90th Birthday Slide Show – in process

I’m working on a slide show for my mom’s 90th birthday. I love the power of images and music but I forget how long it takes to sort through 90 years of photos even when they are already scanned. I’m planning to put info like who is in each photo in the metadata but I haven’t gotten that done yet. If I had a simple search would have provided me with the photos I had to work with.

I decided to show the photos in reverse order, starting with the most recent and moving back in time. For a sound track I’m planning to use “Sentimental Journey”. I hope I don’t run into any major snags. Time is running short and the power company has a planned outage tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. I sure hope that the electricity isn’t off that long. I was so focused on the photos tonight that I was an hour late for a meeting. Opps! Hopefully I’ll have it finished by this time tomorrow.

I have to find more time in the future to do projects like this. Have you done any slide shows or videos? I’d love to see them if you are willing to share them.

Gift Idea #30 – Family Home History

idea numbers30Many families have a home they have lived in for many, many years. If your family is one of them, consider putting together a history of your family home. It can be interesting and enlightening to see the role a house can play in your families history and the memories made there.

I did a small book about the home the my mother and most of her siblings were born in. This home was built by her father and when it was time to sell the old family home she had a really hard time with the idea. I put together the book in hopes that it would help her be more at peace with selling the home. I’ll post about this project sometime.

Gift Idea #28 – Duplicate Old Family Photos

idea numbers28A really nice gift to share with family is their own copy of the best family photos. My mom did this for us one year. She had enlargements made of a family group shot from her childhood and from my dad’s. If you want to make it really nice you could a frame so that it is ready to go on display.

Having up pictures of ancestors or family members when they were much younger helps to connect the generations and create opportunities to share who they are. Name plaques would be a nice addition to the project.

Gift Idea #25 – Family Collage

idea numbers25There are lots of options in using family photos to make a collage. Most of them fall into two categories. The first one is a wall collage. This is when you take your photos (usually framed but they can be unframed) and arrange them on a wall in your house. Here are some examples to get your creative juices going. I really like the ones that include some vinyl lettering.

Family Collage Ideas

Family Wall Collage Ideas

The second style of photo collage is to put together the photos so they fit into frame. This can be done digitally or the traditional way with glue and scissors. If you have some experience with a photo editor like Photoshop the digital way can be lots of fun. Or there is software designed just to help you put together your own collage.

Collage Maker

But there are services available to have your collage put together for you. I found a couple of them.

Custom Photo Collages

Family History Collage

Sometimes though it feel good to work with physical photos and paper instead of the digital ones. For the truly hands on approach here are some directions on how to make a collage in the original way.

How to Collage

Gift Idea #21 – Memory Game

idea numbers21When I saw this memory game on Pin Hole Press I thought it would make a wonderful gift for getting to know family members. Besides doing current family members photos you could pick photos from ancestors too. And you don’t need to order these from Pin Hole Press, you can make your own memory cards. If you make a nice big set it could be fun for all ages of your family.

Another twist on the game would be to make cards with names and cards with photos and you have to match the name to the photo. Or if you family is even more familiar with their ancestors you could find a simple image that represented a story or milestone in that person’s life and use that as the match.

Playing memory with ancestor cards would create lots of opportunities to tell stories or share memories about your loved ones. Depending on the situation, the game could be played so that the person who makes the match tells something they know about the person they found the match for. This could be a game that add to over the years as you and your family learn more about their family members.

Pin Hole Press Memory Game


Gift Idea #17 – Historically Inspired Photo Shoot

idea numbers17Do you have an old family photo that you really love? How about using it as the inspiration for a new family photo? You could replicate the scene, the style of dress or just the arrangement of the people. Then you could hang the two images next to each other on the wall. Or it would be fun to use the two images together on a post card or greeting card to send to family and friends. This project will also give you the opportunity to share stories or memories about the original photo and the people in that photo.

If you are inspired by this idea, just let those creative juices run and see where it takes you.


Gift Idea #5 – Collection of Family Photos

Most families have someone who is the keeper of the photos. Somehow that task has fallen to me. So last Christmas I gathered up the images I have. Scanned the ones that hadn’t been scanned. Then cleaned them up and label them consistently. I just did the ones connected with my mom’s parents from their childhood through their deaths. I cut DVD‘s for my mom’s siblings. For all of my cousins I sent a link to the SmugMug gallery that I set up with the same photos. That way they can get access to and download them as desired. This is a great project because it gives everyone access to those precious photos plus it distributes copies in more places to make sure they are preserved in case of disaster. An added bonus is that now they don’t have to come to me when they want a photo.

My advice on a project like this?

  • Pick a time frame. Don’t feel like you have to do it all. Make it something doable. You can always add to it later.
  • Pick a logical naming convention.
  • Make sure you scan them at 300 dpi or higher. If it is a really small photo I like to do 600 dpi or more so that it can be blown up larger than the original.
  • For long-term storage tiff is a better format than jpeg, because jpeg is a lossy compression and over time with opening and saving and opening and saving you lose data. But most people are more comfortable with jpegs. So you could scan as tiffs and then save a copy to jpeg for sharing with your family.
  • Find an easy way to distribute them among your family.