Thursday, 3 March 2011

How to choose photos to tell your story

Sorting through endless photos need not be a daunting task. Here are a few tips to help you.
  • First you need to decide which photos and images you want to use to tell your family story. Most people know of two or three favourite photos that they have seen over the years, so that's always a good start - as long as you know where they are!

  • If you are lucky to have a selection of photographs for a family member, then choose photos taken at different ages. For example: baby, child, young adult and last taken photo.
If you do have a choice, then always select the best quality photos you have. If possible photos without creases, undamaged and in focus. If this is not possible there are plenty of photo restorers out there who are able to repair damage images.

If you don't have many or any photos of a family member, try looking for documents that may relate to that person. For example birth certificate, school report, ration book, driving licence, old passport etc.,

If you have none of the above, perhaps source a photograph/postcard from their era. For example something connected to their profession, their home, the school they attended, church they wed at or where they are buried?

Once you have decided what photos/images you want to use to tell your story, place each persons photographs together (if these are printed photographs - do not staple or use paper clips).

We suggest using old envelopes. Write their details on the envelope. For example John Brown 1932 : Baby photo 1933. Sunday school certificate 1939. Wedding Day 1951. Holiday 1976

Your photos and images are now ready to be scanned and saved either on your computer or a CD. Beautiful Memories offers a scanning service, contact us for a quote.

If your images are already scanned and stored on your computer, then create and name folders either by event or by year. So for example Mum and her family 1926-1936, 1960 family holiday at Butlins.

With the folders created all you need to do now is place your images and photos in to the correct folder. If you have more than one person in a photo you want to use, then copy and paste this into both folders.

I hope these tips have been helpful and good luck with choosing and sorting photos to tell your story.

How to scan, crop and resize images

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Photo Montage Film to tell your Story

Now that my family tree is finished and is part of my montage film, I thought I would look at all the elements that could be included.

The idea is to have everything connected with your life story on one DVD. So here's a spider chart of what could be included in your photo montage film.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Bringing my Family Tree to Life

Carrying on from my first blog where I was struggling to find a site that was easy to use to enter my family tree information, I am pleased to say I have now finished this using a simple powerpoint document.

To bring colour to the chart I added a tree from clip art, to go behind the text boxes, I think it looks good. Now I have the template finished I can use this to add more family members, my brother and sisters and their children and then go back to fill in details about dads brothers and sisters and their families and so on until I have no further data to add - hmmm sounds a long job, perhaps I will do this during the winter months.

Now, as you can see this all looks a very nice, neat and colourful with names and dates in boxes, but what about the photos and the information about where they lived, what they did, where they are buried?

So, I had a think about how to incorporate all the information in one place and I decided to make a film. I converted the powerpoint to a .png file selected the photos and imported these into Adobe Premier Elements to make a short film. Then I narrated my family history.

It was fun and really easy to do and I think it works really well and does bring my family tree to life.

Have a look at my demo (which is a shorten version of the full tree) and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Creating my family tree

Welcome to Family History on Film. I am a film maker with Beautiful Memories and capture life stories on film. Many clients include their family tree in their film when talking about their ancestors. I create family trees in powerpoint, inserting them as an image into the film. I show the whole tree and focus on the photo and their position on the family tree when the particular family member is being talked about. It works well but to produce a family tree in this way is fiddly and time consuming.

So last week I set about finding out how to produce a more professional looking family tree using software that captures all the information in one place. Using Google and searched the words 'family tree' and got 74 million + results with sites such as;; FindMy;;

I remembered a cousin had, over the last couple of years, entered most of our family back to c.1700s. I thought this would save me a lot of input time, and so through her pages, I added and updated information for my grandparents/parents and uploaded photos. Fairly easy to do.
Now I just wanted a print out of the family tree showing all information I had entered.

However it was really frustrating because

I could print the page visible on the screen, but not the whole tree.
I could reduce the page, but the text was too small to read.
I could print in sections, but as I moved across the screen I lost some of the details,
I could see the names and dates but not all the additional information, which could only be seen via a drop down box!
I could have a print out of each individual with all the information and their photo, but not as part of the family tree!!

Almost half a day wasted and no print out. I'm going back to powerpoint. Does anyone have any tips or ideas how to create a family tree that can be printed out as a whole tree with all the information and photos included on one sheet?