I cannot recall if I ever posted what my business actually IS. I think I wanted to get a website up and then do a big reveal. But things are not proceeding according to that plan, which is ok.
What I offer is on-site scanning and digitization consulting and services. "Have scanner, will travel." If you are in the Chicago area and want someone to come to your home, your church, your museum or archive or library, and digitize a collection, or offer you expert knowledge and guidance on setting up a digitization program, that is what I can do.
A colleague and friend of mine had agreed to a kind of barter/trade. I would use her as a test guinea pig and she would do something for me. I discovered something very important. When I have transported myself and my equipment to your house, and gotten all set up, and you are going through your family history and those old photos, 90 minutes (my basic appointment) is probably not going to be enough for you.
You are probably going to discover more and more important pictures. Once you crack open those old albums, you will see more and more pictures you forgot you even had. And you will want to share them. You will begin pulling them out and piling them up to get done. You may start going through your house and pulling down framed photos from off the walls, because if they are framed and on display, they are super important to you. Then your husband, your mother, your kids will come in, they will see the pictures out, they will start looking at them, start asking questions.
Suddenly you are telling stories and reminiscing and having a wonderful day. And I get to be a part of it, I get to hear your stories, you start showing me pictures and telling me what's important about them.
Unlike strangers in a lab someplace in India, I actually want to hear these stories. I actually want you to tell me your stories.
I had no idea, but that is what happened. And i was there longer and longer, and there seemed to be so much to do. Eight hours, I spent, and we did over 200 photos and pieces of memorabilia, all at archival and preservation quality (no 300 dpi jpgs for these memories).
I left and it was after midnight and I was wiped. It was such a good day.
My colleague said her mother, who was out for the week, would probably cry when she saw photos of her late husband and her childhood all on her computer for her to look at. No more handing over you only copy of a picture to some relative who wants it and leaving gaps in the family albums, Now she can just email photos and say, here, make your own print.
She also said I'd barely scratched the surface of this big task she'd been meaning to take on for years, and never got to it. Now at least it is started. The most important parts are digital.
I am super excited. I loved it. She loved it. It makes people so happy. And since I am right there, the gratification is instant. No waiting 4-8 weeks for a huge box of your precious memories to be shipped ot some lab with strangers processing them. Nope, I come out that week, I show you what I am doing, I make suggestions, and then I do it for you.
Then you get to sit at my computer and do a visual check. You get to scroll through everything. And meanwhile I have cropped to your specifications. I have updated the color. I have zoomed it in so you can really see what's important.
What she said: It's like my relatives all came alive again!
I love it.