Digitize Photos to Preserve Veterans’ History

Today is Veterans’ Day. Today, we honor the brave men and women who served in the military, and for many Americans, this means reflecting on the legacy of family members who served many years ago.

This date was chosen for a reason. In other countries, November 11th is celebrated as Remembrance Day (Canada and the UK) or Armistice Day (New Zealand, France, Belgium), and these all relate to the date that the armistice was signed to end the First World War. However, that day occurred in 1918, and there are now no longer any living veterans of World War I.

African-American soldiers in WWIThis means it is even more important to preserve their memory. Since the veterans of that war are no longer with us, we must take care to save the memories they have shared with us. Do you have a First World War veteran in your family? Have they left photos of that time? These photos may be almost 100 years old!

Photography was used during the First World War for both military and personal purposes. Many individual soldiers took photos (even after this was banned in 1915), since for the first time, portable personal cameras were now widely available. Many veterans came home with photos, so that their families could begin to understand their experience. Official photos were also taken, as well as press photos that were published in newspapers on the home front. Of course, individual, personal photos best illustrate the war as it was, since official and press photos were subject to censorship and restrictions.

At Play It Again Video, we can digitize photos for you even if they are 100 years old (or older!). But remember – we do not have an age limit, but your photos do. Photos have a shelf life and can start to fade or even fall apart after several years. If you have First World War era photos in your family, please don’t delay digitizing them. We would be honored to help preserve the memory of the veterans in your family.

Interview with a Kindergartener

The richness of life lies in the memories we have forgotten. Before your kids go back to school, interview them. And then again every year at the start of school. You will realize how rich your life is. Just watch this interview with a kindergartener.

Home Video Transfer also on Tax-free holiday

Don’t just think of big appliances, computers this tax-free weekend. What about transferring that big box of VHS tapes and home movies to DVD? You will save on taxes too when you drop off your old home movies this weekend.

Stepping into our video transfer lab is like stepping back a few decades into the 80′s, the 70′s, the 40′s yikes. When Play it Again Video first opened our doors in Needham, MA, we were converting old film reels to VHS tapes. Then it was to DVDs, and now, we are seeing a lot more customer transfer their old home movies to a portable hard drive to edit on the computer.

Soon, we will just beam these home movie memories from the VHS tapes, 8mm film, 16mm, film, Hi8 tapes right to your forehead so you can access them wherever you are.

For right now, the most important thing is to stop the degradation of your analog magnetic tapes, by converting and preserving them in digital formats.

Baby home movies still stuck in old VHS Tapes?

At our video transfer lab in Newton, MA, we see a lot of babies on our screens as we digitize families’ old home movies, 8mm film or VHS tapes to DVDs.

Parents are so besotted by their newborns, they try to capture every move, every new step, every smile, every breath of those precious few months.

But, I’ve never seen a baby’s reaction to a slice of lemon being captured so humorously like in the video below. This is one memory you want to save.

If you are still hanging on to your old 8mm or 16mm film reels, your old VHS tapes and other home movie tapes, please understand the media has a shelf life. We can help you digitize the old film reels and home movie tapes to DVDs so you can share the memories again. Is there a cute baby moment in your home videos that you can use to blackmail your now teenage or adult children? :-)

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Will my VHS tape fit on 1 DVD ?

 

Should I transfer VHS to DVD or to external hard drive ?

Music video montage for your special occasions

 

 

Best Family Photos – 7 tips for amazing vacation photos

Smartphone vacation photos
Get a close up of the picture
People often times like to take a picture of everything that they see with their eyes. But what they don’t realize is that eye sight is so centered that they might only be focusing on one object. Taking a close up picture of the object brings a meaningful center to the memory.

Backgrounds can make or break the photo
While you spend some time thinking about the center of the photo, also take the time to consider what the backdrop should be. Plain backgrounds are great for portraits, but if you’re on vacation at the beach then use the ocean, sand, or other sights to introduce a sense of location and purpose.

Focus (blur) on the right things
Many cameras, smartphones included, have a very simple way of adjusting the focus (the amount of blur) of the picture. Take a moment to think whether you want to see every little detail of the moment, or just the expression on your family’s face.

Family Vacation Action Shot

Take action shots
In the grand scheme of things, photos are a means of storing memories. The stronger the emotion at that time, the stronger the memory will be. The same goes for photos. Taking photos of people in action will help capture the excitement and feeling of the moment, greatly preserving the memory for years to come.

Use filters that don’t distract from the photo
If you are living in the modern world then you have probably heard of filters. Filters are quick and simple editing tools that you use immediately after taking the photo. Correctly using them will enhance the atmosphere, while using too much or the incorrect one can ruin the photo. Err on the side of lightness and use filters to accentuate key details.

Smartphone cameras are legitimate as well
Here are a few tips for those of us who use smartphones as our cameras of choice. While the smartphone lens is usually pretty small, using the below suggestions as well as the above, can help bring the memory to life.

  • Take many photos in succession. There are a lot of apps out there that allow the smartphone to take multiple photos at a time, allowing you to find that perfect one.
  • Crop don’t zoom. There are a few advantages but the main reason is to not limit the use of the small lens in the camera.
  • Avoid flash. Smartphones are notorious for red eye and the flash itself will mostly detract from the picture.

Enjoy the moments as much as taking memories
Last but not least. Whether you are taking the picture or are getting your picture taken, remember to enjoy the moment and that the point of the photo is to preserve it. Don’t force a photo and keep a good sense of humor, this will help preserve the emotion and feeling and will lead to a great photo, not to mention a great memory.


Digital photos are the way of the future and for those of you who haven’t yet adapted, now might be a good time. Hard copies of photos are a great way to keep them in plain sight but not a good storage method. They crinkle and tear. And if you leave them alone for long enough, then the moisture in the air will get to them. It’s time for those memories to enter the digital age where there is no risk of deteriorating quality.

It’s not difficult to find a photo scanning service in your area.

Need photos scanned or restored? Want to hear what others have to say?
Scan photos to a HD and share them with family.
Restore photos back to their original quality.
Watch testimonials from people all around Boston.

New and old memories for dementia patients

This is a story about how a photo book or photo video montage can help a dementia patient build new memories based on old photographs.

My aunt started looking for her husband about a couple months ago.  This is a new twist to her dementia condition.  No, this is not a story of a dementia woman looking for her spouse who has been dead for many years already.   Her husband is right there in the same room with her.   Though she can’t understand why she feels comfortable, a sense of familiarity, with this gentle grey-haired old man, she insists he’s not her husband.  Her husband is young, about thirty-ish, and handsome as can be.

If you’ve not had a loved one suffer this condition, it may be very hard for you to understand how frustrated, earnest and insistent the loved one can be about her view of the world.  You may succeed in correcting her after you turn blue explaining thirty years have passed.  She may reluctantly accept this gentleman as the man she married, then relapse again the next day.

Since it’s so difficult to correct her memories, we helped her build new ones.  Her children gathered photographs all the way back from her wedding day, scan the photos to digital images, and b

uilt a video montage that spans 30 years, from her wedding days, to when the kids were young, including vacation trips with her husband when they were in their thirties, forties, fifities, all the way to the present.  All in all, we used 156 photos, and created a 14 and a half minutes of music video montage that was beautiful, touching, and memory-building.

Photo memories slideshow

Maybe it’s too early to tell, but for the last couple of weeks since she watched the video montage – over and over and over

again – she has accepted this kind, gentle older man who reaches out his hand to hold hers ever so often, as her sweet husband after all.

 I am a memory keeper.  I’m not a therapist or physician - who knows if this is conventional therapy for dementia patients, but if you have someone in your family suffering from dementia, it may be worth a try to build a memory book or memory video slideshow spanning the decades of years that have blurred in their minds.

Related Posts:

Create a birthday Rock Star

Once you scan your photo you can create a birthday rockstar

Everyone wants to be a rock star right?  Well using JibJab you can turn yourself or
your friends into rock stars.  You’re probably tired of those boring old
greeting cards you pick up in the pharmacy anyway,  so why not create a
fun and exciting greeting using JibJab.  Watch this video from Play It
Again Video to see just how to create one.

 

Video-Editing: a great way to share your vacation trip

Jerusalem pilgrimage with Cardinal O’Malley

This long time Play It Again Video customer went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.  He came to Play It Again Video to make the memories of his special trip even more special.  Although his trip followed in the footsteps of Jesus he did not travel to places in the same order.  So after having Play It Again Video transfer his tapes he had us edit his videos together so they would follow the same order to create one very special DVD.  Play It Again Video can help you with your amazing video editing projects.

101 Memory Gifts Ideas

After you digitize your old photos and slides, videos and audio cassettes to digital formats, you can do so much more with them such as creating photo iphone cases, music video montage, etc.
Photo Puzzle
We put together the best 101 Memory Gifts ideas to get those creative juices going. They are grouped in price ranges. We are not affiliated with any of the vendors. You don’t even have to go to the vendors on the list. Just get the idea and run with it.

Have fun. Mother’s Day is coming, Father’s Day, memory gifts make priceless precious momentos.

The link (share them with your friends):

101 Memory Gifts: http://www.playitagainvideo.com/101memorygifts

Customer returned to Play it Again Video for the 9th time!

This customer keeps finding new staff

George is an amazingly loyal customer of Play It Again Video.  He has been here 9 times!  He just keeps finding more and more stuff. Martin Scorsese may not have shown up yet, but George you are our Martin Scorsese. Thank you George!