People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. – Simon Sinek
Late one evening, after our kids had gone to bed and we were winding down for the night, my husband and I sat down and started talking. Earlier in the week, I had accepted a job with the county and was struggling with whether it was the right decision. For the last 2 years, I had been a stay-at-home mom to my 2 year-old son and 5 year-old daughter after moving to Florida. Prior to that, I was a Human Resources Specialist with a major oil refining and marketing company in Seattle, WA. I loved my career in Washington and had a hard time finding something comparable in the small Florida town we had moved to. The job with the county certainly wasn’t comparable and felt more like “busy work” until we could move to a larger job market. As we discussed the options, I started to look “outside the box”, asking myself what I truly enjoyed doing. Beyond what I studied in college, what did I know, what was I good at?
I’ve always enjoyed taking pictures and working with them to create keepsakes for my kids and immediate family. My father and both brothers are photographers (and my mother usually had a video camera in hand as well!), so thankfully there’s always been a plethora of photos to document my past. I love going back and looking at the pictures my parents have passed on to me; sharing them with my daughter who is always eager to learn about her extended family. I strive to create the same memories for my children that my parents and grandparents have done for me through photographs.
Isn’t it extraordinary how photographs can conjure such vivid memories of childhood experiences? I ran across a picture of my grandmother’s porch in upstate New York; its just a simple snapshot of the room just as I remember it (maybe a little smaller); complete with an old collection of perfume and cologne bottles on a shelf and her plate collection on the wall. Instantly, I could recall humid summer days spent watching storms out the window, laughing with my uncles on the couch about that day’s fishing adventure, and bringing in potatoes from Gramma’s garden to clean at the table. Although these memories exist in the recesses of our mind, it’s the power of the photograph that keeps them alive. I can’t think of anything more important to treasure than the tangible link between our past, present and future.
That brings us to the “WHY“. When we came up with the idea for VistaPix Media, it was born out of a desire to do for others what I had been doing all along for my own family. Every year, I create a photo slideshow for each of my kids to document their achievements, growth, and special moments they’ve experienced over the previous 12 months. It’s a collection of memories, all with their own individual significance, brought together to be an impactful illustration of their life. I can only hope that as they grow older and begin their own lives, they too will value the gift of a richly documented life and share it with their children.
The secondary function of VistaPix Media is equally as important (if not more so) as the slideshow element of our service; photo archiving. This is the scanning of photos and creating digital versions of them on a CD to keep forever. With the advent of digital media, film cameras have gone by the wayside. My generation is probably the last to have used film to record our history, which is sad in a way. There is something uniquely exciting about dropping a roll of film off at Walgreens and waiting with anticipation to see how your pictures turned out! However, pictures don’t last forever which makes it all that much more important to preserve them. So, I started converting my own collection of 1000+ photos to a digital version. This allows me to share photos with others at the click of a button, make copies to safely store separately and keep indefinitely on a media format that will be around for a long time.
As I was scanning in old photos, I came across some that were hand-me-downs from my mom. They were of her as a little girl and even some of my Gramma when she married my Grandpa. They were starting to show their age with cracks, fading, and discoloration. As I was holding them in my hand, I felt some sadness knowing that eventually the paper they were printed on would break down and the images would be gone forever. But with the technology available to me (and a little bit of skill), I was able to repair the damage on the digital copy and save it forever. Although I will always protect the original version and try to make it last another lifetime, I am relieved that I now have a pristine copy of it that can be passed on through the generations of my family. And that was what prompted the third function of VistaPix Media; photo restoration.
Now, more than ever, the need to preserve photographs in a lasting and meaningful way is crucial. The digital age is here and those precious mementos from our past gets pushed further and further to the back of our closets. But finding a way to share those memories with those we love is one of the greatest gifts we can give them; like the way my daughter’s face lights up when I show her how much she looks like her Gramma when she was young. Finding those common parallels between our childhood experiences and the ones we give our own children can be a bonding moment for both parent and child…how fortunate we are to have captured both on film!
I hope in this post I’ve been able to convey my enthusiasm about why I chose to begin this journey as a small business owner. It wasn’t to make money, or to set my own hours, or even to be my own boss. It was created from a simple, but important foundation of preserving memories for a lifetime…for them.