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!)

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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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?

Photo Restoration – Guest Blogger

We are lucky to have a guest blogger who happens to be a local Milwaukee artist right here . . . enjoy this blog reposted from Rosie Hartmann – who does Pixologie’s photo restoration!
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I was so absorbed reading this book about photo restoration that I kinda took my picture of the day (POD) late and it was of the book. I get obsessive, I admit it.  With the dabbling I have been doing in photo restoration I find a peace and tranquility.  I can’t explain how soothing I find it to work on the restorations. I never expected that.

I do not like clinical things with my art or photography.  Restoring old photos is very clinical. It started out with wondering if I could do a restoration. Now, it is turning into something more. I thought about this a bit. I wondered why I would like this kind of work so much. Moreover I wondered why I found some peace doing it.

This is what I came up with; It’s kind of like rebuilding and restoring yourself. You need to be careful to keep the integrity of the original picture just as I need to keep the core parts of what makes me, me. I think with any trials and tribulations we have seeing ourselves get repaired is often not a peaceful process yet there is peace in it.

For more information about Rosie, her own blog & her art website, go to: http://www.rosiehartmann.com

Four Things You Should Do With Your Antique Photos

What’s the oldest photo or album you have?

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One of our clients gave us a truly historic antique book filled with heritage portraits to scan. He knew that all of the photos were of his mother’s family . . . and he knew the names of a couple of the people in the book.

Just look at how beautiful and fragile this album is.  We gingerly opened it and used our Flip Pal scanner to gently scan the photos. The album was made to slide the portraits into slots and we couldn’t remove them due to the risk of tearing the pages.

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Here’s four things you should do with your antique photos as soon as you can!

  1. Gather all of them into one place for safe storage
  2. Sit down with your family’s historian or oldest living relative and start identifying who is in the old photos. Use a post it on the back of the photo temporarily. Enjoy the reminiscing.
  3. Scan your photos with a flatbed scanner, and the backs of the photos if there is identifying names and dates.
  4. Tag the photos digitally with the name of the relative or use other photo organizing software to document the story behind the portrait.

Save the photos, portraits and save the stories!

My mom had a photo of her Uncle Barnny – and he was quite the character. I still have the photos and the stories of how he set their house on fire with his moonshine operation in the basement. Maybe I’ll write about that in another blog!

Let us know if you need any help with preserving the old family portraits, albums and photos – we’d be glad to teach you how, do it with you or do it for you!

www.pixologieinc.com

414-731-1881

Fun with the Videos Teenagers Make! (Also: Holiday Gift Idea #7)

This video made us smile a LOT and laugh – the boys were so charming in making a music video in Spanish and funny with their antics. Do you know any kids who made videos with camcorders back in the day (not so very long ago?) Of course, today anyone can make and share a video.

But what about ten, fifteen, twenty years ago and more? There are millions and millions of fun family moments caught and trapped on film and videotape.

These clips are off a MiniDV tape we converted to a digital file for one of our clients who graciously agreed to let us share the video with our followers. She has brought us over 40 of her family VHS, MiniDV, and 8mm tapes to convert to digital files so she can view them, edit them and share the memories. They have just loved reliving those memories that really were long ago and forgotten.

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So . . . this is Holiday Gift Idea #7 – (Don’t worry, I am going out of order, if you want a full list of our gift ideas at Pixologie, just email us at contact@pixologieinc.com! : )  Here’s how movie conversions can be a great gift idea:

  1. Convert a few movies to DVDs; share as Christmas gifts to watch on the big television or computer
  2. Convert some of your VHS tapes to digital files that you can edit, clip and pull together a movie of family memories to share at your holiday gift gatherings.
  3. Purchase gift certificates from Pixologie to give to family members who you know have movies they need to get digitized.

Videos are so much more powerful than photos – we can see our family and friends (some of whom may not even be with us anymore) living, having fun, talking and making memories. Let us know how we can help!

Find us at http://www.pixologieinc.com or call 414-731-1881

When Did You Last Look at Your Photos from 2013?

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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 – http://www.pixologieinc.com.

To order a Digital Family Photo Album with DVD  – http://www.shop.pixologieinc.com