Don’t Make This Mistake – Holiday Lights Tour!!!


Two Caveats to This Holiday Lights Post:

  1. Rosie Hartmann is the photographer of all these holiday light photos.
  2. I would have used my iPhone photos – her photos just look better! :  )

Fellow Pixologie gal Rosie and I hit the road on Wednesday night with my thirteen year old daughter Hannah to see the best holiday lights of Racine. And did we see some great light shows and displays!

Here’s a photo from the Jamestown Lights – one local couple who put on this show every year – and the holiday music they had on their “radio station” was fun. And, they have a view across a pond which makes it even more beautiful to watch.

10392434_757201394327270_6438302903027805729_n-2Here it comes the mistake I made. We had such a fun time, and I always try to take a photo with me or Rosie and my daughter when we go out together. And I forgot.

Then, two hours later, I made my husband get in the car with my eight years old son Alex, and we went to see it again! The photo of dad and son enjoying the light show? Doesn’t exist, because I forgot.

The moral of the story?

  1. The photos of the lights will never actually capture the full experience of seeing them in person.
  2. The best parts of the night were time spent with Rosie, Hannah, my husband and Alex. Unless I write the stories down from the evening, I will not remember them.
  3. Don’t forget to even take just one photo with your family when you are out doing something fun and taking photos of holiday lights!


Racine County Zoo Light Displays were beautiful and several blocks long – no photo of my daughter who loved all of it!


Jellystone Campground Christmas Celebration Light Show – over 15 million lights!!! We were blown away by all the magical things they did with lights. The photo above is just a snippet of an amazing half hour car tour through the grounds. Photo of my daughter, Rosie or I – who oohed and aahed the whole way through? Doesn’t exist!

Too often, as we help people sort through their photos, we see way too many pictures of scenery and too few of the family in the scenery. Our clients aren’t saving the majority of their scenery photographs. They want the photos of the people they were with.

So – I am thinking, okay, this weekend, we’ll get back in the car and I’ll get that photo of Hannah or Alex going to see the lights. (Yes, I know, it probably won’t even be a great one, in the dark with a flash, but I’ll have a photo of this new family tradition we started!)

The Christmas Photo Card – 1950s Style

FullSizeRenderCheck out these Christmas photo cards sent back in the 1950s. We found these in a photo collection of one of our clients – and had to chuckle. Even back decades ago, nobody wanted to get rid of cards that included family photos.

Apparently, in the 1950s, sending a photo card for the holidays was a major expense and included having to have the portrait professionally taken and produced by a photographer.

What a treasure our photo cards will be in twenty, thirty, forty years and more! My vote is to save ’em all! :  )

Three Steps to Ensure Your Kids Will Remember Traditions of Giving Back

Celebrating Wishes in Wonderland 2014 – and providing hope to children struggling with life threatening medical situations.


This past weekend, Pixologie loved hosting the Kids’ Craft Area for Wishes in Wonderland at our local Dave & Buster’s restaurant – an annual event to raise money for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin. We saw lots of people taking fun photos of their children with Santa, at the crafts and games tables and much more. Here’s some fun photos we took:

For each family, it is likely one of the photos they snapped will end up on the annual Christmas card. But what about all the other memories from the day and the sense that all were gathered to help children in dire and/or chronic medical conditions? Watch the news coverage here:

It's a Good Cause

We have three steps to ensure your kids will remember giving back to those in need:

  1. Take your children to events where giving back is a main focus – holiday fundraisers are perfect – many nonprofits have events that are packed full of fun including Santa, activities, etc. Proceeds go to support a variety of missions – including providing food, housing and much more. (Even our local humane society had a holiday event with Waffles, an adorable dog to visit with during their Hope’s Lights Celebration)
  2. While at the event – take many photos including something that gets to the mission of the organization putting on the event. At the top of our article – see the handmade cards that will go to children who are in the hospital in the next couple of weeks. The kids loved making the cards and then walking the card over to the bin to place it in – knowing they were going to brighten someone’s day.
  3. Get those photos out each year to see all the different ways your family has given back to your community, while helping others in need. Ideas include: saving these photos in a “Christmas Giving” digital file on your computer, creating a holiday scrapbook with just a few of those photos printed out to have fun remembering what you did or having a photo collage made to hang up at the holidays.

We are betting that steps one and two are easy – and you probably have been doing them already. If step number three is hard to figure out where to start . . .

. . . we would love to help you with a plan on how to get those photos into your lives to be celebrated long after your children have grown up. Grown up knowing and looking at the memories and traditions your family has of giving back.

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Get the Old Family Photos In Order

You just gotta take action!


Eileen and Sue (my mother-in-law and cousin!) came to our Open Studio Time to get a move on a family photo project we’ve all been talking about for nearly five years now. The project is to create a family history photo book on the Bartelt/Kroenig side of our family.

It was great to see them at work beginning the sorting process of the old photos and lots of smiles and laughs as they dug into the bin full of photos. We set the gals up at a table with some paper to make sorting easier.

Taking action on photos is MUCH easier when you don’t do it at home – where you’ll be interrupted by the phone, other household items, family and more. Check out the video below to see what happens when you can finally look at those photos you’ve been overwhelmed with!

Our Open Studio Time is $15 for three hours and includes the use of our flatbed scanner and Flip Pal scanner and much more. Plus we are there to give you tips and ideas on how to tackle your photo chaos! Ask us about our Photo Chaos Tamer Card!

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I can’t do it. I just can’t.

Confessions from professional photographer, artist and our business consultant, Rosie

I Can't Do It!

NOTE: Photo taken by someone who is NOT a professional photographer!

Original at:

Photo organization, I can’t do it.  It is really funny actually. Most artists do not like the business side of working within the different avenues of the art world. They find it horrifying. They can look at their pictures and get them tagged, filed and findable. With the software today like Picasa, where you can easily use the face finder function and tag people it has gotten so much easier.

Me? I would rather work on the business side then organize and tag pictures. You may as well just apply the most de-motivated poster to me. It’s ironic that the business I do the most consulting for is a photo organization business.


It is also humorous that I choose the water drop oldie but goodie picture for yesterday. One week I shot over 1,500 pictures a day in search of the perfect method to get water drop pictures.  I was obsessed. Yet, I could not even spend 3 hours on organizing all of those shots yesterday.

I can’t organize this mess. I have over 115,000 shots in my library.  That number is where I stopped counting. I have filled almost a terabyte of space with pictures. So in the spirit of giving up, I am going to go paint my kitchen cabinets black now.  If I am lucky, while I am doing that my sister will come over and take control of my photo mess.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Pixologie to the rescue, hang tight, don’t despair – Rosie! We’ve got your back – and anyone else who needs help with their photo chaos!

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