10 Things I Love About My Photo Organizing Clients

Last week I published a post on why I love my job as a photo organizer, and I promised you a second part to that post.

My wonderful clients are one of the biggest reasons I adore my job — so this week I wanted to dedicate an entire post to articulating all the reasons my clients are special to me..

Ready for some big-time gushing? Here we go!

1. My Clients Love to Travel.

One of the many reasons someone might hire a photo organizer is to help them manage and display the photos they take when they’re traveling. Because so many of my clients have been bitten by the travel bug, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the world through my clients’ photos.

Whether it’s a 3-week trip through Southeast Asia or a hike along the Appalachian Trail, I feel inspired by my clients’ love for learning about different cultures and meeting the locals. Their love of travel is a tribute to their willingness to see things from a worldly perspective, and I get to be a part of that through their wonderful photos.

2. They Are Adventurous.

Many of clients not only like to travel — they like to have BIG adventures while they’re doing it! I’ve organized pictures of bamboo raft rides in China, helicopter skiing in California, multiple cross-country moves, and exotic foods samplings.

Since I’m not an adventurous person by nature, this part of my job captivates my attention and fascinates me. I love seeing the amazing escapades of my adventurous clients as they show up in images — and the photos that are taken on adventures like this are often incredible!

3. My Clients Stay Connected.

I’ve seen photos of hundreds (maybe even thousands) of family gatherings – from everyday moments to holiday dinners. What sticks with me about the images of these gathering is that we seem to have a nearly universal desire to spend time together celebrating our relationships.

Some of my very favorite client projects are family Christmas albums. Many of these projects showcase photos that are over a period of many years, from early marriage to present day. One of my clients once told me that her children said the family Christmas album was the best gift they had ever received – and that kind of praise is music to my professional photo organizer ears!

That particular client had saved photos, Christmas cards, letters to Santa, and all kinds of keepsakes over many years of holiday celebrations with her family. She shared many favorite memories of various years, and her children just poured over those albums reminiscing over their shared stories about those holidays. She wanted to be sure that each child received their own copy of this family heirloom, so we worked together to create multiple copies of the album after it was complete.

I have tons of client stories like this, and they make my job really special. I love that my clients stay connected to their families, want to celebrate their gatherings (both large and small), and want to make keepsakes that their friends and family members will cherish forever.

4. They Care About Their Family Legacies.

My clients also want to honor and celebrate their extended families, and their stories. For my clients, getting the details of their family stories right is really important, and that includes who belongs to what branch of the family, the resemblances between family members, and other details that could potentially get lost if no one is keeping track of them.

In each family, there’s typically one member who is the self-appointed “historian.” They are eager for everyone – siblings, aunts and uncles, parents, and children – to know the stories and relationships of the family, including what family members have in common, and how they differ.

They are willing to pour through photos, slides, and even memorabilia to carefully select what to keep, what to share with extended family, and how to honor the stories and legacies that these items represent. Sometimes they even photograph various items for extended family, so they can select which items they’d like to have.

5. My Clients Are Willing to See Themselves Authentically, and Recognize Their Limitations.

Every family has their own set of challenges, so I try to help them see the importance of using photos that highlight their lives – as they really are! In my free report, 8 Ways to Tell Stories with You Family Photos, I talk about how we can tell better, more memorable and more cohesive stories with our photos when don’t expect every shot we take and display to be “picture-perfect.” My clients embrace imperfection, and they are willing to see themselves and their families authentically – and I love their bravery and willingness to be authentic.  

The people I work with also understand how important it is that we are able to find our photos easily. When there’s a pause in the busyness of life and a precious moment is captured on a camera, it’s important to be able to find that photo later, so the moment isn’t forgotten.

Even in this do-it-yourself-crazy world, asking for help with your photo organizing (or anything else) doesn’t need to be a statement of failure! I’ve seen how liberated my clients feel about releasing the photo organizationing piece to me and allowing me to help them get things under control. They deserve recognition for remembering to take a photo and capture the moment – as a photo organizer, I’m just helping them create order so they can easily remember and honor that precious moment.

6. They Celebrate the Milestones in Their Lives.

My clients are incredibly proud of their children’s accomplishments and life celebrations, and they enjoy using photos as a means to show off their appreciation and happiness. I love creating projects that help parents celebrate the special moments in their kids’ lives.

One client’s wedding celebration was especially memorable for me. As a tribute to their son’s life, a client wanted an album that would convey their pride in his accomplishments and their joy about his approaching wedding. While they suspected this would be a hit with their son, an unexpected bonus was the thrill their son’s stepsons got over his old football photos! His stepsons hadn’t known about that piece of his past, and it was clearly an opportunity for this newly blended family to bond over some very special family photos.

7. They Honor as They Grieve.

Most of my clients are in the midst of enjoying the fruits of our labor as our children grow up, leave the nest and have families of their own – just like me! But sadly, we’re also in that place of saying goodbye to aged parents. As my clients grieve over the loss of a family member, it’s a honor when I’m asked to help a client pay tribute to her loved one’s life.

While I may know many personal details about my clients’ families, I can still help my clients shift to a more objective perspective at a time when making decisions is difficult. Sometimes the photos we find depict a particularly sensitive time, such as the last days of a loved one’s life. Recently I unknowingly found one such photo that a client thought had been lost. Understandably, it was a bittersweet discovery.

8. They Like to Reminisce.

My clients like to remember their stories and life experiences, and I appreciate that. According to writer Kristine Dwyer, a staff writer at Caregiver.com, reminiscence is “a free-flowing process of thinking or talking about one’s experiences in order to reflect on and recapture significant events of a lifetime.”

“We all live in the present,” Dwyer says, “yet we still carry our ‘past’ selves with us throughout our lives. We are part of a rich history that needs to be shared and preserved. The stories we tell about our lives are also important sources of self-identity, and they enable us to explore and relate our past to the present.”

Images help us with that process of sharing and preserving our histories, so I feel a real sense of fulfillment when I help my clients organize and display their photos.

It’s really about reliving our past – whether it was a vacation we had, or a milestone reached by one of our family members. My clients want to think about (and talk about) all the sweet memories so those moments aren’t forgotten, and I feel honored that I am included in that process when we work together.

9. My Clients Appreciate Their Children’s Accomplishments, Interests, and Individuality.

When I work with my clients, I love that they want to recognize each family member’s personal accomplishments and aspirations.

This is especially important when managing photos for our children. As we document important dates, there is enormous value in tracking where each child went to school, the music programs they participating in, and the sports teams they were part of.

Creating albums that highlight each child’s interests and life stories is an important exercise in honoring each child’s individuality and interests.

As a mom, I know it is sometimes easier to take photos of my kids as a group, just to capture the moment, but I’ve learned that my client’s children appreciate having individualized albums that document their individual interests, friendships, and milestones.

My clients sometimes create individualized albums like this because they want to help their children adjust to a significant transition, like a big move. Even for teenagers, an opportunity to look back at one’s life can help make the transition to a new environment less difficult. Sometimes adjusting to where we’ve arrived requires looking back at where we came from.

Being part of a family of four girls and one of the middle children, I appreciate the need to feel recognized and valued – separate from my siblings. I enjoy being part of my client’s efforts to recognize and praise their children’s individual interests and accomplishments.

10. My Clients Become My Friends!

I know I’m doing something right when a client tells me, “I’m glad you’re in my life!” As we review my clients’ family photos, they often share personal information as well as milestones, accomplishments and disappointments, so I end up know a lot about the people I work with. It’s an honor and a privilege to hold onto (and honor) that information for my clients.

Since I work with many of my clients long-term, I am also delighted to say that many have them have become friends. My life is so much better with my wonderful clients in it!

The Importance of Establishing and Documenting Family Traditions

The Importance of Establishing and Documenting Family Traditions

Most of us have our own unique family traditions, like gathering at the holiday table, taking annual vacations together, or watching special sporting events.

Family traditions help us form our identities (as individuals, and as a larger group) and they’re a critical part of creating a positive family culture.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what traditions are, why creating and honoring them is important, and the best ways to document our family rituals so we can pass them on to future generations.

What Are Family Traditions?

The official definition of “tradition” is handing down of information, beliefs or customs from one generation to another. Traditions are behaviors you engage in time and time again, often at the same time or in a similar fashion.

Family traditions can be large (like a holiday dinner attended by 25 people) or small (like a good luck ritual performed before a big game). To be a tradition – as opposed to a daily routine – a ritual has to been done intentionally, with a specific thought or purpose in mind.

In “The Book of New Family Traditions,” author Meg Cox defines a family ritual as:

“Any activity you purposefully repeat together as a family that includes heightened attentiveness and something extra that lifts it above the ordinary ruts.”

When they wrote about family rituals, bloggers Brett and Kate McKay said, “Traditions, when done right, lend a certain magic, spirit and texture to our everyday lives.”

What Are the Benefits of Family Traditions?

We often celebrate events, holidays, and occasions with traditions – and sometimes our family traditions are the only time we get to reconnect with certain relatives. Our lives are busy and packed full every day, so family traditions allow us to slow down and take notice of the things that are most important to us.

Traditions and rituals provide us with a number of important benefits, including:

1. Traditions give us long-lasting memories.

My father was an avid Green Bay Packer fan. He would watch every game while comfortably ensconced in his Lazy Boy chair, and he always dressed in head-to-toe Packer fan clothing.

The Importance of Establishing and Documenting Family Traditions

Anyone interested in watching the game with Dad knew the rules: You could only talk about the Packers when the game was happening, and if you wanted to talk about anything else, you had to wait until a commercial break. As soon as the game coverage resumed, you had to circle back to talking about the game.

Even though I have moved out of Wisconsin and I don’t usually watch football, I’ll always be a Packer fan because of my dad’s devotion to his team. And thinking of him in his Packer gear is a fond memory. When you think back on your childhood, you probably have happy memories involving your own family traditions.

Family traditions – both large and small – can provide your child with happy and positive memories that can have major long-term benefits. Recent research has shown that positive childhood memories can actually make your children happier and more generous (even as they grow into adults).

2. Traditions strengthen family connections.

In their article, The Importance of Establishing Family Traditions, bloggers Brett and Kate McKay wrote, “Researchers have consistently found that families that engage in frequent traditions report stronger connection and unity than families that haven’t established rituals together.”

If staying close to your family is important to you – or you feel like you want to do something to draw your family closer together – family rituals could be important tools in your toolbox.

One year, my mom organized a friendly team competition during Memorial Day weekend that included multiple generations of my family. We had lots of fun playing games throughout the weekend.

The competition allowed me to feel closer to all of our extended family members, and the invitation and team hats are now silly reminders of that special event.

The Importance of Establishing and Documenting Family Traditions

The Importance of Establishing and Documenting Family Traditions

3. They remind us who we are.

At a high level, our traditions teach us where we came from and let us learn about our cultural and religious backgrounds. They remind us of our family genealogy, and the cultural traditions of our ancestors.

In my family, we always said a specific Swedish table prayer before sitting down for our Christmas meal with my father’s family. We even made a plaque for our grandmother to commemorate that tradition that featured the words of the prayer.

Years later, when I met a first generation Swede, I learned our grandmother had accidentally omitted a few lines of the prayer! Nonetheless, we continued saying our own version of the blessing, and kept the plaque without changing a word on it. After all, that slightly modified Swedish prayer has become OUR family tradition!

On a smaller scale, our family traditions also act as reminders of the events that have shaped us into who we are today. Some families send their kids to the same summer camp they went to as children, and that ritual bonds the family together and remind them of many happy summer spent canoeing, horseback riding and singing songs around the campfire.

Every year when I was a child, we would spend the entire month of July at a cottage in Wisconsin. Having a second home was a luxury that my parents worked hard to afford and maintain. We no longer own that cottage today, but those memories are a reminder of the hard work my parents put in to provide a fun, summer vacation for our family.

The Importance of Establishing and Documenting Family Traditions

4. Rituals offer comfort and safety.

At some point, we all feel a little harried and stressed out from our increasingly busy and fast-paced lives. Our family traditions offer a few important constants in our lives – big and small rituals that give us a little space of sanctuary in the midst of all the craziness.

When I was in college, my family stayed connected via the telephone. Because a call home was long distance (and I didn’t have a long distance phone plan at school), my family figured out a ritual that allowed us to chat on a regular basis without racking up a big bill.

On Sundays, I would call and let the phone ring three times (because I was the third daughter), and then I would hang up. My parents knew that was the signal to call me back, and I didn’t get charged on my phone bill because my initial signal call didn’t connect.

Now technology has changed and we can stay connected with our out-of state children via a video conference call. Every couple of weeks, we set up a call using an app called Zoom, and we can all see each other on our computer or tablet screens. For me, it’s the next best thing to having everyone here in person, and we all get to share news with the entire family at one time. 

The Importance of Establishing and Documenting Family Traditions

Traditions can also help us during times of change, grief, or emotional turmoil.

A few years back, my husband Tom and I had to move our family multiple times in a short period of time. To give our children continuity, we tried to continue our holiday traditions – even if it became logistically difficult. One year we moved shortly before Christmas, so we invited Tom’s family to visit us, instead of traveling to visit them. Our relatives happily gathered together among the moving boxes and slept on air mattresses so we could share the holiday together!

5. They reinforce family values.

One of the most important purposes of family traditions (whether they are religious or secular rituals) is that they allow us to impart and reinforce our values.

Brett and Kate McKay wrote:

“Through daily family prayer, the importance of faith is re-enforced: through nightly bedtime stories, the value of education, reading, and lifelong learning is impressed; and through regular family dinners or activities, the centrality of familial solidarity is instilled.”

In our family, our Christian faith is part of our values, so attending church on our religious holidays is one of our major traditions. For Christmas, we typically attend our home church, but if we’re out of town, we will find a local church. This tradition gives our family a sense of spiritual grounding.

We’ve also got secular traditions at Christmas. Before we are turn in on Christmas Eve, Tom reads the poem “The Night Before Christmas” to our whole family.

The Importance of Establishing and Documenting Family Traditions

Maintaining your traditions (and passing them down to future generations) is important, too – that’s why documenting your family rituals is a critical part of this process. When you document your traditions, their evolution become richer and more distinctive.

Documenting Your Traditions

What are the best ways to document your own family traditions?

  • Write them down and take pictures. Writing down the details of your traditions (who does what, and when) is a great start – and then you can supplement your written descriptions by adding photos of your regular rituals.

Taking pictures as a tradition unfolds – such as preparing a holiday meal or decorating your house – can be a great way to document a beloved ritual.

You can take the documentation process one step further by gathering a book of traditions, too. I started keeping a scrapbook of Christmas traditions and memories the year Tom and I became engaged, and I add to it every year. My book includes photos, Christmas correspondence, and even our kids’ letters to Santa – but your scrapbook can include anything you want to document and remember!

  • Use Pinterest. You can use Pinterest boards to document your traditions by pinning ideas and suggestions, and uploading your own photos of your family rituals. For example, I like this idea for creating a Thankful Pumpkin.
  • Create a keepsake. You can also create a keepsake out of a collection of things. While helping a client sort through memorabilia, I found this neat idea for a birthday card book. 

The Importance of Establishing and Documenting Family Traditions

  • Create a video. Videos are also great way to capture the details and memories of your traditions. Video gives you the opportunity to replay the exact sights and sounds of a tradition – which really helps you bring the memories back to life and document the nuances of your traditions.

Creating Your Own Memories of Important Family Traditions

We’ve talked a bit about the benefits of creating, maintaining and documenting your family traditions and rituals, and how they can help you build and maintain family bonds and connections. I’ve also shared some of my favorite family tradition memories with you.

Now I’d love to hear about your family traditions! What rituals give you your fondest childhood memories, and what traditions have you started to implement with your own families? Tell me about it in the comments below.

How Photos Help Us in Times of Grief and Loss

How Photos Can Help Us in Times of Grief and Loss

In May, we lost our family dog, Otto. His death was very sudden, and it has been a big loss for me, my husband, and our three kids.

Grief and Loss - Pet Dog

Otto was a huge presence in our lives. He was a typical goldendoodle – big, happy, and overly friendly in the most lovable way.

Otto was my husband Tom’s daily companion — his shadow who followed him throughout the house. He sensed Tom’s gentle personality, and Otto would often nudge his arm off the desk to get some extra attention while Tom was working.

To me, Otto was a gentle soul who came to comfort me when I was tired or anxious. He’d accompany me on long walks or runs, and was a calming companion and buddy.

Although my oldest son Ben was not living at home for most of Otto’s life, his visits were always greeted with the same enthusiastic greeting that Otto gave the rest of the family. When Ben would throw a lacrosse ball or a frisbee to him, Otto enjoyed the chase – yet he was completely uninterested in returning them!

Anytime my daughter Molly came home from college, Otto always slept near her. He would lay his head on her bed as a way of asking permission to jump up on the bed for some cuddle time.

Otto also helped my son Sam through some tough teenage years, when he was having a hard time in high school and was struggling with health problems. Otto kept Sam company during many sleepless nights.

Since Otto died, our photos of him have helped our whole family grieve. When we look at pictures of him, his joyful life and personality comes back to us. We can remember all the things we did together, we can recall wonderful happy memories, and we can tell stories and laugh as we remember Otto’s amusing antics.

I’m so glad we have a big collection of photos of Otto, so we can remember him as he was in the prime of his life – happy, attentive, and loving.

And as my family looked at old photos of Otto after he died, it got me thinking about the part photos play in our grieving process.

How Our Photos Help Us Grieve

When we lose important people in our lives, our photos can bring back memories of them, and help us remember everything that made them special and unique. They help us keep that person alive in our minds, through stories and memories — and that’s an important part of making sure our loved ones’ legacies live on.

When we lose people (and pets!) who are special to us, we often tend to dwell on how they died. If the person was sick for a long time with a terminal illness, the memories of the person’s health struggles often stay first and foremost in our minds when we think of that person. Or if we feel any guilt about the person’s passing, we often focus on that.

We can get a kind of tunnel vision for the end of a loved one’s life — which is a totally normal and common experience.

But this is where our photos can help. Photos bring our loved ones’ whole, complete lives back to us – not just their passing.

Our photos can remind us of:

  • The unique way they lived.
  • Their personalities, passions and hobbies.
  • How they impacted our lives, and why they were so important to us.
  • The memories (and moments) we most want to remember when we think of them

3 Ways Photos Can Help You After You’ve Experienced a Loss

1. Looking through photos after you’ve lost a friend or family member.
It can be healing and helpful to look at pictures of the loved one you’ve lost – whether it’s one day, one month, or one year after he or she has died. It’s healthy to hold on to old memories — you don’t need to cast them off in a forced effort to “move on.” Spend time going through old photo albums or image files, and reflect on the happy and memorable times you had with your loved one. Reminiscing can make you feel better when you are missing your loved one, and sharing stories and photos with your family and friends can help keep memories of your loved one alive. That sharing process can also help you work through your grief. Don’t forget to tell the funny stories, too – laughter can be healing!

2. Displaying your loved one’s photos.
Our clients often ask, “Is it okay for me to display photos of my deceased friends or family members?” People often shy away from putting photos of people who have died into their albums or frames, but sometimes it’s far more painful to rid your house of all photographic evidence of these loved ones. It can be healing and comforting to have photos of people you miss around your home. When you’re trying to choose photos to display, the key question you should ask yourself is, “Does this image bring to mind a happy or sweet memory, or does it just make me feel sad?” If the photo makes you feel happy or eases your grief, think about displaying it in one of your albums or frames. If not, it’s okay to keep the photo in storage for now.

3. Memorial tribute videos
A slideshow tribute video, made up of photos of a loved one, is a lovely and meaningful way to say goodbye to a friend or family member during a funeral or memorial service. As part of our services for Picture This Organized, we often work with clients to create tribute videos. If you’re creating your own tribute video, remember that the main purpose of your video is to illustrate how the person lived. Select photos that share the person’s hobbies, passions, and interests, and showcase the friends and family members who were most important to him or her. You don’t need to represent every person in the deceased person’s life (or every moment they lived) – you just need to show the highlights. We typically arrange the tribute photos chronologically, starting with baby photos and moving up through the present day. Need to know how long to make your tribute video? If the video will be shown during the service, then 6 to 8 minutes is plenty. If you will be showing the tribute in the background during a reception or other gathering, then you can make it longer.

The Healing Power of Photos

When we’ve experienced a significant loss, our photos are more than just snapshots of the past – they can be a powerful tool for helping us grieve, memorializing our family members and friends, and reconnecting us with meaningful moments.

Of course, you should always be gentle with yourself during a time of grief. Losing a loved one is incredibly hard, and the healing process can look very different for different people.

Do you have a story of how photos have helped you deal with a loss in your family or community? We would love to help you preserve and share those memories. Contact us to schedule a consultation.

Vacation – Remembering the Stories

A vacation is like love – anticipated with pleasure, experienced with discomfort, and remembered with nostalgia.” -Author Unknown

Going on a vacation is an opportunity to experience new places and bond with your fellow travelers. The stories that keep those memories alive risk getting lost without a system for saving them. It doesn’t have to be complicated.  All you need to remember is Who, What, Where and When. 

IMG_3110Document the details!
Most smartphones have a Notes feature where you can record each day’s events. I’m old fashioned and prefer to use a journal. Get creative! One year we didn’t have pen and paper handy so we used the closest option – a dinner napkin and a crayon!

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Who is in your group?
I know this seems like a no-brainer, but write down the names of the travelers in your group.
You’ll be thanking yourself when it’s time to share your photos with everyone!

 

IMG_1285Where did you go? If this was a destination trip, then the location is easy to document. But if you make lots of stops along the way, you might need some help recalling each place. Enlist the help of your travel friends if you don’t have an itinerary.

When did you travel? Check the clock on your camera or smartphone so that the time is in sync with where you vacation – when you arrive.

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What did you do each day? Did you try something new to eat? Making note of the funny experiences and stories are high priority. Write them down as soon as you can. Anything that falls into the category of “We will laugh about this someday” is a great story to share.

English plaque of Mark 1: 9-11 (had these in every language throughout entrance)

What you photograph can help to jog your memory.  So take a picture of yourself next to a sign, the front of the restaurant or even the menu.

So for your next vacation, bring a journal, check your camera clock and enjoy each moment! After you get home, if you want some help organizing your photos, contact us, we can help you find your favorites!

Writing the Holiday Card Letter

So you’ve decided the write a letter to include with your holiday card. Every year you’ve read the letters from your friends and thought to yourself “I’ll do that next year.” Well this is it!

If you’re like me, you have a favorite style that you look forward to reading. And it’s likely not the 3-page version that chronicles each and every event that occurred in the family’s past 12 months! In the final part of this series, I’ll share some pitfalls to holiday letter writing and some suggestions for sharing the best of your year!

Guidelines for Writing a Holiday Letter (that everyone will read)!

  1. Sharing accomplishments can be tricky. If you only include the highlights without sprinkling some real life challenges along the way, it can be off-putting. 
  2. Don’t use a tiny or script-type font that’s barely distinguishable. If the average reader needs a magnifying lens to read your letter – it’s too small.
  3. Share milestone events without too much elaboration. I’d venture to guess that most mailing lists include a mix of close friends, family and those we only communicate with during the holidays. I’m going out on a limb here, but in my opinion, most readers aren’t interested in the elaborate details.  
  4. Medical updates are another tricky area. Our loved ones care about our health but unlikely to be interested in the gory stuff. So if you’re thinking about how to include the x-rays from your latest operation, guess again! Just sayin!
  5. Poems can be fun to write and nauseating to read. They can be cute or downright cheesy. Is that what you’re going for? Just my opinion.
  6. Be careful how you share your travels because frankly, it can sound braggadocious. “We took a trip to Italy” sounds better than “Our luxury trip to Italy started with a private guide through Florence.” Even if the second version is true, why are you sharing this?
  7. Who really cares about your letter? If you’ve keep it brief and newsy, it might work to share it with the whole list. However, do your work acquaintances care about your children’s achievements? Might want to spare them the trouble.  
  8. Do you have something to share? Some years have more news/updates than others. The photos can be the update. Wouldn’t you agree that a photo of your daughter’s wedding tells the story?
  9. Include a hand-written note. Even if you’ve included a letter, you could at least sign your name or include a short phrase such as “Always look forward to hearing from you”. 

Xmas Card 2012 Custom - Page 003

Writing a holiday letter doesn’t have to be difficult. You can involve your family and let each person write their own year’s summary. If you would like some help with this process, contact us. We can help you share your year’s story.

Finding the Treasures

“This must seem mundane to you” said a client at the end of a recent session. The statement caught me off-guard because I would have described that past two and a half hours much differently!

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During her photo organizing session, we were sorting through her print collection; identifying the best and organizing them in preparation for digitizing. This phase in the process is a combination of a fact-finding mission and a treasure hunt. One of the treasures we uncovered was a newspaper clipping of her husband as a young adult during his days as a Golden Glove boxer! She was delighted to find it and couldn’t wait to share it with him. It was such a fun reminder that her retired seventy-something husband had once been a fierce competitor! And we knew he’d enjoy sharing this moment of his past with their grandchildren!

Photo organizing is so much more than the task at hand because it’s about understanding family relationships and the stories revealed through their photos. I’m the cheerleader for their stories.  I’m the person they count on to share the heart of the matter. And I’m not just searching for milestone events, celebrations and accomplishments. I also look for the everyday moments that connect the pieces of their life puzzle together.

Sitting side-by-side as we sorted her pictures was actually fun, rewarding and a reminder of the importance of cherishing those mementos (like a newspaper clipping) to tell the story.  If this story resonates with you and you would like some help sharing your photos and mementos, contact us. We make the process fun and easy.

Storytelling – Sharing Historical Moments

Where you you when…

POW Greeting
POW greeting family.

There are times when the events in the news become personal. Something happens in your community and how you internalize that event is an important story to share.

How did this affect you, change you? Document your friends/loved ones in the story. You may not have a photo to represent that moment in history but just a personal description/account can suffice. Newspaper clippings can be useful to document events like these.

 

Share the tough times along with the good ones.

So often as we look through photos of loved ones, there are those photos that bring up negative emotions – sadness, anger, regret. While difficult, they are part of your story and your family’s  history. Share how you overcame that challenge. If the details are too painful to share in words, the story can be told through pictures. Sometimes it’s ok to include the wedding picture of a since divorced couple. Keep in mind whose story is being told. When we come across these kinds of photos, we will ask our clients how they feel when they look them. If they still evoke positive emotions of a happy event then we recommend including them.  It’s a personal choice we encourage our clients to make.

No offense necessary.

However….if you are fighting the urge to literally cut someone out of your life (and out of your photos), that may be a sign to take another approach. You can choose to leave them alone, share them with someone who still cares about them or discard them. It truly depends upon your situation. Our motto is to err on the side of caution!

Storytelling is a necessary part of keeping our family legacy alive and authentic. Sharing the delicate topics can be tough but they are part of our story.  They help future generations see the resilience of those that came before them.

Our passion is to help our clients choose and tell the stories that have meaning to them. If you would like some guidance in this area, contact us. We make the process easy while helping you find the words to share stories from your personal perspective.