Winners Galore – Wordless Wednesday

YesVideo Winners at Type A Parent Conference

This week we are featuring a photo from Rose at Immutable Ramblings.  Most mothers have memories of their daughters wearing their high heels when they were little.  It’s one of those adorable moments you want to preserve!



What are you Shooting with Mr. Spielberg?

My Camera Bag Puked

When I was ten years old I remember that my grandfather had a video camera and in order to shoot video you had to carry around a VCR on a shoulder strap. He carried that thing all over Disney World following me around and taking video. I got to use it from time to time also and became the family videographer. As the technology grew the size of the cameras went from hugely obtrusive to minuscule. These days I shoot video on a couple of devices.

If I’m going out specifically to shoot video I take my Kodak PlayTouch camera. It shoots in 1080p HD. I can also connect an external microphone to this device and get better sound. In addition to that I use magnetic lenses so that I can shoot macro, wide angle, telephoto and even fish eye to vary the look and feel of my video. I also use an LED light from time to time when I am in low light situations like out at night or in a restaurant or bar. Sometimes I just want a little extra light.

If I’m just out on a normal day I have my iPhone with me and that is pretty much all I need to capture candid moments on video. In fact, I’m getting to the point that I use my iPhone for my everyday camera and video camera. It is the device that I always have on me. It shoots great photos and great video. I can do a ton of editing right on the phone and then send to any social network or family that I’d like to share with. I also have the ability to use those same magnetic lenses that I use on my Kodak PlayTouch with the iPhone.

There are some additional gadgets that I like to use to improve my videos and they can be used with both the iPhone and the Kodak PlayTouch. One of those gadgets is a tripod. With a tripod you can get steady shots as well as smooth panning. Plus when using a tripod your arm isn’t going to get tired or cramp up from trying to hold a chocolate bar at eye level for any length or time.

You might be asking yourself how do I attach an iPhone to a Tripod? It is pretty simple with the XShot iPhone 4s phone case. I’ve been using this quite a bit with my XShot camera extender. The case allows you to connect a tripod via quick release in either portrait or landscape orientation. It is a great gadget to have.

Putting it all together.

I bought one more piece of equipment that allows me to attach my camera, off camera mic, lenses and light bar to my tripod but with quick easy off and on action. I bought an Opteka X-Grip stabilizing handle. I connect everything to the X-Grip including the quick release connector of the tripod and I can easily pop off my camera for handheld shots and pop it back on for steady stationary or panning shots. Plus it looks like a serious rig when I load everything onto it.

Drew's Video Rig

Man, I wish that 10 year old me had this.

Bonus

Are you into adventure? If you are, then you might want to check out things like the GoPro (I’ve never tried it but it looks really cool and takes great photos). Personally I was shooting in weather and water before I ever heard about the GoPro, but what I did have was the Kodak PlaySport. This waterproof camera was perfect for shooting videos on the water. I did a series of videos called The Wired Kayaker and used this camera. Later I was able to get an Xshot Kayak Mount (2 Actually) so that I could shoot videos and still on the water. Here is my rig for that.

Roger Williams Paddle 2010

Memories Become Our Greatest Inheritance

Guest Post from Jon Albert, founder of Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation (JAJF)

My children reflect on their memories of mom by looking through our family photos

We all say to ourselves each day, we need to take more photos. Whether it’s with your kids, your friends, your pets; we know it is important to capture those fun (and sometimes even not so fun moments). I am reminded every day of why it is so important to spend time with your family, relish in the memories we create with those we love and to take photos… lots of photos and videos! As the Founder of the Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation (JAJF), a national nonprofit supporting families to who will lose their young Mom or Dad to cancer, I see the value of creating memorable moments and capturing those moments while you are all together. While my job is amazingly rewarding professionally and personally, it is also bittersweet. I get to see the photos of our families at resorts, ballgames, concerts, roller coasters, beaches and beautiful sunsets, not images of cancer. We are on the fun side of late stage cancer, which sounds strange but is so true.

I lost my wife, Jill, to late stage breast cancer nearly six years ago and not a day goes by that my children don’t reflect back on the time they spent with their mom by looking through our family photos, thinking of her and what she would say and watching videos of the memories we all created together. I am grateful for the many ways we documented our family’s time and experiences together because those images and clips last forever. There is no better reminder to my children of their Mom and our time with her, than remembering those special moments in our lives. Photos truly bring memories to life; freezing that moment in time, and I am grateful we have them!

Basing my own children’s experience losing their mom, it was important to me at JAJF that each family is given everything they need to capture and share their own memories. For every single family we serve, we send a camera. The photos and videos they capture are living memories brought to life through a leather bound photo album and a YesVideo DVD. What better way to capture, share and keep those memories for generations to come. We know as time passes, the sadness fades, but the happiness shared in those moments together never fades. You forget the hospitals, sickness, hardships… and what you are left with are the really important memories and photos that are just as vibrant today as they were when they happened. So, this is a call to action for all of you who are celebrating your Dads this month or going on a family vacation, or simply doing something new with your family this weekend. TAKE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS… lots of them! It shouldn’t take a terminal diagnosis to celebrate time together with your family. You can never have too many photos and memories… because as we say at JAJF “Memories become our greatest inheritance”.

Watch a clip of JAJF featured on The Today Show

Honoring Dad – Wordless Wednesday

We are honoring dads all month long!  Have you shared your favorite dad memory or proud dad moment?  We’d love to feature you so head over and enter our #iHeartDad photo contest.

This week we are featuring a fun summer photo from Random Bits.  The best parts of summer are the ice cream treats!



Capturing Memories in Photographs Rather Than Video

Capturing memories is what parenting is all about, we thrive to capture our children’s lives as often as possible in photographs or film. As the children grow older it is a wonderful thing to sit down as a family and enjoy some of the previous years videos, but what about capturing video type moments via photography? Since I rarely have my video camera on me I end up capturing action shots via my smartphone camera and some of the wonderful stories I have blogged about came from those “action shots” captured in a spare moment.

Take my family dog, Jenny the Pug, for example; most recently we captured her smiling on camera but it took many clicks of that camera button to capture what ended up being this cute three picture moment between my daughter and our beloved pet.

Seen here, Jenny the Pug is about to be tickled by my nine year old daughter. You can see Jenny anticipating what my daughter is going to do for this is their nightly routine.

Although the picture quality is not as great as one would get with a real camera, our smartphone camera does capture cute moments in action when there isn’t time for one to pull out a real camera.  Above you will see that Jenny the Pug is about to break out in laughter while my daughter tickles her.

Last but not least you can clearly see that this sweet dog has broken out in laughter. A memory preserved via a simple smartphone camera that will be revisited in later years with my hyper children who can handle looking at a few action picture shots more than they can handle sitting through a long home video.

Although capturing action in photographs may not be suitable for everyone, it is fun to look back at.

What ways do you capture action moments using your camera at home?

For Costco Members: $5 Off Home Movie to DVD Transfers


If you’re a Costco member, you probably receive these monthly coupon booklets in the mail.

This month they’ve included a coupon for $5 off home movie to DVD transfers. So the next time you make the trip to Costco, bring your home videotapes and reels with you.  And before cruising the warehouse for food samples, make a stop at the 1-Hour Photo counter.

How to place your video transfer order at Costco:

  1. Gather your videotapes and reels.
  2. Bring them, along with your coupon, to the 1-Hour Photo counter at your nearest Costco warehouse.
  3. Customize your DVD order using the step-by-step form on the photo kiosk.

Finished DVDs are ready for pickup in about 3-4 weeks. Each order includes 90 days of free online sharing on MemorySafe (watch video on www.CostcoDVD.com)

Read the Costco Connection article about Restoring Fading Memories 

Fine print: Offer is valid thru 7/8/12. Limit 3 orders per coupon.

Timeless Dad Memories – Wordless Wednesday

Happy Father’s Day from the YesVideo Team!

YesVideo COO, Greg Ayres {on the right}, with his father and brother.

This week we are featuring a photo from the blog Oh Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy of Lisa’s Little Slugger.  What sports are your kids playing this summer?

Don’t forget to honor your dad this Father’s Day by sharing a memory with us in our #iHeartDad photo contest that benefits the Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation.



Share A “Dad Photo” and Be Part of a Great Cause

#iHeartDad Photo Contest Supports the Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation
We are excited to announce that YesVideo is supporting the Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation in honor of Father’s Day to bring you the #iHeartDad Photo Contest as a fun and easy way to honor your dad.

A 501c3, National Public Charity, the Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation treats families to WOW! Experiences, giving children who will lose their Mom or Dad to cancer a timeout to create indispensable memories as a family… while they can.

Each Photo Entry Makes a Difference
Help us create life-changing memories for children and families in need by submitting your favorite memory with dad or your proudest dad moment into the #iHeartDad Photo Contest.  For each entry YesVideo will donate $5.00 to the Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation.

In addition to the donation, one winner will be randomly selected to win a $60 video transfer service from YesVideo.   Simply like our Facebook page and take a moment to celebrate Father’s Day by uploading a dad picture.  All photo entries will be placed into a random drawing where no judging will take place.

Submit your photo now!

We look forward to sharing your memories!

Why I prefer video over photographs to preserve memories

How many of you have shoe boxes full of old photos tucked away in a closet somewhere in your house?  I know I do.  We pull them out sometimes and go through the stacks with our kids.  They love seeing themselves as babies and seeing Mom and Dad back when we were young.  The hairstyles.  The clothes.  Good times.

My intent is not to knock photographs.  They are special and unique in their own way.  That being said, I prefer video over photographs to preserve my memories.  It’s nice to look at a photograph of loved ones.  Take, for instance, my Grammy pictured here, who passed away in 2005.

She looks like any other Grammy in this photo, right?  It’s a bit dark and shaded, so you can’t make out her features all that much.  It was taken at my wedding in 2001.  Seeing this brings back a fond memory and makes me smile.

Now watch this video.  It’s super quick, just 26 seconds.

I recently found these clips of Grammy from 2002 at our baby shower.  My sister took the time to interview everyone in attendance.  THAT is my Grammy.  Her voice.  Her small smirk after she says “Well, she says she’s having a girl”.  Her saying “I don’t give advices” has become an epic quote in our family.

Wow!  Beyond just a photograph, seeing the video invokes a much deeper feeling of nostalgia.  I found myself holding my breath as a watched and my heart began to hurt a bit.  I miss my Grammy and love seeing her smirk and hearing her voice.

Photographs are great.  Videos are… deeper… more powerful… more REAL.

Video cameras are so accessible these days, most of us have them right inside our smart phones.  I encourage you to start capturing moments, both small and large, on video.  You will cherish being able to see and hear your loved ones long after they have passed on.  I know I do.

#iHeartDad Twitter Party

Father’s Day is just one week away and we want to celebrate by sharing our proudest dad moments with you on Twitter!  Come out and honor your dad by remembering your favorite childhood memories together and share with us.

What: Twitter Party

When: Thursday, June 14th

Time: 8:00 PM CST

Where: TweetChat Room for #YesMemory

Custom Tweetgrid for #YesMemory

RSVP: Fill out form to win prizes

If you have never joined a Twitter Party before head over and read our Twitter Party How To and learn the ins and outs of joining the exciting party fun.

Prizes include:

  • DOOR PRIZE – Sony BluRay Player {must fill out door prize form to be eligible}
  • 2 – $75 Value Video Transfer Coupon to be redeemed at Direct.YesVideo.com with 60 day MemorySafe membership
  • 1 – $75 Value Video Transfer Coupon to be redeemed at Direct.YesVideo.com with ONE YEAR MemorySafe membership
  • 1 – $100 Value Video Transfer Coupon to be redeemed at Direct.YesVideo.com with 60 day MemorySafe membership
  • 1 – $100 Value Video Transfer Coupon to be redeemed at Direct.YesVideo.com with ONE YEAR MemorySafe membership
  • 1 – FLIP HD video camera

*prizes will be given away randomly during the Twitter Party to people tweeting with the hashtag.

Twitter Party Panelists:

Do not forget to follow each of the Twitter Party panelists as well as @YesVideo on Twitter.

During the Twitter Party we will share our favorite childhood memories with dad, discuss our proud dad moments and the best ways to capture your family memories.  We hope you come join the party fun and tweet with us.  Good luck in winning some of the awesome prizes!

*Must be in attendance of the Twitter Party using hashtag #YesMemory to be eligible to win prizes.