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Stefani Twyford's Blog (127)

The Salt Of The Earth – about Sebastião Salgado

The Salt Of The Earth – about Sebastião Salgado

Last week I watched the documentary “The Salt of the Earth” about documentary photographer Sebastião Salgado. This is one of those films that I can’t stop thinking about, which is a good thing.

For those that aren’t familiar with Salgado’s work, he is a Brazilian photojournalist and social photographer that has traveled the world photographing indigenous cultures and the social effects of major geo-political actions on these…


Added by Stefani Twyford on August 23, 2015 at 9:17pm — No Comments

“I wish I had met you…”

For the past few weeks I have been involved in a back and forth phone tag with a potential client.

Each time he’s called me, I returned the call, and each time I called, he was  busy and told me he would get back to me. A couple weeks ago he asked me to send him some more information about my work so I sent him a flyer, and links to several video clips and testimonials. But we never actually had “the conversation” about…


Added by Stefani Twyford on January 31, 2015 at 11:44am — No Comments

When Is Your Memory Truly Forgotten?

“I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.”  — Banksy

While this quote was directly attributed to the graffiti artist Banksy, the sentiment is not his alone and appears all over the place, attributed to…


Added by Stefani Twyford on January 14, 2015 at 10:03pm — No Comments

Alicia Elkort’s Poetic Memoir Of Our Grandparents – “Apricot Preserves”

My grandmother used to make these amazing cookies for special occasions. They are called Franz Joseph Cookies and supposedly took their name from the famous Emperor of Austria. I’m not really sure the back story on how my grandma got this recipe but it was a family favorite and one that had great pomp and circumstance around the making of the cookies. She resisted giving the recipe to anyone for many years and finally when she was well into her late 80s, she gave me the recipe. When I make…


Added by Stefani Twyford on November 7, 2014 at 12:21pm — No Comments

Reminisces On My Recent Trip to Turkey

I just took a look at my blog this morning and realized it’s been almost 4 months since I wrote anything. My commitment has always been to try for twice a month and I have alerts set on my calendar to remind me of that commitment.

I think that after finishing my documentary and screening it at the end of May, I was just pretty wiped…


Added by Stefani Twyford on October 29, 2014 at 11:21am — No Comments

My Documentary Screening at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Sunday May 18, 2014 was the first public screening of my documentary, “Martin Elkort: An American Mirror” at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. It showed to a crowd of about 200 people, which is an terrific turn out for an early Sunday evening, on a graduation weekend.

Anne Wilkes Tucker, The Gus and Lyndal Wortham Curator of Photography, gave a wonderful opening speech where she helped the audience to create a context of what it was like to be a photographer during that time period…


Added by Stefani Twyford on May 23, 2014 at 6:50pm — No Comments

From The Video Honoree’s Perspective

I asked my friend, Vicki Samuels Levy to write me a brief perspective on her experience as a video honoree in one of my Legacy Multimedia productions. After all, I write a lot from my perspective; what I’m trying to do with the video, the feelings that I want my audience to experience. I usually get a nice note from my clients and they often agree to allow me to use it as a website testimonial. So I was thrilled when a few hours later, Vicki sent me two pages of writing from her experience.…


Added by Stefani Twyford on April 2, 2014 at 11:00am — No Comments

“The Great Beauty” And The Small Moments In Our Own Lives

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of watching La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty), an epic Italian film in the style of Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, but with more cinematic greatness achieved by the advances in technology since the 1960s as well as a more existential examination of life. It was truly captivating and I am planning on a second viewing next week as the MFAH is bringing it back for an…


Added by Stefani Twyford on January 21, 2014 at 12:03pm — No Comments

2014 Memory Jar Project

I have been reading about the concept of “Happiness Jars.” In Elizabeth Gilbert’s blockbuster memoir “Eat, Pray, Love” she started a project where she would write down things that have made her happy each day on little slips of paper and put them in this large glass jar. By doing so every day, eventually her jar would overflow with happiness.

I am proposing something similar but let’s call it a Memory Jar or more aptly, the Memoir Jar. Starting tomorrow, January 1st 2014, make a…


Added by Stefani Twyford on January 7, 2014 at 3:50pm — 2 Comments

My Reality of Attending a School Reunion

I recently attended my 40th class school reunion out in Southern California. There was a whirlwind of activities, two parties on a Friday night, the real reunion on Saturday night and then a brunch picnic the following Sunday morning. I didn’t attend the brunch, choosing instead to have breakfast with a small group of woman I have known since I was a very young girl. It was a good choice. It allowed us an intimate time to reflect on our lives and the past two days, and I didn’t want to…


Added by Stefani Twyford on October 30, 2013 at 5:52pm — No Comments

Photographer Rachel Phillips; Field Notes

Sometimes you see something visual and it just resonates with you on such a deep level that it starts the beginnings of an interest, an obsession, or even a love affair.

I was in the Catherine Couturier Gallery a couple months ago and came across a few pieces by artist Photographer Rachel Phillips, who considers herself a photographer yet uses her photography in such a unique…


Added by Stefani Twyford on September 9, 2013 at 10:56am — No Comments

Photo Restoration Tips When Your Photos Are Fading

I once gave a presentation on photo restoration to a local historical group.. I stood up and said,

“It’s 10 o’clock…. do you know where your photos are?” Everyone gave a chuckle because most were familiar with that old public service announcement that used to play right before the local news. But people also laughed because they thought about their own photos, sitting in shoe boxes, quietly fading into obscurity or sitting on their computer hard-drives with names such as DSC00456.jpg.…


Added by Stefani Twyford on August 7, 2013 at 3:14pm — No Comments

Our Culture of Drive

There’s an old joke:

A Texan is talking with an Israeli and comparing the size of Texas to the size of Israel. He says, “when I get in my car, I can drive for hours and not get to the end of my ranch.” The Israeli says, “I had a car like that once too.”

Most of the people I know drive and take their driving for granted. Unless you live in a packed urban area where the cost of keeping a car outweighs the access it will provide, most people have a car, or two, or sometimes three. I…


Added by Stefani Twyford on July 16, 2013 at 5:30pm — No Comments

Tips on Preserving Family Audio

As a preservationist, I am always excited when a big name comes on the bandwagon providing information to consumers about preserving precious family archives. It’s a platform I’ve been preaching and promoting for 10 years now and I still consider it as vitally important now as it was when I first became aware of this.

One this stuff is gone, it’s gone!

The New York Times recently added Bertram Lyons, an archivist at the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress in…


Added by Stefani Twyford on May 31, 2013 at 10:00am — No Comments

The Flat – 2011 Israeli Documentary

Have you ever wondered if there are secrets in your family’s past you don’t know about? Even if you have never wondered, what would your reaction be if you found out your family was not who you thought them to be?

The Flat (2011 Documentary by Arnon Goldfinger) examines this premise as the Director, Arnon Goldfinger, and his family begin to clean out the flat…


Added by Stefani Twyford on March 29, 2013 at 8:50pm — No Comments

Legacy Multimedia Featured In The New York Times Article on Video Biography

This week an article about the process of immortalizing one’s memories made it to a special Retirement section in the New York Times. My company, Legacy Multimedia, was prominently featured along with other projects and organizations that focus on the preservation of physical mementos and recording of memoirs.

For me, this is incredible validation of the work I do. The excitement I feel working with each new client, discovering who they…


Added by Stefani Twyford on March 20, 2013 at 1:05pm — No Comments

Digital Mourning – Grief In The Online Age

I have talked a lot on my blog and on Facebook about how the digital world has changed our relationship and concept of memoir. With each national disaster, we turn to Facebook, Twitter and other online websites to find out what happened, then understand the impact and finally to share our upsets and grief. We mourn publicly in a way we couldn’t have imagined only 10 years ago.

Grief in a Digital Age



Added by Stefani Twyford on March 6, 2013 at 7:37pm — No Comments

Personal History – An Unpredictable Experience

Last year we completed an almost 3-hour biography on a 97 year old local woman. It was an incredible project to work on. Not only is she smart and vibrant but she had a lot of energy and we were able to do some remarkable video B-roll. We have shots of her driving her car, talking about her childhood in front of the home she was born in, giving us a tour of the artwork in her church that she and her late husband had commissioned as well as extensive stories and recollections from her 97…


Added by Stefani Twyford on January 27, 2013 at 2:10pm — No Comments

2013 Resolution – Time to Get That Personal History Done!

2013 marks the 10 year anniversary of Legacy Multimedia. It will be later this fall and I will commemorate the decade in a fitting manner…. later.

Right now, with the new year, and this huge blank slate of time before me, I want to focus on my new mantra regarding my own personal history, “get ‘er done!” (Since I live in Texas, I can talk to myself in cowboy language.)

Right about the time that I was starting Legacy Multimedia, I also started the long and complex process of…


Added by Stefani Twyford on January 4, 2013 at 5:04pm — No Comments

Reminiscence and Life Review – The Experience of Melancholy

I was speaking with a friend the other day about my observations of some of the people that I work with, explaining that for some people, there is a melancholy in their recollections of the past and where they are today. My friend told me how much she loved that word, ‘melancholy’ and how distinctly different it is from the current usage of the word ‘depression.’



Added by Stefani Twyford on December 7, 2012 at 11:50am — No Comments


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