With all the activity in our lives and the fast pace of technology, it’s easy to think that preserving memories isn’t important because we can always just post them on Facebook or Instagram later. It’s true that it’s easier to preserve memories digitally than in the past, but there are still many benefits to taking the time to print photos and record stories from your loved ones. Here are four essential tools you need to capture your loved one’s life story, which will allow you to share their journey with others for years to come.
A Quality Photo and Video Camera
It is important to have a camera that has the ability to take high-quality photos and videos of your loved one. If you are using an iPhone or Android phone, you can use the built-in camera. Another option is to purchase a camera with a wide-angle lens that will capture more of the surroundings and allow for more people in the shot.
While the best camera is always the one in your hand, so that you have something to use, a quality DSLR camera will allow you to take better pictures and videos. Low light, blurred backgrounds, high speed imagery, are better. Plus, many DSLRs double as video cameras.
As long as it’s capable of taking great shots in low light, it doesn’t matter if it’s an expensive or inexpensive camera. What matters most is what you see through the viewfinder.
Write Out Your Questions in Advance
It’s important to ask questions in advance of your loved one and get them to reflect on their life. That way, you’ll have time to think about the answers before asking. You should also take notes so you can reference them later.
Using a service such as Storii allows you a variety of questions and ideas, without having to come up with all of them on your own.
Most importantly, you want to be prepared ahead of time if you are doing an interview-style, so that you don't have to come up with questions on the spot.
Use Old Photos to Trigger Memories
One of the best things you can do is to get the person in your life to reminisce about their past and tell you what memories come to mind when they look at old pictures. When you show them pictures from their childhood, it may bring up memories of who they played with or where they went on family vacations. If you want to talk about more recent events, take a camera with a timer and have them take pictures of themselves as they go through the day.
Have a Backup Plan
It is always a good idea to have a backup plan in place. Sometimes people get overwhelmed, or life gets busy and they put the project on the back burner. It is important to set aside time and keep working on it.
Not everyone is comfortable on camera. If you want your loved one to tell their story, try writing them a letter about what you want them to talk about. You can also ask them if they would be willing to record themselves with a voice recorder or smartphone. Let your loved one know that you will be sitting down with them later so they will know what we are going over before they are recording themselves.
Finally, have a way to back up what you've done. This is another advantage of Storii, that messages are stored on Storii's servers. You can listen, transcribe, and download at any time.