Could you find your child's baby photos in under ten minutes?

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This weekend, Liz needed to find a baby picture for Grace to submit to her school's yearbook committee for her grade 8 graduation.  Much digging around was done through old hard drives until she thought she had it narrowed down to four identical pink 258gb drives.  But where was the power cord?  So, it was off to The Source for a new one.  Oh, you don't make those anymore?  Uh...we could try this one?  Okay...  Ugh, this drive won't mount to the Macbook because Liz had a PC back then and it's formatted for a PC.  Okay, out comes the work HP laptop, in goes the plug and *poof*.  The laptop instantly powers down and won't restart.  The hard drive just sits there like a pretty pink brick.  Half a (beautiful, sunny) day spent hunting for one photograph, an embarrassing visit to the IT department at work on Monday morning and still no baby picture.  Maybe Grandma in Guelph has one we can borrow...

This seemed like a sign from the universe that it's time to share a secret project that I've been working on for my clients for quite a while now.

In 2016, the work began to build The Vault.  In 2017, my team grew to include a programmer who has been working tirelessly to build exactly what I want you to have.  I want you to enjoy your photographs.  I want to give you easy access to your memories, an easy way to share them, print them and archive them properly for your family.  I want you to be able to show off your photos on your phone, easily place an online order for a quick print for a school project and, with a few clicks, post to social media when it's your child's birthday.  I want to offer curated products that you can order yourself and have arrive at your door in just a few days.  I want all of this to be simple and at your fingertips.

Mostly, I want your children to have their baby pictures.

If you are interested in knowing when The Vault is open, drop us a note below and we will keep you in the loop.  We may even ask you a question here and there as we put the finishing touches on!

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Three non-photography related things to remember when taking pictures with your iPhone.

Oh, how I love my iPhone.  A camera that weighs hardly anything, takes truly lovely photographs and that is with me always.  Not a day passes that I don’t take a photograph with my phone, resulting in hundreds (okay thousands) of captures every year.  Having this power in my pocket feels miraculous to me.

As Uncle Ben said to Peter Parker, “With great power, comes great responsibility."  If I want to enjoy these images, share them with loved ones and preserve them for my kids and their kids I can’t just snap away and leave them in my camera roll.  There are many steps that I take to ensure that I photograph thoughtfully, keep my memories safe and prevent my iPhone memory from getting overloaded.  In my mind, these three are the non-negotiables:

  1. Cull. Cull. Cull.  Make it a habit to delete the images you don’t absolutely love.  If you are photographing at a family event or your little dude's soccer game, wait until you’re safely back home to review the images and fill the trash can.  If you do it while you shoot, you’ll miss actually witnessing the event you are at.  Which brings me to my second rule.
  2. Put the phone away.  Don’t paparazzi your family and friends.  Decide what you’d like photos of before you head to your next event. Photographers call this a ‘shot list’.  For example, if you are attending your best friend’s 40th, you may decide you want a shot of your friend, a shot of you and your friend and a shot of your friend blowing out the candles on her cake. Capture those moments and then enjoy the event through your own two eyes, not through a screen.  Then wait until you get home to cull down to only the images you look fabulous in (see #1).  
  3. Print your photography!  We have so many wonderful choices online to create photo books and order prints that arrive at our door in just a few days.  Don’t let your precious memories languish on a hard drive, disc or, even worse - your phone!  Print them!  Your family memories depend on it.

My favourite online self published artwork sites (click names for affiliate links to ideas I love):

  1. Pinhole Press
  2. Minted
  3. Tiny Prints

Does making your own photobooks fill you with design dread?  If you are a member of the studio’s family of clients, we can help.  Just drop us a note at hello@trishmennell.com.

I’d love to hear your top tips.  What is your number one rule when using your phone for photography?