One of the most common questions Life Your Way readers ask when we talk about decluttering and organizing is how to organize photos. Over the next three weeks, we’ll be talking about all things photo-related with a special series from the Association of Personal Photo Organizers!
The following is written by Lisa:
Have you felt inspired to look at your family home movies since my last post?
Perhaps you felt motivated to take some video in addition to photos. Maybe you found outdated video formats like me, and couldn’t access those memories anymore. I don’t know where you’re at, but I do know there is JOY to be found when you bring motion, movement and sound to your still photos.
So let’s look at some ways you can get these videos back into your life.
Depending on the age of your media, and the format you used – your tapes could be fragile and prone to breakage and films could be dirty or scratched.
For this reason I recommend working with a professional who specializes in this area. They are equipped to clean, repair and convert your media properly and with high quality equipment.
When looking for a professional, ask lots of questions! Do they convert on site? Can you take a tour? How many people handle your films? I was surprised to learn that many ‘outlets’ send your videos off to distant locations, in some cases overseas! You only have one copy, the fewer people handling it, the safer your video(s) will be. Cheaper, isn’t always better so buyer beware. Consider contacting a Personal Photo Organizer in your area. They can provide recommendations and have likely done that research already, or they can handle that job personally for you.
Tip: Check with extended family members for their needs. Sometimes local providers offer volume discounts.
Tip: Convert to DVD and an editable format like AVI. You will have one complete copy as back up in viewable format. And you will have an extra copy on your hard drive or EHD, which can be edited down or used in smaller portions for other projects.
It’s so easy to capture video today with cell phones, and even our still cameras. You don’t need fancy equipment anymore, and our ability to capture movement and sound is simple.
Like your photos, it’s important to keep them organized and safe. Upload your videos often, and if possible store videos in the same location you store your photos. There are software programs out there that store and organize your photos and videos together.
Tip: Burn your videos to DVD; it’s the equivalent to getting your photos into print. Make sure your original files are copied to an additional location like an EHD or your home server.
Finally, remember less is more when it comes to capturing video today. Bite sized moments that last a minute or two, are preferable to 10 minutes of your toddler playing with her Cheerios. And these shorter bites are easier to work with later.
With your photos, I recommend you zoom in close and capture mood and feeling in faces and people. With video, zoom out! Capture the people, the movement, the scenery and the energy in a long shot – with an occasional close up for good measure.
During our Home Movie Marathon I was very aware of all the great close ups of my kids; they were after all, the focus of our video. But we lingered way to long on those close-ups. In the background I could hear Grandma talking, or my Dad and people we have lost over the years. I found myself wishing we had zoomed out to capture it all, to see their faces.
So grab your cell phone or your camcorder or your camera, and have some fun. ZOOM OUT and take it all in, and in my final post we’ll have some fun with those videos. Stay tuned….
Lisa is a wife and a mom of adult kids, and has a passion for helping others celebrate life through their photos and videos. She is the co owner of Your Photo Organizers, a business dedicated to helping people discover simple solutions for their photos and memories. She is also a member of the Association of Personal Photo Organizers.