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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When Did You Last Look at Your Photos from 2013?

family album with DVD

Remember 2013? Hmm. . . if someone asked me straight out what was great about last year, I truly don’t know what I would say. Life is so busy, I can’t remember last week much less over a year ago.

This is a shame, because my family has amazingly fun memories to share and celebrate together. So I tried out something new – making a digital photo album with just my 2013 photos in it. See the photo above.

I’m holding the photobook open to our 2013 Hartmann Family Reunion pictures. Look at Alex holding that basketball – he’d won it in our famous brown bag auction and wasn’t going to let anyone take it away from him!

Check out a few more pages . . . I really have to say, my eyes tear up when I think about all the blessings my family has had. Below are photos from New Year’s Eve at my dear friend Tammy’s house – was so much fun. My husband was a nurse at the time and had to work the night shift – so my kids and I had an absolute blast with Tammy, friends, neighbors and a whole houseful of kids.

Bartelt Family Pixologie 2013 - Page 002

Oh my goodness, 2013 was the year we drove to Yellowstone National Park – oh the sites we saw. My book has four pages and 24 photos that capture the best of the best moments from that trip. And my kids had such an adventure. We highly recommend Yellowstone for your next summer vacation!

Thin Borders

Then there’s the holidays. . . I have about four pages of holiday photos, just enough to capture the essence of celebrating Christmas with the family. This is the first page of December memories with me and the kids making Christmas cookies and photos of snow – and our crazy dog Tillie jumping to catch snow flung at her!

Bartelt Family Pixologie 2013 - Page 042

I love that my family has a physical book to look through and see how much fun and adventure we have together.

How would you feel showing a book like this to show your children, family and friends with your best moments of 2013?

You can experience it yourself – with the Pixologie Digital Family Photo Album with DVD. After showing this concept to people, overwhelmingly, the consensus was that we should continue making these books for others who want to celebrate and share the best stories of their lives!

Click here to learn more –

To order a Digital Family Photo Album with DVD  –

Who Knew We Could Scan 60,000 Photos in 10 Days!

Graphic for Blog To celebrate International Save Your Photos Day 2014, Pixologie committed to an audacious goal of scanning 100,000 photos in the run-up to Saturday, September 27. Here’s what we actually achieved:

  • 61,000 photos scanned with our Kodak Picture Saver high speed scanners and preserved for over twenty individuals and families
  • Another 50,000 approximately on our docket to be scanned throughout October for an additional six families

Lessons Learned

With our Save Your Photos Day goal and event, our clients felt a call to action. Most of our clients want to get their photos organized, but many needed that extra motivation to start. With the extra attention to saving photos, people understood that flooding, tornados, hard drive crashes, etc. are a real threat to their family memories. The devastation of losing photos in a disaster or to time was more apparent because of this special day.

However, we found that our clients had been waiting for the day to be organized before bringing their photos in for scanning services. Our goal was impacted by the fact that we had to physically remove most of the photos from the albums brought in. We did not just want numbers, we wanted our clients to have a usable digital archive of their photos.


Here’s a story of a great couple whom we’ve known for over three years and who have not been ready to get their photos out of a chaotic situation in their closet.

Over 50 Years of Memories Too Overwhelming to Even Look At

Stephen and Mary had fifty-five diverse photo albums, all different sizes, types and levels of deterioration along with hundreds of photo envelopes – overloading the shelves in their bedroom closet and never brought out to be shared.  Even though most of the photos were in albums, the memories spanned over 50 years of marriage and were so overwhelming that the escapades of their eight children growing up, celebrations, travel around the world, and their annual mission work were hidden away. We picked up their photo album collection, took out all the photos from the albums and scanned the pictures.

After the scanning process, we tagged their digital files with relevant keywords so they could search their photos for events and important topics. We will return their photos in elegant Legacy Boxes along with DVDs of their photos.

Our next steps are to help them create digital photo books by picking out the best of their photos on topics such as their mission work with an orphanage in Honduras which spans many years and their family “yearbook” featuring and celebrating their traditions and faith.

Because of Save Your Photos Day and the relationship we had developed with them over the years, Stephen and Mary have taken their photos out of their closet and are bringing their memories and stories back into life to be celebrated and shared.

Consider Scanning a First Step to Getting Your Photos Organized

As mentioned before, we found that many of our SYPD clients were waiting until they organized their photos to bring them in for scanning. Unfortunately, that day doesn’t usually come when you have time to organize your photos, and instead, you are rushing around creating further photo chaos trying to find needed pictures for a special event.

Some Ways We Can Help

  1. Bring your albums and boxes of photos to Pixologie for Open Studio Time. We’ll get you started on preparing your photos for scanning.
  2. Have a lot of photos to scan? Consider renting our Kodak PS50 to scan your photos at home. It comes with a laptop, so scanning is super easy and super fast at up to 50 photos per minute.
  3. Still too overwhelmed? Give us a call. We’d be happy to talk with you and help you make a plan to get your photos out of chaos and back into life to be celebrated and shared!

In the end, we were humbled that our clients embraced our goal for Save Your Photos Day and feel so blessed to be a part of making sure their stories were recovered, shared and preserved!

Please feel free to contact us with any questions!


Telephone: 414-690-0791


About the Save Your Photos Alliance  Pixologie is a member of the Save Your Photos Alliance, a group committed to being the world’s premier organization for the SAFEGUARDING, RECOVERING, RESTORING, and REUNITING of photos and treasured memorabilia before and after disasters occur.

Learn more about the Alliance at:

Learn more about the National Disaster Photo Rescue organization:

Family Photos Deserve an Audacious Goal

Three Things You Need to Know About International Save Your Photos Day

Craziness at Pixologie over the past week . . . since we committed to scanning 100,000 photos in honor of International Save Your Photos Day this Saturday. With our Kodak Picture Saver scanners, we have scanned anywhere from 2,000 to over 10,000 photos a day and have seen so many memories that are finally coming out of boxes, envelopes and deteriorated albums. (WARNING: DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS AT HOME, SEVERE RISK OF FRUSTRATION AND THROWING FLATBED SCANNER OUT THE WINDOW!)

Here’s three things you need to know about Save Your Photos Day and why we went out (like way out) on a limb to bring attention to this day.

ONE: There is a Save Your Photos Alliance


We were humbled during the Association of Personal Photo Organizers’ 2014 National Conference when volunteers spoke about helping tornado and flooding victims be reunited with some of their photos.

Out of this presentation was born a group of photo organizers, non-profits and businesses who have committed to the safeguarding, recovering, restoring and reuniting of photos and treasured memorabilia before and after disasters occur.

The Save Your Photos Alliance designated Saturday, September 27 as International Save Your Photos Day. Pixologie is a proud member of the alliance and thrilled to be having a special Open House here at our studio this weekend.

TWO: The National Disaster Photo Rescue (NDPR) Group Proves Photos Matter

The online index of recovered photos

The NDPR online index of recovered photos

Located in Joplin, Missouri, the NDPR volunteers have rescued, cleaned, indexed and stored over 35,000 photos and documents that were blown from homes and businesses on May 22, 2011. Over half of these items have been returned to their owners. Here’s a link to their website.

A photo is a lifeline when disaster hits. Please take a few minutes to watch how Joplin has recovered from the horrific tornado that tore apart their town. While the video doesn’t deal with the photo recovery efforts, it definitely makes one think about all we have to be thankful for.


THREE: You Can Help – Your Donation Will Be Matched by Pixologie Up To $1,000

Run by volunteers, the NDPR could use our help for expenses in helping these photos be saved. Donations will be used to provide mileage reimbursement and meals for volunteers who donate countless hours of service both at disaster sites as well as working with recovered photos to repair and restore them for return to the owner.

We have a challenge grant for the NDPR – we will donate matching dollars to the NDPR for every dollar we collect for Save Your Photos Day up to $1,000.

So. . . whether or not you have your own photos to save or you’d like to help someone else save their photos, please plan an hour to stop on by our Open House this Saturday.

Your photos really do matter – ask anyone who has lost their photos to a tornado or flood.

How about joining us in making your own audacious goal? 

Get your photos out of chaos and back into your life to be protected, celebrated and shared!

Save Your Photos Day at Pixologie

Saturday, September 27, 1 to 4 pm

9803 South 13th Street, Oak Creek, WI  53154

RSVP to 414-690-0791 or FACEBOOK

Stepping Out of Photos For a Moment . . . Can You Find Your Music?

When you need motivation for getting going on your photo project, music can be extremely inspiring. One of my favorite songs about memories is by Bon Jovi . . . (Okay, it is a bit romantic, but he sings about photos!!!!)

screen shot of bon jovi

WATCH You Want to Make A Memory Video


There is a lot of music that I love listening to while working on things that have taken me a while to get to.  I am switching gears for this blog from organizing photos to talk about your music collection. Why in the world would I do that?

  • Music matters too! It inspires, sets the mood and brings back many memories. (Calling the 80s – my childhood & Uptown Girl!)
  • Pixologie has connected with Murfie – an online music collection and store. Murfie is a partner of the Association of Personal Photo Organizers which is important to us – because it tells us that Murfie understands the significance of photos and memories and what we do.

murfie website

  • Murfie is a fellow Wisconsin business – located in Madison just an hour and a half from our Pixologie Studio in Oak Creek, WI. We had to go check them out especially when Tyler Stubbe, long time Murfie employee, told us they have over half a million CDs in their warehouse of music.


Here’s what I learned during my tour in Madison. You can:

  • Stream your CD and vinyl collection eliminating the need to store hundreds and hundreds of old CD cases in your home
  • Sell your CDs and vinyl records in a personal shop
  • Purchase CDs (digitally from other Murfie members – you are buying a physical CD that Murfie stores for you.)
  • Download CD files to add to iTunes and other music playing software
  • Trade albums with other members
  • Add albums to your Wishlist, choose a price, Autobuy and much more

Okay – I couldn’t resist taking some fun photos of the Murfie team.


The Murfie team let me ship my classic music collection in to try their services out. I loved it – thought it was supercool to hear MY music over the internet. (Literally, I was playing my CD – Murfie copies EVERY single CD that is shipped to them – per their obligations to the music industry.)

And. . . I loved to see that I could very easily sell my CDs also. And. . . I found Bon Jovi’s Lost Highway album for $3.00 – which has my very favorite “Let’s Make a Memory” song on it. 

So – it’s a THUMBS UP for our fellow Wisconsin business – Murfie Music!!!

If you are interested in Murfie, here’s a discount code for you! Send your music collection in and use discount code: PIXMSN1 for 10% off!

We Survived Shark Tank Casting Call Today! : )


What a day we had at Pixologie! A Shark Tank kind of day complete with our 60 second pitch, plenty of photos ops and lots of fun at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Thanks to US Cellular, Shark Tank had the open casting call in Milwaukee today. We’ve had so many people tell us we should submit our business to be on the show – that it seemed like a no-brainer to get in line at 5:30 am this morning to join the line of other would be “bait” for the sharks!

The sunrise at the Milwaukee Art Museum!

The sunrise at the Milwaukee Art Museum!

At 5:30 am, there was a nice line going around the railing on the South side of the building. We figured we had around 60 people in front of us . . . and the line stretched out down the steps of the museum and just south to Michigan Street. The first people in line had arrived at 2:30 pm the day before and slept overnight! We thought about that – but we are NOT that fanatical about the front row! :  )

At 6:00, when we were fresh and ready!

At 6:00, when we were fresh and ready!

We enjoyed visiting with the other people waiting in line and we definitely made some new friends. In a way, this casting call was like a big networking event. We also had fun watching all the media, Shark Tank staff and US Cellular staff with video cameras interviewing people. We saw fun clothing, a cabinet maker, an awesome type of thermostat, an annual birthday book journal, kitty litter picker-upper, makeup and much, much more.

He created a make-up line!

He created a make-up line!

Finally, Scott Salyers came up to announce the handing out of bracelets. While we waited for ours – he was gracious enough to have his photo taken with us!


With Scott Salyers – funny, funny guy! Made us laugh a lot during our time at the casting call!

And then . . . our Shark Tank bracelet arrived and looks so good below along with our Rustic Cuff bracelet which states “Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail!” We are blessed every day knowing that our work will help others learn how photo organization and management can bring memories out of chaos and back into life to be celebrated and shared!

Woohoo! #53 in line!

Woohoo! #53 in line!

Around 9:15 we were invited inside and loved, loved the air conditioning! Everyone was encouraged to find a seat where Scott then gave tips, instructions and funny smart aleck remarks. Put everyone at ease! (Like they wouldn’t be timing us with timers; that we didn’t have to be perfect – but be ourselves and do be sure to ask for a specific amount of money. )


The pitches went very fast. Around 10:12 they called the first numbers and by 11:05, I think they were calling us up! In the room where we gave our pitch, they had five tables set up for a quick turnaround. We got set up quickly!


Our pitch went exactly as we planned and practiced. . .

  • Gave a great, relevant statistic (Yahoo! reports that 1 trillion photos will be taken this year and that is in addition to the 3.5 trillion already taken since the 1800s)
  • Had a fun visual (ours was a clear container of lots of photos, slides, old albums, VHS tapes all mixed together) – the casting gal said it looked like her mother’s house!
  • Introduced ourselves and our company
  • A couple of lines about what we do (Photos out of chaos and into life to be celebrated & shared, etc. etc)
  • A line about why we are unique (hands-on help, studio location & trademark licensing)
  • Our ask – you’ll find out what ours was if we are ever on the show! : )

The gal said we did great – and she smiled at us! We don’t think we could have done it any better!

We’ll find out how we did in the next week. If we get a phone call, we’ll get a second interview. No phone call? Well, we had a WONDERFUL time!


Back out into the gathering area, we were so happy that we hadn’t been devoured and spit back out by the casting crew! Then we met Barclay Pollak, from US Cellular’s sister company, TDS to mingle and interview some of us entrants.  We had fun telling him about Pixologie – and he asked us how we knew he had lots of VHS tapes at home. (Because everyone over 20 either has VHS tapes or they have their parents!)


Barclay, Ann and another really nice guy – they owe us a video in a month or two! : )

After that we headed over to the US Cellular Semi-Truck Trailer/Entertainment Center and thanked the staff there for helping bring Shark Tank to Milwaukee!


We came, we pitched, we survived!

POSTSCRIPT – To write this blog, I used the photos from two cell phones, a camera card, the camera’s memory, Twitter & Facebook. It was hard! No wonder we need photo organizers! :  )


Business Development:



Put Your Family On Expo This Weekend!



At Pixologie, we love celebrating life, family, fun and much more! We do this by helping people reconnect with their photos, get them organized, printed, shared and much more. Making memories is so much fun (figuring out what to do with the photos is what we offer to you!)

Every time you take a child’s photo or have a family portrait done, you are featuring your child, your family and your life for a moment. That moment is captured and on exposition for a split second in time! These moments, so very often, are tucked away in digital memory (smartphone, tablet, camera card, computer, etc.)

We saw a staggering statistic on Yahoo at the beginning of the year . . . nearly one trillion photos will be taken this year. Consider this:

  • The vast majority of those photos will never be printed
  • Many will be lost through digital crashes, smartphone disasters (stolen, left behind and never found, traded in without a back-up of photos saved)
  • Most people are so overwhelmed with their photos, they have no clue where to start.

Here’s where we come in. . . 

Pixologie Challenge & Simple Solution for this weekend – Put Your Family On Expo!

  1. Come to the Just Add Kids Expo this weekend in Racine – see details above – Visit our Pixologie Photo Zone and get a crazy fun family portrait together by a professional photographer (available for digital download at no charge) 
  2. Don’t live in the area? Send us your craziest family photo to and we’ll post it for you on Facebook!
  3. From all the family photos, we will draw a name to win a digital photo album featuring your child with a value of $100!

For your simple solution to photo organizing dilemmas – we’ll be handing out our QuickPix Guide to Photo Organization – and give you ideas and tips on how to get started, one step at a time! For those who can’t make it – we’ll send it to you!

Happy memory making and we’ll see your family on EXPO! : )


Say No To Bad Selfies! : )

Rachel's Selfie


Here’s a beautiful selfie of Co-Founder Ann Matuszak’s daughter – who happens to also love photos! (However, this gem of a selfie was found among many, many other goofy selfies!)

We love, love photos at Pixologie! 

So, my friend, Paula at Just Add Kids, was telling me about how her kids use her smartphone to take many “selfies.” When she mentioned that, I groaned. (Okay, we don’t love all photos.) Her biggest problem (besides her kids just using the phone) was something like, “Well, how can I delete them?” Admittedly, some of her kids’ “selfies” were adorable, but most of the selfies, in my humble opinion, just needed to be trashed.

I am going to make a categorical statement in my life, “Say No To Selfies.” (hashtag is #saynotobadselfies). After talking with Paula and her assistant, Theresa, we came to the following conclusions:

  • Selfies clutter our phones.
  • Selfies, while fun in the moment,tend to desensitize children and teenagers and really seem, at a deeper level, a form of self-disrespect. Consider the headline in a recent New York Times article, “With Some Selfies, the Uglier the Better.” See the link below as it provides an interesting perspective on selfies. I’m not sure how I feel about it all.
  • They can take away the innocence of a teenager – first, it’s a goofy face; next – a provocative look; then – a daring cleavage shot; and in too many instances – a bikini selfie and worse

Having said all of that, there are some “selfies” that are amazingly awesome. So, after further reflection, I can’t say no to them all, just the bad ones. Selfies can catch a moment in a special, ethereal, way – such as at a wedding – or at the Academy Awards like Ellen did with the most tweeted ever photo! 


Related to the selfie dilemma, Pixologie and Just Add Kids is offering this class to anyone with too many photos on their phone.

Get Your Photos Off Your Phone!

Pixologie Studio at The Gathering in Oak Creek

8825 South Howell Avenue, Suite 102

Register at:



Check Out: Just Add Kids –

Welcome to Pixologie’s Blog!

Albums like this are so much fun to look at. Where are your photos now?

Your stories matter . . . and nothing tells a story like a photo from your life! At Pixologie, we aim to help you get started wherever you are at with organizing your photos, whether shuffled in boxes in a closet, lost on your computer or spread around the internet through various social media sites.

Pixologie offers photo solutions including organization, conversion of media and creation of photo related gifts. We can show you, do it with you or do it for you – whichever works the best for your photo dilemmas!

We currently are operating in Southeastern Wisconsin but plan to reach out to cities around the country where people need help with their photos. Does any of this sound familiar?

– 75% of US households own a digital camera
– 86% of all digital images never leave the camera
– 30.4 billion images are saved a year, only 16 billion are printed
– 750 million photos were upload to Facebook on New Year’s Day 2011
– Photos are vulnerable to hard drive crashes and technical obsolescence
– Time is destroying home movies and video tapes such as VHS and Super 81

Are you worried about where your memories are saved and preserved for future generations. Email us today at and we will help you get started!

If you know of an entrepreneur who’d want to join us on this journey of helping stories be told, let us know!