I spend a lot of time flying back and forth between Houston and Los Angeles to visit my family. The flight is 3 hours and last year I made a commitment to spend that three hour time period working on sorting, identifying and tagging all of my digital photos. By the time we take off, get our complimentary beverages, prepare for the descent, it probably works out to about 2 hours but that time I have totally dedicated to this task. I decided to focus this time on this specific task because I couldn’t seem to get the time available elsewhere. I am usually working on clients’ projects or other personal things and this task seemed monumental to me. So I decided that I would keep dedicating this 3 hour plane ride to this task until it got done.
It may sound surprising to you that someone whose entire career is focused on helping clients archive and save their memories, stories and media is only just doing this for myself. But in my defense, I have spent the last 5 years working on not only my stuff, but all the media of my family of origin. (I’ll come back to my own method of sorting later, I just wanted to give you an idea of scope here.)
My project started 5 years ago with the conversion of all the video that existed. This included some 10 hours of old 8mm films belonging to my parents. Out of this, I created an edited, contextual video that identified the time period, location and people in each film section and gave copies to all of my family. Next I tackled all of my own videos, which were in various formats from 8mm cassette, VHS and miniDV. All of that got converted and put on a large hard-drive and I have still not done anything final with it yet although I have started short biography videos on each of my children.