take pictures with film.  Then we'd go get the film developed, and we'd get back 2 things--#1 physical photos and #2 negatives.  The physical photos are what we wanted.  They would allow us to see our memories right in our hands.  They show who the new baby looks like.  They captured the wedding day.  The physical photos are what we took the pictures for in the first place.

Now, the negatives were also valuable because they were the backup in case anything happened to those precious photos.  So we made sure we stashed those away somewhere safe.  Think about photos in digital form that way:

When you take photos, focus more on how you're going to preserve them IN PRINT rather than focusing so much on how you're going to preserve them digitally.  And, yes, certainly preserve them digitally (external hard drive, flash drive, CD, online, on your computer, etc.)--and it's safest to preserve them digitally in TWO ways because technology is so fickle and always changing.  Just never lose sight of the fact that the digital storage is a backup.

The most meaningful way to preserve photos is in print. 
 That's because print is where you can preserve the memories that make the photo mean something in the first place.  Print is how they get seen and loved, how they make a difference, how they are enjoyed.  

So you definitely want to print your photos in a high-quality way.  Be sure you are including the stories of the photos when you print them, though--otherwise, half their value is gone!  The details of the photo need to be preserved just as much as the photo itself.  Who is in the photo?  Where was it taken?  Why was it taken?  What are the memories that are associated with it?

These days we spend so much time looking for the best way to preserve our digital photos digitally.  

I hope you're now looking for the best way to preserve your photos in PRINT!  Check out my favorite heirloom-quality options and see which one is your favorite.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Who are you trusting your photos to?

Photos and memories.  They're irreplaceable.  Wouldn't you agree?

The beautiful, personal, high quality books you get with Heritage Makers are absolutely priceless!  Heritage Makers is about making heritage, so quality is one of our MUSTS.

Heritage Makers was born in the early 2000s from a woman's desire to help her kids get to know her grandpa who lived about 1,000 miles away.

I came on board just as Heritage Makers was getting going--the company officially launched a couple of months after I became a Heritage Makers consultant in March 2005.   Back then, nobody had seen your their OWN photo on/in a hardbound book!

These days there are other options for putting your photos in a book, and I know some online photobook companies offer big discounts, even free books.  I know everyone loves a bargain--including me--but this always makes me wonder: 

Do you really WANT a free book??

The old adage, "You get what you pay for" is true.  How long will a free book last?  Can you reorder another one 3 years from now after it's fallen apart?  If you do, will that book be saved in your account, or will you have to re-create it? 

I definitely want to get a good price on a photo storybook, but I also want it to last.  I want some guarantees that my precious photos and memories are safe and preserved.  I DO NOT want to go to all the effort of preserving my photos and memories if the product isn't going to hold up--no matter how cheaply I got it.

Have you seen what makes Heritage Makers different?  There's a whole list!  It's in the red tab above, or you can {click here}.   

UPDATE 2022:   Heritage Makers is currently being updated to a new software platform that doesn't require Adobe Flash to run (which Adobe has discontinued).  For additional options for heirloom-quality photo-storybooks, see the Photo & Story Treasures recommendations here.  Quality matters, and so does photo privacy.  Both are more uncommon than they should be!

So although I hear what people say when they're looking for cheap memory-keeping, I'm pretty sure if they thought about it, they don't REALLY want a cheap book!

When you #makesomethingmeaningful make sure you know who you're trusting your photos to.  Check the fine print!

Monday, September 5, 2016

crafty gifts without any work

Sound too good to be true?  Well, IT'S NOT!!

You can get cute and crafty gifts (and a little somethin' for YOU!) without any work!

If you are like me, I start thinking about Christmas gifts in September.  Seems about right!

Did you know that I have a Facebook page that serves as my online shop??

Yup!  I do!  It's right here:

There are a lot more cute little items at the shop, so be sure to LIKE it on Facebook, and check back there any time you need a gift (or a little somethin' for YOU) to see what's available and see what's new!

Only 111 days until Christmas!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Creating a Life Storybook video tutorial

Have you recorded your life story?  Is it time to record the life story of your parents or grandparents?  This video tutorial about creating a life storybook from Heritage Makers may give you some helpful tips and ideas.  Just be sure you make the effort to turn your good ideas into something priceless.

Here's another great option:

Need help with the writing?  

Here are some great resources (prompts and ideas) for writing your life story:

{Get started here!}  Or follow the steps at {this link}.