Happy 124th Anniversary, Great-Grandpa Edwin & Great-Grandma Georgia!
Posts Tagged ‘Photos’
Meet today’s Guest Blogger – Denise Levenick. Better known as The Family Curator, I first met Denise at the St. George Family History Expo last March, and soon came to appreciate both her expertise and her practical approach to preserving family memories and memorabilia. Add to that her generous, affable disposition and there you have it – the perfect Guest Blogger! Denise has made it her mission “to inspire, enlighten, and encourage other family curators in their efforts to preserve and share their family treasures.” It is a privilege to welcome her to Above the Trees!
Was your mom like mine, insisting that you include all your siblings or classmates when you played a game or planned a party? Did you really want to cross the class bully’s name off the guest list, but Mom made you include everyone? Take heart! When it comes to creating a first-rate photo collection, “It’s Okay to Play Favorites.”
Professional photographers have to master the business end of taking pictures. This means that photos cannot languish away on memory chips. They have to be uploaded to a computer, sorted, minimally touched-up, and then presented to a client for selection and (hopefully) purchase. Customers also want to see only The Best, after all that’s why they hired a Pro.
When the family photographer begins to think like a Professional, it becomes easier to realize that Playing Favorites is not only Okay, it is necessary to building a quality photo collection. Of course, the family historian has other considerations as well. An out-of-focus or poorly framed shot of Aunt Mildred may be the only photograph of her at all. By all means, this one is a Keeper.
These same techniques are useful if you are working with a shoebox of family prints. Any photo collection will benefit from judicious sorting. As a bonus, your family will come to thank you that the slide show features minutes of fabulous photos instead of hours of marginal memories.
So, your images are in front of you – either in a software program like iPhoto, PS Elements, or Lightroom, or spread out on the dining room table. How do you select The Best?
First, pull together the “Photo Shoot” or set. This would be the Rehearsal Dinner, the Birthday Party, or your walking tour of Paris. From this set of photos you want to choose the best, which also means dumping the worst. Why waste time and effort with bad photos? Some photo programs tempt you to use Star Ratings, but why? As Photo Pro Scott Kelby notes, do you think you will ever want to look at one or two star photos? Those should be the ones that are out of focus or have heads cut off. Even three star photos? The Star selection system is slow; pros would never earn a living if they spent their time deciding if a photo was worth two stars or three stars. If you think you might want the picture some day, there is a way to keep it without inviting it to the party. Read on.
How to Play Favorites with your Photos
1. Assemble Photo Shoot pictures
2. Ignore typical Star Ratings; instead quickly select the Best, reject the Worst. Use stars (or flags) to assign one star Keep and five stars Reject. That’s it; two choices. Keep or Reject. (Using stars or flags allows you to create a group which can be easily selected later.)
3. Can’t decide which of six is the best? Place two similar photos side-by-side (Lightroom2 and PS Elements allow this comparison view.) Choose the best of the two, reject the other. Bring a new photo in to compete with the winner. Audition each photo against the winner. Try to move quickly; don’t let yourself get bogged down in selecting; go with your instinct.
4. Make a New Collection Set and drag all the Keeps into this set. Label it Rehearsal Dinner. (You could call it Rehearsal Dinner Keeps, if you like).
5. Now, you have to make one more decision. If you want to get rid of the bad photos, select the Reject group and Delete. If you just can’t throw them away, make a second New Collection Set and drag all the Rejects into this set. Label it clearly Rehearsal Dinner Rejects. There, you saved them, but no one has to look at them ever again if they don’t want to!
Playing Favorites will eliminate bullies from your photo collection and give you the best and the brightest to work with for your slide show, album, or web page. You may even gain a reputation as the Family Pro Photographer.
For more ideas on organizing, editing, and sharing your photographs, visit The Family Curator.
Further reading –
- Do Try This With Your Photos at Home
- Old Framed Photo Yields a Surprise Underneath!
- Setting Up a Genealogy Photo Workflow, Part 1
- Setting Up a Genealogy Photo Workflow, Part 2
Happy Anniversary, Scotty! The first 25 years have been “Magic” ~ I’m looking forward to sharing the surprises of the next quarter-century with you!
This is my older brother, L.A. (now a professor at Iowa State) in about 1958. Any ideas about where this was taken?
For the last few years, as Scott and I have traveled to family history conferences around the country with Family Photoloom, we’ve talked to hundreds, maybe thousands, of people about their family history pictures. We’ve learned that one of the biggest challenges folks face is getting their photos and documents digitized. Some don’t know the first thing about how to scan photos, but most simply lack the time or resources. Many note that they are looking for someone they can trust to do the job professionally, but are reluctant to mail their priceless memories across the country, or, heaven forbid, halfway around the world.
Enter iPreserve. We were first introduced to iPreserve when we met McKay Murdock, the manager of the St. George iPreserve, at the St. George Family History Expo last March. As he explained to us, iPreserve is a national chain of independently owned franchises, dedicated to digitizing family history.
iPreserve is a localized service, so there is no need to mail anything anywhere. They come to you. They sit down with you, explain your digitizing options for whatever media you have, and take the time to find out exactly what you want done. Then they convert everything onto DVD or CD, either in your home or in their labs. They have the most awesome equipment for doing the best possible job, too.
It took Scott about a minute (and me a minute more) to decide that iPreserve was the answer we’d been looking for. Within the month, we had made the decision to expand the scope of Photoloom LLC – and signed the papers to purchase the first iPreserve franchise in the Pacific Northwest (which we ingeniously named…get ready….iPreserve NW).
We are really excited about this new adventure! iPreserve dovetails perfectly with Family Photoloom, and provides a solid, viable solution to an important, but often overwhelming problem facing family historians – or anyone really – who has media that predates the digital world. (Isn’t that just about everyone?)
We’ve always been in the business of preserving memories. Now we have a practical way to address that process from start to finish. We knew going into this venture that it would be rewarding, and though our iPreserve franchise has only been up and running for a short while, it’s already clear that even we underestimated both the need and the rewards of such a service.
It seems like the moment I broach the subject with someone, a misty look will inevitably cross their face, and then they’ll say something like, “I’ve got this box of slides that used to belong to my Dad…” or “I have all these old movies in a box in the basement…”
Just yesterday, I had that experience myself. I watched an 8mm movie of my seven-year old self from Christmas 1970. I’ve never seen it before – I guess it got tucked away right after being developed, and it didn’t see light of day again until Scott converted it. It has the best footage of my cat, Shelia, on it. And a moment where my Mom is really, truly happy. That probably doesn’t mean much to you, but it means a lot to me.
And that’s the thing – these memories, they are precious reminders of a life well-lived. All people want to do is see them again, and save them for their families. We do that for them – both iPreserve NW and Family Photoloom – and it’s great. I couldn’t ask for more.
If you live in the Portland area and would like to contact us about converting your media, please contact us at (503) 628-2228, or visit our iPreserveNW Facebook page and leave us a message. Or check out the iPreserve website to find a location near you.
I spent some serious time today poring over the schedule for next week’s National Genealogical Society Family History Conference [NGS] in Salt Lake. WOW! It lists roughly 200 classes, workshops, luncheons, and dinners for attendees to choose from, plus another hundred-plus demonstrations in the new GENTECH area. If you’re a first-timer, such abundance can be a little overwhelming, so I thought I’d offer my top picks for the photo-historians in the crowd.
Wednesday, April 28
♦ Your Genealogical Bucket List
Ann Carter Fleming
She had me at “Bucket.” The course description promises to provide attendees direction and motivation to organize, analyze, publish, and prepare to distribute your collection.
♦ Photo Editing Software Tricks, Tips and Applications for Genealogical Novice to Expert (Try to say that three times fast!)
Barry does a great job of detailing the newest and best software trends for family historians, and his classes are well worth the time.
Thursday, April 29
♦ Family Photoloom: Hanging Pictures on Your Family Tree
Come learn about what’s new and what’s just over the horizon for Family Photoloom. (GENTECH Demonstration Area A)
♦ The Power of Community and the Web 2.0 Tools to Foster Collaboration and Community (These people LOVE their long titles!)
When I read the description for this course, the theme from Cheers started playing in my head…
♪ ♫ Sometimes you wanna go
Where Everybody Knows Your Name
And they’re always glad you came…♪♫ (now it’s in your head, too. You can thank me later.)
Collaboration is an amazing thing, and I’m so grateful that Family Photoloom is a part of this movement. I’m looking forward to hearing what Jim has to share about all of the cool tools out there that are weaving the family history community together in ways we could only dream of a decade ago.
Friday, April 30
♦ Kodak Moments and Technicolor Dreams: Twentieth –century Photos in the Family Archive
Maureen A. Taylor
Better known in the genealogy circles as The Photo Detective, Maureen Taylor is a consummate expert of family history photographs. Attend this class to learn to date recent photographs and moving images, techniques for stopping the destruction of color photos, and low-cost storage solutions.
♦ Family Photoloom: Hanging Pictures on Your Family Tree
Well, of course I’m going to include my favorite photo-historian! Come see what’s new at Photoloom. (GENTECH Demonstration Area B)
♦ Digital Photography for Genealogists
I’ve taken this one before, so I can tell you that this solid, well-organized presentation will give you all the information you need to acquire and preserve documents using your digital camera.
Saturday, May 1
♦ Immigrant Clues in Photographs
Maureen A. Taylor
I love a good mystery, so I’m really excited to attend this class to learn more techniques for reading the clues that photographs hold for a curious researcher like me!
I’ll be TWEETING from the conference, so whether you are there or sitting at home in your easy-chair, be sure to follow me on Twitter @Photoloom. (Use hashtag #NGS for the latest conference news.)
This is a picture of my (much older) brother with our Uncle Russel, somewhere around Maryville, Missouri, about 1959. Uncle Russel wasn’t really an uncle at all, but the husband of an adopted second-cousin who was nearly given back to the orphanage and then unofficially re-adopted by my grandparents, making her an Aunt. Just goes to show, families aren’t always as clean-cut as a pedigree chart.
February was an exciting month at Photoloom all the way around! For starters, we’ve made big changes to our pricing model. Family Photoloom now offers a FREE account that will meet the needs of most casual users. Free Membership now provides a much broader range of service than our previous “Trial” account, and includes up to 200 image uploads and 10 guests. Sign up today!
Upgraded “Premium Membership” will still be available to individuals and organizations that need heftier service, still at the low price of $39 a year. Premium Membership includes unlimited uploads and unlimited guests, plus a personalized Family Photoloom URL (i.e., ww.familyphotoloom.com/smith). Additionally, we now also offer Lifetime Premium Membership for a one-time only service fee of $90.
I don’t want this post to go on forever, so here’s a quick overview of the recent updates, changes, and improvements we’ve experienced:
- New Membership structure:
- FREE – Updated & Expanded to 200 pictures/ 10 guests
- Premium Members – Additional benefits include unlimited pictures / unlimited guests (yearly service fee)
- NEW Lifetime Premium – A one-time service fee gets you Family Photoloom for life.
- New affiliates:
- Use your Family Photoloom images to create charts and beautiful heirloom-quality art.
- Keep checking back – we will be adding more affiliates soon!
- New Account functions:
- Quick rotation of images that are sideways or upside-down
- Easy merging of duplicate records
- New FamilySearch Certification:
- Import information from New FamilySearch into Family Photoloom.
- Link ancestors photographs and documents into the New FamilySearch Global tree
- New website:
- Complete website renovation
- New blog location – we’ve moved from Blogger to WordPress!
Please take some time to visit our website, log into your account, and check out our new features. And please tell your friends and family about Family Photoloom!P.S. Just a note on our new blog location: I had to clear my cache for the redirect from the Photoloom website (Menu►Read►Our Blog) to work. So, if you’ve visited our blog before by going through our website, you may need to do the same thing. When is this computer just going to learn to read my mind? Wait, no, I don’t want that. I take that back.)
Ignore – YWWTJXW6NMGF
We are gearing up to attend the St. George Family History Expo at the end of February, and in conjunction with that, I am pleased as punch to announce our first ever (da-da-da-dahh!) Family Threads Contest!!!
The Winner will receive these awesome prizes:
- Two free registrations for St. George Family History Expo ($140 value)
- One-year Premium Family Photoloom Membership ($39 value)
- Publication of your photo & story
To enter, simply send a family history photo (.jpg or .png files only, please) along with a short personal essay, memory, or story about that photo to renee(at)photoloom(dot)com. Be sure to include “Family Threads Contest” in the subject line of your email.
Check out our Family Threads series if you want to get a better idea of what we’re looking for.
Nuts & Bolts:
- Entries may be 100-500 words in length, and must include both a picture and a story.
- Entries must not have been previously published.
- Submission deadline is midnight February 16. Winners will be announced February 21.
- No prize substitutions will be made.
- Winners will be determined by highly unscientific, subjective methods, but if your story makes us laugh or cry, you’ll have a better chance. The decisions of the judges are entirely their own, and are final.