GoPhoto Blog

Archive for the ‘Life Stories’ Category

Civil War Era Social Marketing

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

"Refer a Friend" is something we do at GoPhoto, to help our current, happy customers share the good news about our photo scanning service with their friends & family.

It seems like today, every good company must use some elements of social marketing. I just didn't know that this was also common practice ~150 years ago!

As you can see from the Marine's recruiting poster during the American Civil War, even back in 1851, they put some good marketing practices to use.

Tell a friend: $2 (a week's pay for a private) bonus for bringing a friend.

Repeat customer bonus: $2/month more if you survive & stay enlisted each year.

At GoPhoto, we're not asking for your life! But, we can promise a great adventure! We make it really easy for you to have a great time looking back at those old 35mm slides and old photos. Let us help you make your photo scanning project easy.

Slides to Canvas

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

What to do with your old slides? What to give to your brother who has everything? Well, besides getting your slides scanned (to preserve & share them), what next? Well, one nice thing to do is to honor a few of your best slides by getting them enlarged & on your wall, and/or give them to your family to put on their walls.

But, how to do this easily?
1) First, you need to get your old 35mm slides converted to digital at high quality, so enlargements are still great quality too. (This is exactly what we do at GoPhoto.)

2) Second, you need to find a good company to do quality, large prints. Personally, I prefer canvas prints versus paper, as canvas lasts longer, won't reflect light poorly, and just feels better all around. We've found a good partner for this at

As one of the GoPhoto founders, I personally got an old slide from my Dad's old 35mm slide collection. My older brother & sister live far away from me, and far away from each other. I wanted to help my brother decorate some sparse walls in his new house in Chicago. So, I got a great canvas print made up of him, with our sister, back when they were young & cute, about all of our current kids ages. He's hanging this in a place of honor, above his bar :)

I personally used to get things done, & was impressed with the quality, speed, & overall high level of service. It's the same type of great service we strive to do every day at GoPhoto.

And, to make things easier, they are giving GoPhoto customers 30% off canvas print purchases. Just use coupon = GOPHOTO30OFF when purchasing on CanvasLifestyle. (Expires 4/15/2013)

I'm glad that I finally got this done, & have a great gift to my family. Not just another gadget or toy, but something that keeps us connected & appreciating who we are, and where we came from.

Let’s back up…

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Our friends over at Mosaic Archive, a digital asset archive system for serious photographers, wrote this post about his great-grandmother's trip to Asia. It was such a great post (with some amazing old photography) that we had to share!


Last fall, I wrote a post showing some photos that my great-grandmother took on her trips to Asia in the late 1950s: Digital Asset Management In Action With Mama's Photos

This post seemed to grab a lot of people. The photos were pretty darn good. But personally, I think it was something greater that made fellow photographers remember this post.

As serious photographers, we cherish our photos the minute we make them. We have backup systems, add metadata, catalog the images using Lightroom or Aperture, and use online photo storage services so that we can find, use and protect our images.

We do this for immediate benefit (find them now to share on Facebook) and for long term benefits (so I can find my photos 1 month, 1 year or 100 years from now). This is what Digital Asset Management is all about.

A woman ahead of her time, my great-grandmother decided to travel the world. As a widowed school teacher, she wasn't one to sit still. She didn’t just go to Yellowstone and Yosemite, she visited Thailand, Tibet, China, Iran, Greece, Napal, Cambodia, and Japan.

Mama India 1959

The photos were passed down to my mother. My mother used a great service called Go Photo for slide scanning. Our family has also used GoPhoto for video to dvd conversion. These images have now been shared on Facebook for the entire family to enjoy.


Pictures to Digital

Friday, April 6th, 2012

We're about to get into local festival season - and what better way to spend a fun, sun-filled and festive afternoon than strolling through a local festival? Being an amateur photographer (with a better-than-average knowledge of how to convert photos to digital via picture scanning), I always look forward to and take a special interest in the photo exhibits. Sometimes I find a really artful and unexpected collection... but more often than not I find the requisite famous people portraits, or tropical rainbows and sunsets. That's OK; I can ponder them from the hanging chair booth next door while noshing on something fried.

Recently I was at one of these festivals and came across a vendor who had spent time in the Mediterranean. He had the most beautiful photograph of a simple wood door with wrought iron, and a bougainvillea-like plant winding its way around the doorway, framing it in a spray of hot pink. I wondered why I was so struck by the photo, and I finally realized that it was the beautiful simplicity of it. Oftentimes when I take pictures, I try to capture too much in the frame and it only serves to clutter and confuse.

I’m having the door photo framed and will hang it in my study as a reminder that sometimes the most beautiful and special images are also the most simple and straightforward.

So get on out there with your camera and remember that Spring is a time of rebirth and celebration. Don't be afraid to re-invent yourself as a photographer... or even a serial local festival attendee. Both can lead to exciting adventures and a lot of great memories.

Scan photos, safeguard your memories

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

New baby. New puppy. Aunt Bertha’s surprise 50th birthday in Hawaii. Michael’s high school graduation & valedictorian speech. Backpacking through Europe the summer after college and missing that train to Munich. Backpacking through the mountains halfway up, only to realize you forgot the water filter!

Life certainly takes us on a winding path, and our photos help us remember and tell our story. Photo scanning may not be the first thing you think about when you look back on these memories, but getting those photos to digital is crucial to preserve and share them.

If you’re one of the countless people who has lost important data on your computer (hey, even iCloud can have a bad day), you’ve learned that it’s vital to have a back up of your digital photos and other irreplaceable information. The same holds true for any old prints, slides or negatives you have. If they get damaged or lost, there goes an important part of your personal and family history. So scan slides for safekeeping. Convert old photos to digital, and don't forget about converting those videos to digital.

Don’t put off your memory safeguarding project until tomorrow or next week. Commit to photo preservation, get reacquainted with your photos memories and share your story -your family and friends will be happy you did.

Valentine’s Day: Great photos to digital gift ideas

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

With Valentine's Day just 2 weeks away, you may be wondering what to get your significant other.

Here's a unique idea: why not convert all your photos to digital and load them onto a digital picture frame? After all, the best gifts took years to make. And hey, Valentine's Day isn’t just for your partner; your parents, grandparents and friends might also enjoy such a fun, personalized gift.

We like to say that the past is the perfect present... and when you're celebrating your significant other, what better way than to preserve your past together for future generations?

Save Old Photos – Digitize & Preserve Your Ancestry!

Friday, January 20th, 2012
save photos

A short trip last year to Scotland got me suddenly interested in genealogy. There were so many charming shops and places peppering the countryside to buy trinkets adorned with your family name and motto.  While a fun souvenir to bring home and touristy thing to explore (especially after a few Scottish beers), these little trinkets really did whet my appetite to learn more about my Scottish roots.

When I returned home, I dug through a few of my grandmother's old photographs, as well as letters from her mother, and discovered not only where our family came from, but how far back our family name went.  I started researching online, uncovering all kinds of fascinating facts about my extended family.

I found some old pictures of my grandmother when she was young.  They were pretty faded but still endlessly interesting to look at. I wished I'd been more interested in learning about our extended family and heritage when the older generations were around and able to relate their invaluable and compelling family stories.  But for now, I'll just make sure to get all those precious photos to digital so that future generations can enjoy them - and, of course, I'll keep digging for information about my family tree, in anticipation of the intriguing things I'll undoubtedly discover.  

Where did you come from? It's never too late to start researching your family tree on the Internet or asking older relatives questions. It's worth the invested time to start charting your family's history and preserving keepsakes and scanning old photographs before they disappear forever!

Video to DVD : 2012 Decluttering Program

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Happy New Year, everyone!

2012 is upon us, and that means one thing: it's time to get organized, people. Declutter your house for a clear view of what's ahead in 2012.

And what we mean by that is: it's time to finally get rid of that stack of VHS tapes and convert that video to DVD.

We know, we know. It's hard to say goodbye to your TV/VCR combo... and while you're at it, you should probably just give that up too, since you're only mostly streaming these days anyway.

Since you've started that project, maybe you should think about all those old photo albums and slide carousels and plastic bags full of random snapshots and negatives... well, it's just probably time to get those photos to digital, and doing a little slide scanning and negative scanning.

If you're really looking for a Swedish-style minimalist approach and don't even want the DVD, no worries: your images are online and downloadable at any time, if you want to skip that disc. We can also put your images on a weensy USB stick.

So say goodbye to clutter this 2012 and go digital, and you can spend this year emailing and Facebooking heartwarming and hilarious times from days past with friends and family.

35mm Slide Scanning – ho ho ho!

Friday, December 23rd, 2011
Slide Scanning

Let's face it: slide scanning isn't the most top-of-mind topic during the holidays. Nor, truthfully, is converting photos to digital,negative scanning or converting video to dvd.

And yet, if you think about it, converting video to dvd and scanning photos, slides and negatives is actually the perfect holiday project. Holidays are about friends and family, after all, and one of the main reasons to send your memories to the best scanning service out there is because GoPhoto uploads all the scans for review, making an immediate share with friends and family possible. It's not so hard to share a link, right?

You may be leaving town for the holidays - and in that case, you'll definitely have some down time wherein you'll be able to help a relative unearth some long-lost memories for photo scanning. Hey, you know there's a bunch of albums in a closet somewhere. Revisiting those memories is a great way to form new bonds and learn something about your family that you never knew. (Example: the groovy slide scan above let me know that the ever-fashionable baby blue ski jacket with belt that my sister and I laughed at for years was actually a gift from Dad back in the 70's. Sweet.)

The day after Christmas tends to leave us with a somewhat wistful, sad feeling. So why not make a fun holiday project of helping a friend or relative recapture their memories by busting out the old VHS collection? If you don't have a VCR handy, well - it may be time to transfer VHS to DVD and make sure that childhood triumphs and embarrassments are preserved for the future.

Happy holidays, everyone! May your days be merry and bright, and full of happy digitized memories.

Ho ho ho!

VHS to DVD – the show must go on!

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

If you're like me, you have a ton of old VHS tapes sitting around, going largely ignored as anything but a coaster since you put your TV/VCR combo out on the curb to be fought over by crazed hipsters who arrived at the same time after seeing your "free" ad on craigslist... good times.

(Well, maybe you're not exactly like me, but you get the point.)

A lot of us, though, have pretty extensive collections of old VHS tapes, and when you decide to convert video to DVD, the big question is whether you have the equipment (and time!) to tackle that project.

If you're like most of us, the answer is No. And this is how my Dad ended up sending a huge collection of home videos to be digitized by the GoPhoto crew in Red Bluff.

Little did I know that he was sending this stuff; I knew that he'd send thousands of slides for slide scanning, but I didn’t know that the VHS to DVD project was going on.

And this is how he's come to have hours of potential blackmail material on his hands, as an archive of "The Leslie and Kimmy Show" will now live on, digitally preserved, forever.

Lest you haven't heard of this wonderful entertainment series: it contains skits, singing and dancing routines done throughout the early and mid-80's by me and my sister, who were not old enough at the time to know any better.

Well, there goes running for office. On the plus side, future generations can now enjoy our fledging stabs and the entertainment industry, and wonder whether they've inherited any of our mad playwriting skills. ("Cinderella - A Modern Virgin" being a favorite title that my sister - not knowing the difference between "Virgin" and "Version" - bestowed on one of our productions.)

So as the holidays approach, you might consider busting into that closet and unearthing the old home movie collection for gifting. Just box it up, send it off, and we'll convert video to DVD while you snuggle up under a blankie and congratulate yourself on the world's best Christmas gift / blackmail material.

(And don't forget that getting your old photos to digital is a great way to recapture the past for the future too, and of course at GoPhoto we also make slide scanning and negative scanning easy by not making you sort beforehand, since our No-Risk Guarantee means that scanning everything is... well, is No-Risk.)

Happy Holidays!

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