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Organizing family photo albums as a home business.

Five years ago I embarked on a unique home business. It all started when I visited a friend, Rhonda Anderson, while on summer vacation. She showed me a photo album. It was not just any album, but one that beautifully displayed the photos in a scrapbook format. Everything was labeled, the photos were creatively cropped and displayed on the pages and accented with colored pens, stickers and appropriate memorabilia. The album was more than a storage place for her photos. It was a storybook showcasing her family's and children's lives. I knew right away that I wanted to make my albums look just like that.

I had all my pictures in the press-n-stick and vinyl pocket page albums. I learned that these are the worst places to store photos due to the chemicals and gases given off by the cardboard, adhesives, and plastic used in making these albums. They cause your photos to deteriorate more rapidly, contributing to the yellowing and fading that we see so often in these albums. Furthermore, these types of albums limit the sizes of the photos and the way we can display and label them.

Shoebox storage

The problem extends beyond the bad albums on the market. Most people don't even have their photos in albums, but in shoeboxes, drawers, and finishing envelopes where they lay unlabeled and forgotten. Although we are a picture-taking society, (over 40 million photos a day), and have great advances in camera and film developing technologies, there is little information when it comes to helping us protect the end product and to enjoy our photo memories.

Soon after that summer visit Rhonda co-founded a company called Creative Memories. Its purpose is to help people protect and enjoy their photo investments by teaching them through seminars and workshops how to organize and preserve their photos and make creative family albums. In addition to the educational aspects,creative memories also researches and provides photo-safe albums and supplies that utilize the latest technology so that our photo memories and stories can be preserved for as long as possible with responsible materials.

Creative Memories

I became involved with Creative Memories as one of its first consultants to conduct these seminars and workshops called "Shoebox to Showcase ". It has been exciting to be involved in a brand new company that is filling a void in the marketplace. Our rapid growth indicates that there is a great need for the type of services that Creative Memories consultants have been able to provide. It has been very fulfilling, knowing that I have inspired someone to take time from the hectic pace of life to create an album of love, filled with photos, stories, and reflections, a treasured keepsake for their families for years to come. And yes, there's the jingle of the cash register, too; it is a great bonus to this home-based business.

A developing business

Many have been attracted to this unique business. Today, five years later, there is a network of 1,500 consultants across the country. However, this is only the beginning. We are looking for many more to join us to share this important message of preserving our past and present, and leaving a treasure of hope and heritage for the future.

For more information about photo-safe albums and supplies or business opportunities as a Creative Memories consultant, write to Leilin Hilde, RR2 Box 125, Osakis, MN 56360 or call (612) 859-2766.

Photo Facts:

When you get ready to create a keepsake album for your family, consider this advice:

1) Use acid-free, lignin free albums. (We recommend scrapbook format for versatility.)

2) Use acid-free, fade-proof, waterproof colored pens to write on the pages.

3) Be bold and generous with your descriptions of the photos. Share yourself with future viewers by letting them know more about you than a photo can reveal.

4) Use acid-free photo comers or specially formulated adhesives to mount photos. Never use rubber cement or cellophane tape.

5) Many photos look better and more interesting when extraneous or distracting portions are cropped out. Trimmed photos also take up less room. (Never cut a Polaroid print; exposing the print's chemistry to air may cause the image to deteriorate and the alkaline developing gel can irritate skin and eyes.)

6) Lay your pictures out in a pleasing arrangement before adhering. Be sure to allow plenty of room for writing.

Add more interest

7) Memorabilia, clippings, travel mementos, children's art, greeting cards and announcements add interest and color to your story. Protect memorabilia of high acid content from photos by using photo-safe plastic sleeves.

8) Choose an expandable scrapbook with a binding that allows pages to lie flat, turn flat and store flat. Screw post and string bindings are not recommended because they produce a large curved shape in the pages when open, which is unhealthy for photos in the long run. A strong binding is a necessity if you don't want your album to fall apart in a few years.

9) Be selective as to which photos you should put in the keepsake album. Use the best ones.

10) Make an album for each child plus a family album. Let each child take their album with them when they leave home.

11) Do not store negatives in your albums. If something happens to your albums, your negatives will likely be ruined, too.

12) Store albums in an upright position, in a room where the temperature is stable. Ideal storage temperatures are 65 to 70 degrees with a relative humidity of 40 percent. Do not store in basements or attics. Keep them in the living area for you to enjoy often.

13) Do not write on the backs of photos with a ball point or felt-tipped pen. Use a pencil. "All" drawing pencils works well on the resin-coated surfaces of photos.

14) Take a roll of black and white photos every year. They last longer than color prints.
COPYRIGHT 1994 Countryside Publications Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1994 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Author:Hilde, Leilin
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:Jan 1, 1994
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