When people talk about legacy, they’re often referring to lasting financial or societal impacts that follow through generations. There’s a more personal side to the concept of family legacy, though.
And that’s where we come in. Because we believe that your family photos and videos are more than records of past events and places. They embody the love and values that span decades.
But, as your photos and videos age, they begin to deteriorate and there’s always the risk of loss or damage. Fortunately, there are ways to preserve and share your memories. Once you’ve done that, you can even create a bigger impact with family legacy projects that expand as your family grows.
Keep reading to learn about how to preserve your old media and create a legacy that carries your memories into future generations.
The Value of Generational Memories
As your family grows, each person’s interest in these old photos and videos will ebb and flow through the years. Whether they are curious during their youth or not until much later, having access to it is invaluable.
The eldest members of your family are a gold mine of personal memories and information. If you’re able to sift through boxes or albums of old photos with them, they’re likely to recognize and name the people shown. They’ll share anecdotal stories about the events and places.
You’d be wise to have such encounters recorded so that when these family members are no longer with you, their stories can live on. The photos themselves won’t last forever, though. It’s important to preserve these photos while you can.
What’s the benefit? Beyond preserving memories, a sense of legacy is important for children in your family.
At an early age, understanding where we come from builds a sense of security and identity. When kids grow up with that, they tend to make decisions that will honor their heritage and want their families to be proud of them.
If there are some negative legacies at play in your family, creating lasting mementos with photos and videos can help to reverse that. Reliving happy memories and talking about what has been important reinforces positive values.
Building a Family Legacy from Old Media
There are many types of old media that you’ll want to have modernized for your legacy projects. Let our team at Envision Video Services preserve your collection so you can create a lasting family legacy.
VHS tapes have become obsolete technology with the last VCR players manufactured in 2016. As the remaining machines finally wear out, finding ways to watch your recorded memories will become more difficult.
The best solution is to have your old tapes transferred to modern media. Whatever formats you have, we can help:
- VHS or VHS-C
- Hi8 or Digital 8
- Betacam SP/SX
- Mini DV
- Mini DVD
- Umatic 3/4
- Helical Scan EIAJ 1/2
- DV Cam
With state-of-the-art technology, we’ll convert your old media to digital formats. You can have these transferred to DVD, BluRay, or digital files to enjoy for years to come.
Classic film has an enduring appeal. There’s something about the film grains and the whirring sound of a projector that transports us back in time.
Film grain is a timeless stamp of Americana. Dads everywhere loved to capture sweet scenes of their children playing in the backyard. Endless clips depict colorful birthday parties and people laughing in kitchens.
This early filmmaking media has long since been replaced with modern technology. You’d be lucky to have access to old projectors capable of showing these old films.
For those who do have one, there’s a big risk every time the film rolls. If something goes wrong that may destroy your precious family memories.
Instead of letting them collect dust, use our film transfer services to bring them into the future safely. We can take your Super 8, 8mm, 16mm, or 9.5mm films frame by frame and create digital videos for your family archives.
Photos are an amazing medium that transcends technological advancements over many decades. The earliest known photo was a heliograph printed on pewter in 1827. Ever since people have been capturing moments and places with increasing ease and accessibility.
Nearly every family has a huge collection of photos that chronicle many lives across generations. As you sort through these prints, the moments and stories attached to each come back to life.
Black and white photos depict the history of our grandparents during the early 1900s. Sepia tones seep in, coloring mid-century memories. The high-gloss style of the 80s and 90s is undeniable.
Millions of printed photographs have stood the test of time but deterioration is inevitable and unexpected disasters can ruin them forever. Even the best means of storage can’t stop the color shift or progression of time affecting your old photos.
It’s important to have your photos professionally preserved—or better yet, digitized. Bring your photos, slides, and negatives to our experts. They’ll bring your memories to life on DVDs or digital files that will last for generations to come.
Hearing voices from the past can be a beautiful thing that brings back a flood of memories. You may have recordings of interviews, weddings, your baby’s earliest words, or important pieces of history.
Since audio recording technology reached consumers, people have been recording important moments. There are some things to know before you pull out that box.
Cassette tape material has a lifespan of up to 30 years under ideal conditions. The fact is, most aren’t kept in ideal conditions, though. The reality is much shorter and the quality drops dramatically as it ages.
Recordings on vinyl have a sound that resonates much like old films. However, every time vinyl is played, it deteriorates a little more. This progresses slowly but by the time you notice, much of the quality and depth is already lost.
Whatever the content or media is, let us preserve your audio memories before more time passes. We can work with cassettes, LPs, reel-to-reels, microcassettes, digital recorders, audio wires, DAT tapes, and even mail call letterpack.
Uphold Traditions and Create New Ones
You can do more than just look at your newly converted photos and videos.
As you share these memories with family members, a few things will begin to stand out. Pay attention to the special events and times that your relatives are drawn to.
There may be old traditions that have fallen away and could be brought back to life. Do you have multiple photos of family members reading a favorite storybook to a child? Are there summertime family gatherings with a fun softball game?
Perhaps these things haven’t happened in a long time but your family feels inspired by seeing the reminders. You can start making plans now. Create new memories and photo opportunities to add to the legacy.
Alternatively, you may find that something is missing. Maybe there aren’t enough multi-generation photos or group holidays. Maybe it seems like all the photos are posed and you’d like to have more candid shots.
There might be compelling old photos of children who are now in their later years. It’s become a fun trend to recreate these past scenes with the same people decades later. You could also re-create the scenes with current kids of the same age.
Sometimes looking through images of days gone by will remind someone of an old place they used to love going to. Take advantage of the opportunity to take them back to those places in real life. Better yet, make a trip together with the younger generation who’s never been there.
Whatever you do to revive old traditions or create new ones, be sure to take new photos. Encourage kids to learn how to capture great photos that can be added to the family legacy, too.
Trace Genealogy with Old Media
Another good way to create a family legacy with your old photos and videos is to start tracking your genealogy. Once you’ve had everything converted to digital and modern formats, it’s even easier.
Make time to sit down with some older family members. Take notes (or record the meetings) as they explain who they recall from each photo or video. Ask a lot of questions about how each person relates to whom.
Cross-reference the information from different sides in case anyone is remembering inaccurately. Online tools can help you keep everything organized and fill in some blanks. Here are a few beginner-friendly sites to check out:
- Family Search – Search by names or places for free access to millions of records. You’ll find birth, marriage, and death certificates as well as information about places your relatives have lived or worked.
- Billion Graves – This massive database is a GPS-tagged index of gravesites across the United States. You can access photos of headstones which may have helpful information and even view location maps.
- Fold3 – Find military records as far back as the Revolutionary War and expand your understanding of where your ancestors served and traveled during their service times.
- NewspaperArchive – Offers access to more than 120 million newspaper articles back to the early 1600s. You can browse by city or state and everything is digitized.
Genealogy tracing can be overwhelming at first. It will get easier as you develop methods to organize the information as you uncover it. Consider creating a digital family tree that others can help with or just enjoy.
Time Capsules are the Ultimate Gift
If you’ve never created a time capsule, now is a perfect time to start doing that. To do it right, you should follow expert advice — not necessarily your favorite YouTuber. We recommend following time capsule tips from the Library of Congress.
Your time capsule should be a strong sensible container that can be properly sealed. Here are some thoughts about what to put in your time capsule:
If you include digital or analog items, be sure to include the necessary machines to present them because technology evolves faster than you think.
Photos, letters, and documents are excellent content to include. Consider using professionally created duplicates so that you can continue enjoying your items.
Handmade treasures from family members can be included. Be sure to add a note for each item to explain its meaning, history, and why you decided to include it.
To help prevent any accidental damage, place the heaviest things on the bottom. Each item should be packaged individually. The entire space should be filled so nothing can shift around.
Then, define a timeline for when it should be opened. Designate a location for it to be kept in the meantime and let other family members know so that it isn’t forgotten over time.
Preserving your family memories is a beautiful gift that continues to give back. It creates a sense of security and identity that helps strengthen future generations.
At Envision Video Services, we take pride in our reputation for delivering quality. Plus, we love being part of your journey to create a family legacy with your old photos and films.
Put your old media into our capable care. We’ll transform them into beautiful digital media that your family can enjoy for generations to come.
If you’re working on a project like genealogy or time capsules, let us know! We can help create duplicates and ensure everything is perfectly preserved for you.
Our team can work with an endless list of old media. If you don’t see it on our list, just give us a call and ask our experts who are happy to help.
Get started with Envision Video Services today!