by Skip Cohen
Catching up on my reading recently, I ran across an ad headline, "Share Your Legacy." It's a company called Life Time Memoirs, and although very expensive, the idea is outstanding. Prices range from $15,000 to $30,000, and considering the work involved takes over six months, it's brilliant. It's the creation of a personal autobiography with interviews, photographs, and even audio highlights. The books are hardbound and all about quality.
So, let's plant a seed...
As professional photographers and videographers, all of you have the potential for components of an application like this. From interviews to video to helping a client gather photographs that tell their story right up through contemporary portraits, all the skills and even most of the gear needed you have.
When you think about the work involved in what Life Time Memoirs is producing, it's well worth the investment. I'm not suggesting you copy the idea, but focus on various aspects of the application. I've been sharing ideas for helping your clients capture their stories for years. And in a program at IUSA two years ago Michele Celentano, Myron Fields and I all spoke about various aspects of bringing a legacy theme into family photography,
For example, I have several albums of old photographs from my folks and grandparents, but no stories. In most of the images, I don't know who the people even are or the event, location, or year. At any time while my parents were alive, all it would have taken was a little discipline to sit down with them and start recording.
When my mother was fighting Alzheimer's, pulling out the old albums was a fun event. Those old memories were still there, not yet robbed by the disease. Now, I only have a handful of stories I remember from those times with her.
I grabbed the image above from Adobe Stock because it's an idea in itself of how you might design a presentation of photographs with a DVD or jump drive. The concept couldn't be more sound and an opportunity for you to go beyond being a portrait artist and morph into a family historian.
My suggestion is to start with a close friend, somebody in your own family, or yourself. Starting building your story, and since you're the client, you don't need to set a deadline. As the title of the ad states, "Share Your Legacy." It's not a new idea, but it is one with perfect timing for today's market!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.