Three Reasons to Haul Out Your Slides Today!

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Back in 2004, my in-laws pulled out the slide projector and carousels of slides to go through. We had all the family over – twenty of us watching memories from the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s. It was the one of the last times we were all together before my father-in-law passed away from cancer, and one of my favorite family gatherings.

Here’s my three reasons to haul out your slides today!

  1. It is the winter and a great time for family get togethers. How much fun is it to look at photos of you or your parents growing up?
  2. Reconnect with and celebrate your family traditions and memories. Today’s world operates by a different set of values, morality and norms. It does us all good to reflect on how family life has changed since the 1950s and 1960s. (See the Christmas group photo below – the whole family dressed up for the holiday, bow-ties and all!)
  3. Life flies by and before we know it, we can lose a loved one. Celebrate those memories together now when you can hear the stories aloud, instead of when it is too late. I know that Sunday afternoon, ten years ago, with my father-in-law will stand out in mind as long is I live – and I was blessed to have a photo of the event.

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Lastly, don’t just haul out the projector to watch the slides, have your slides converted to a digital file so the whole family can have a copy of these special memories to pass down to their children and grandchildren.

At Pixologie, we have scanned anywhere from five slides to thousands of slides for our clients. Let us know if we can help!

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email: contact@pixologieinc.com

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Like Taking a Picture of the Mountains

Client empties her photo closet and takes a picture to show her own chaos

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Our dear friend Lori has her own successful business helping her clients create beautiful scrapbooks and digital photo books – a calling that she loves. But, something in Lori’s house was also calling her – a photo closet full of over 20,000+ (our eyeball guesstimate) printed photos that needed to be scanned before she could create her own scrapbooks of her family’s heritage.

Psychologically, her chaos of photos might as well have been the mountains, so overwhelming it was.

She wrote to us – “Not only do I have decades of old photos, and take hundreds/thousands of photos each year, but I also acquired heritage photos from my Dad, Pat’s parents, and Pat’s grandmother dating into the 1800’s” Here’s what she catalogued in her collection:

  • Her father’s photo albums (back row on table) – 15+
  • Sort boxes with 2400 photos in each of them – 6
  • Banker’s boxes stuffed full of developed photos and memorabilia – 8
  • CDs of photos
  • Files and additional boxes filled with photos – 4+
  • And many more not in the photos above

Frustratingly, Lori stopped scrapbooking because she wanted to back up the only copy of these photos digitally before she put them into albums. With the process being tedious and time consuming on her flatbed scanner, she was getting further and further behind.

Lori attempted to bring the six sort boxes to Pixologie to rent our high speed scanner in the studio – but this work didn’t even touch the volume of photos she needed to digitize. She then made the decision to rent our scanner in her home for an extended period of time. Here’s photos of when we stopped by her home to set the scanner up. She really did have a whole “photo closet.”

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Now with the Kodak Alaris Picture Saver Scanning System at her house, Lori can get to work at her pace in the comfort of her own home. She said “Approaching this project methodically has been helpful. It is not only fine tuning the photo sorting process, it’s also helping me get Historian (photo organizing and editing software) more organized and entering circa dates and info.” And below you can see how methodical she is with her work station set up in her office.

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Now that these photos are getting scanned quickly, Lori can start giving her photos a home in a family album so she and others can enjoy the memories.

Our high speed scanning rental includes a computer which has a very simple interface to use to get your scanning done. Click here for more details.

Please do not postpone or procrastinate on your photo chaos any longer – your family memories are just waiting to be rediscovered, waiting to tell the stories of your traditions, faith and growing up. We have solutions that will get your photos out of chaos and back into life to be celebrated and shared.

Our website: www.pixologieinc.com

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Photo Mess Resolutions? 4 Steps to Start Fixing It Now!

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Got photos in your Near Year’s resolutions this year? This blog is definitely geared for anyone who has piles, boxes, envelopes, old albums and more of photos, slides and negatives that need some work. And, it is geared for anyone who has camera cards, smart phone picture libraries, tablets, computers, social media full of photos that need to be saved. If you have photos in both print and digital chaos, here are three steps to start fixing it now.

STEP ONE – Traditional printed photos, slides & negatives – Start collecting all of your pictures into one place in your home. Having all of your photos, etc. in one area will help you figure out what you are dealing with and making a priority list.

STEP TWO – Digital photos – Create a folder on your computer with a name you’ll remember (My Favorite Pictures, Super Special Pictures Collection or Smith Family Photos). Start saving all of your photos to this one folder including downloading them from emails, social media and more. You can create subfolders for each date, event, etc. We recommend the naming convention of YYYY-MM-DD Description – which will help your folders display in date order properly. For example:

  • 2014-12-10 Christmas Concert
  • 2014-12 December Phone Photos
  • 2014 – Social Media Downloaded Photos

STEP THREE – Be consistent with working on your photos – always put your printed photos you are given or photos that you find with the other photos you have organized. For your digital photos, each week take time to download photos to your Picture Folder, transfer photos from your devices to that folder.

STEP FOUR – Plan the time and a location to work on bringing it all together. Some of our clients at Pixologie have had over 15,000 printed photos, 200,000 digital photos or over 100 years worth of photo mess. An average photo collection of our clients includes 12,000 to 16,000 moments and memories. If you are in a similar situation, you will not get this done in a day at home.

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Get out of the house on a photo retreat for a weekend or come to Pixologie for a workshop and ongoing studio time to get motivation, tips, ongoing cheerleading and inspiration to continue on getting your photos out of chaos and back into life to be celebrated and shared.

Here’s Pixologie’s offering of services, products and workshops to help you get started.

We’d love to you help you with a plan – don’t hesitate to call, email or Facebook us if you have questions on how to get started with your New Year’s photo resolutions!

web: www.pixologieinc.com

email: contact@pixologieinc.com

phone: 414-731-1881

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

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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!

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

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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.

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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!

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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: http://www.rosiehartmann.com

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.

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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!

Call us at 414-731-1881

Email at contact@pixologieinc.com

Check out our website: http://www.pixologieinc.com.

Let the Holidays Begin, Tell Some Stories!

Wow, it is the week of Thanksgiving, here we go!

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The photo up above is funny and wouldn’t we love to know the story behind that turkey! Not your typical November photo.

Goodness, of all the photos we have helped people sort, it seems like the most consistent piles of photos we find – are those taken during the holidays. Year after year, we can see children and their parents grow older – at Thanksgiving with the turkey;during December with Santa photos, at Christmas opening gifts and during New Year’s celebrations!

We have something special to think about related to stories, family and blessings.

Last week, we heard about a man who was blind and who would tell his family when they traveled to take lots of pictures. When asked why this was so important to him, he replied, “I may not be able to see the photos, but when you all look at the photos and talk about what you did – I love hearing the stories you tell about what happened on your trip.”

Photos do matter, they tell stories that we might not otherwise remember.

During the holidays is the best time to haul out some old photos and albums or family videos and reminisce about things that have been long forgotten!

WSO Athlete Surprised to See Himself in a Slideshow

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Recently, we had a booth at the Wisconsin Senior Olympics – Annual Senior Celebration and Wellness Fair. What fun to talk to athletes who, in some cases, were twice as old as me, but still running marathons!

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As a board member and donor to the WSO, I love their mission of helping seniors keep active in a social atmosphere with some competition! See below for a quick slideshow of photos I put together for them – memories and moments from an organization that is over 35 years old!

While we were at the Fair, a couple stopped by our table and watched the video for a bit. And then, the gentleman said, “Hey that’s me!” He was wearing his medals in the photo. We had fun talking with him about what the Senior Olympics has meant to him.

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And it was great to see that he was touched by seeing a photo of himself.

What photo do you have that would delight someone to see the memory again?