This is being written around the holidays, so Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa or today is actually Festivus for the rest of us. Whatever you celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful holiday season. During this time we have an opportunity to create memories.
A Moment In Time
Back in the 1990's, before my father passed away, I brought out a VHS video camera and asked him a bunch of questions. Those tapes sat in my basement for years. In the 2000's after he passed away, I had them transferred to my computer, edited and turned into a DVD. That DVD was then taken to a company that made copies for me. Then I took those copies and sent them out as Christmas presents to all my brothers, my cousins, my aunts, everybody I could possibly think of.
It was a great way to bring him back to life. In the course of that, I had a hard drive crash and I lost all the original files, but luckily, I still had the DVDs. So it wasn't too bad – plus I still have the VHS if I really want to spend the money and time to get them transferred. Over the years I've bought new computers and now I have a USB DVD reader that plugs into my computer and tried to re-digitize the DVD to my computer, but the DVD reader will not read the copied DVD-R. It just won't work. Technology has a way of preventing us from saving those memories.
What I want to talk about today are ideas where you can have the foresight for 2020 to create memories that you can use both in your family and your business.
Creating Memory Assets
One of the things that I like to do is create assets. Think of every opportunity you have between now and the end of the year to create memory assets. Most phones today have better cameras and better technology than the cameras that we have in our closets. I've got two really good cameras I paid a lot of money for, but my iPhone 11 has so much more capability than what those cameras can do. It has portrait mode and ultra wide vision and closeups and low light and just so many great opportunities to capture good stuff. If you have a tripod, grab one and bring it with (or buy one), and treat your phone like a camera to capture your memory assets.
The other thing that you can do after you've taken those pictures is use filters on your phone. If you have the skills and the software, you could bring it into Photoshop and do even more with it.
Reporting Live From Our Holiday Party….
The first thing I'm going to suggest that you do is think about who you can interview this holiday season to create memories. Think about recording your parents or your uncles or your aunts or your grandparents. What about you recording yourself or your significant other so that you have a record for your kids, just in case? Interview people that you know and save those and make sure that you put it in a safe place when you're done. As soon as you're done recording those, hook your phone up to a computer, put those files in a place where you can access them and make sure they're backed up – unlike mine – so that you have the opportunity to tweak, edit, and use them in the future.
There are a couple of tips that I want to give you when you're thinking about doing this. I already mentioned number one – get a tripod. You can buy a phone holder that goes on top of a tripod. You can get it at various different places, especially on Amazon. I have one for mine. The other thing that I really suggest you take a look at is lighting. Make sure that the subject that you're taking pictures of or videoing has good light on their face and make sure that you can see everything clearly. If not, take a second to move them. Make sure that you capture the best possible moments.
The other thing that you might want to think about is getting a mic. The mics on phones are okay, but if you had a lavaliere or a handheld mic that you could hook up to your phone, you're going to get much better audio quality. You can fix bad video with good audio, but you cannot fix bad audio with good video. If you can't hear what people are saying, pictures don't mean as much. So invest a little time, energy, and money in getting something that's going to help you get better quality audio.
What's Old Is New
Once you have these videos, what can you do with them? Well, obviously you can edit a video and put it up on YouTube or Vimeo. You can have them converted to a DVD. You can put them in places where you can share them.
I also suggest taking lots of still pictures. Not just of the people that you want to remember and interview, but look for interesting things. Maybe it's a Christmas package sitting under a tree. It could be the texture of the Christmas paper, it could be food, something that you might be able to use in one of your blog posts, in a video, in something in the future because you can always save those and reuse them later. You can take a bunch of pictures and you can create a slideshow by adding some music to it. Think about putting together a picture book by sending them someplace that will compile them into a printed book that you could share with friends and family.
Bring It To Life
There's technology today that can take a picture from your phone and create memories by transferring it to wall art. Obviously you can have a photo blown up and put in a frame, but have you thought about turning it into a canvas or even a fracture, which is kind of like a glass print. There's so many different ways that you can use these. Think about using them as gifts, like birthday presents.
You can turn a picture into a mug, a T-shirt – almost any kind of art that somebody could have for their birthday or a special occasion. I'm not going to recommend any specific thing, but here's the bottom line. Just Google it. If you want to find a way to put a picture on canvas, just type “photo to canvas” and you will find numerous different opportunities to do that. If you want to put it on a mug, there's a handful of ways to do that. Many companies allow you to personalize items and send out gifts along with them.
Take tons of pictures, do some interviews – do things over this holiday season that you can preserve as memories to use for years to come. One of the things I am so happy about is being able to capture my father and share him with the nieces and nephews who never knew the history of our family, and I have that for a lifetime. Think about all the people whose lives you can document. Think about some of the pictures that you could use in your business that would make a difference throughout the year. You've got a tool in your hand. Why don't you make the most of it and give yourself the gift of great memories and great smiles this holiday season.
I would love to hear how you'll create memories this holiday season. Comment below and share your ideas or questions about using your cell phone to capture moments this holiday season. Have you already interviewed your parents, grandparents, or aunts and uncles? Do you have any additional ideas or insight you can share?
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