Documenting Through The Good And The Hard – MPS036

StephCreative, Journeys, Podcast, Solutions, Technique0 Comments

Chari Pack joins us once again this week to talk about easy travel journals that she creates on her phone while traveling. She shares her process, the apps, and the supplies she uses. Chari is also sharing what she chose to document during an extremely difficult time of her life as she was going through and healing from her divorce. She talks about how the travel, photos, journals, and documenting have all helped her get to the strong place she is at today. Photos of Chari’s photo albums and a complete transcript can be found on ModernPhotoSolutions.com/journal

Chari can be found at PersnicketyPrints.com

>>>>> Read Full Transcript Right Here <<<<<

STEPH:
Hey everyone, welcome to Modern Photo Solutions. I'm Steph Clay, and I'm here today with Chari Pack from Persnickety Prints. Hi Chari.

Chari:
Hi Steph. Hi everyone listening. Thanks for having me.

STEPH:
Thanks so much for being here, I really appreciate it. I'm so excited to talk to you again today because you've been busy. Not only busy with your schedule, but you've been busy documenting, too, which is-

Chari:
Oh, yeah.

STEPH:
... so incredible to see. I keep seeing little snippets on Instagram of the albums that you're creating because you've been doing lots of traveling.

Chari:
Well, yeah, it's funny, Steph, I think I met you, what, seven years ago or so, and Sally, our-

STEPH:
Seven, eight years ago, yeah.

Chari:
Yeah, I think our kids actually do grow up. The things that I was scrap booking and documenting prior, 10 years ago, were firsts, first day of junior high, and first, and now I have two kids in high school and it's crazy how fast time flies.

STEPH:
It's true.

Chari:
Not that they don't love photos of themselves, but they're just not around as much and let's be honest, I haven't traveled. I mean, the first time I really went anywhere besides the maybe surrounding states of Utah and Mexico was when I was 39, 40, so the last three or four years. Which is great, but I think we change over time, so we are documenting our life as we go and luckily, I've been able to do a little bit of traveling lately. The great thing about technology and phones, as you know, and hopefully all of your readers have learned from you, is that we can do so much on our phones. I still create our everyday family scrapbook or album for what we have, but then as I traveled, I created a travel album for every trip what's worthy of it, I guess.

STEPH:
Yes. I love, okay, let's talk about this for one second. I love documenting travel. It's my very favorite thing in the world to document and it has been for a long time. I think one of those reasons is because studies show that reliving happy times makes us happy, and so-

Chari:
Yes. Exactly.

STEPH:
Why wouldn't you want to relive it, because you get to relive it while you're creating an album and then every time you look at it, too.

Chari:
Well, and the funny thing is, Steph, is I realized this. When we travel, too, it's not like ... There's always a first time for everything and I've had so many people come to me after and say, "Hey, I saw that you went to Cuba. How do you do this or where did you stay?" How often do you remember all these things in three or four years? So with travel albums, it's my own document and my own journey, and I love using pocket albums because I can put in tangible things or receipts and currency and money and itineraries and things because then I can just open up that album and go, "Oh, yeah, we stayed right here." If I go back in 10 years, sometimes, and I'm not going to tell you where, but I have Persnickety Prints stickers and wherever I go in the world, I put stickers.

STEPH:
Oh, fun.

Chari:
Somewhere. Someday I'll go back, but we pay a lot of money to travel and we put a lot of time and energy and planning ahead and then when we're there, we're just trying to soak it all in. I'm just a little kid in a candy store, like taking pictures and running around and then yeah, and then all of a sudden, it's over, and so reliving that is definitely one of my favorite things. Also, just the fact that we put so much into that time, why not document it so we can remember it forever?

STEPH:
Yeah, I agree, and I have also, just like you mentioned, used those books and everything that I've documented later on as I'm planning another trip to that location to. Just like you said, I don't remember always exactly where we stayed or that one little restaurant that we ate at that we loved so much, what was its name, that kind of stuff, so that we can ... Even budgeting, because a lot of times, I'll include receipts or details about how much money we spent on different things, so being able to budget the next time we go, then it's all right there, and I know ... Which it seems kind of crazy, but I think down the road, I think it'll be fun to look back and be like, "Yeah, this is how much we spent on that vacation."

Chari:
Oh, yeah. Yeah, right, and that's ... Yeah, exactly. Like when I made $3.80 working at Dairy Queen.

STEPH:
Yes.

Chari:
I love telling people I made 3.80 an hour, but I don't have anything to show. I'm not [inaudible 00:04:47].

STEPH:
Yes.

Chari:
But yeah, exactly. We don't realize how time is, maybe we do, going and documenting every day is great, but travel, to me, is how I learn. You can show me schoolbooks all day long and talk about history, but actually being there and experiencing it is the way that I just soak it in.

STEPH:
Yeah, it's amazing. How many different albums have you done this summer?

Chari:
Well-

STEPH:
Or I guess maybe this recent time period.

Chari:
Yeah, I'm looking at my wall right now and I probably have about eight travel albums but each of them are full of ... If I got a weekend in [Moab 00:05:34] or something, I usually use, I have just a generic album like a [Heidi swap 00:05:38] the storyline that I'll just put fun things in. For the real big trips, like we just got back from Peru and I took my two children, I have three children but the 16 year old refused to go, I know.

STEPH:
Yeah [crosstalk 00:05:53].

Chari:
Right? He'll regret that.

STEPH:
Regret it, I'm sure he will.

Chari:
I'll have my travel album to remind him.

STEPH:
Yes.

Chari:
With the trip that we just went on in Peru, we were in places that there's not a lot of people that speak English where we were and it was a guided trip where we had a group that went, like a tour guide. I actually grabbed business cards from a couple of the travel guides that our tour used to do Machu Picchu and to do some other things because if I ever go back to Peru on my own, there's no way I could do it without one of these guides because I don't speak Spanish that fluently. Those are things that I can try to throw it in my phone or remember but I'm going to lose it and so I put it in my travel album. I've stuck with the six by eight size just because that's what I started with but I feel like I can fit everything in that size. I have a shelf of my travels with different six by eight albums and I like to try different companies and Persnickety, we use all kinds of different pocket albums and pocket styled elements in different companies and different designers. It's fun to try different ones and just find what works best for you.

STEPH:
Okay, let's talk a little bit about that part, the logistical part of that. You print six by eight at Persnickety?

Chari:
Uh-huh (affirmative). We print any size and we print every pocket size that's out there.

STEPH:
Okay perfect. How much is a six by eight print?

Chari:
$0.99.

STEPH:
Okay and we can upload it directly on our phones, even. The completed pages on our phones because you have this really slick, new website that's super mobile friendly and you can access it from any device and I've used it to upload photos and pages and stuff and it's really easy.

Chari:
Yeah, don't use the app, for sure. We have an app out there too and we're continually building on that. You can actually create collage, a six by eight collage on your phone as well. Also, the cool thing is, say you have pictures on your phone but then you also have some on your computer and you're like, "Ah, how do I get all these?" You can start a collage or a memory page on your phone on our website and then save it and then go back and log in to any computer. Say you're at your mom's house or you need to add pictures that she has and log in and then upload those pictures and add them to that same layout. Right there.

STEPH:
Cool, very cool. But it's also integrated with about every cloud storage option out there.

Chari:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah.

STEPH:
Even Google photos, I think.

Chari:
Yeah, I need to go look at that. We're, yes, we integrate with every cloud and if it's not on there, then we can definitely work on opening the API for that, definitely. Cloud storage is important and backing up our pictures is even more important but printing is even more important. Just because you can ruin, I mean, we can get off on this topic too but we could talk about lots of things, Steph.

STEPH:
I know, we can.

Chari:
You know, you understand, you're like my tech guru, you get it. You can ruin or corrupt, I guess, digital file easier than you can a print and so that's where I'm really passionate about trying to teach people ... I see these little trends happening. A couple of months ago, I helped a family with a funeral because funerals are unexpected, people have pictures everywhere, they start panicking, they don't have time to throw things together. They really just gave me their Facebook page and said, "Here, this is where all of our photos are." They had them locked in Facebook albums that were private but they used Facebook as storage and I'm like, "Oh boy." I tried to educate them and of course they're in mourning and they don't want to hear all the things that they did wrong but please don't use Facebook as storage or Instagram. They compress everything and when you want to print something out, you're not going to be able to print anything bigger than a little four by four or four by six.

STEPH:
Yeah. Let's talk about, since you said compression, I know people are going to be like, "What? Google Photos compresses?" Let's talk about that real quick.

Chari:
I'm sorry. Google Photos is awesome but because I've already started with DropBox, I'm still on there. What does it say when it says compression?

STEPH:
You and I, we talked about this a long time ago over a year ago, I think. I don't remember, it was a long time ago but with the compression, they're compressing megapixels so it's not taking out pixels from what you explained to me. They're taking anything that's over 16 megapixels, if it was taken with a 20 megapixel camera, it will compress it down to 16 megapixels.

Chari:
Okay.

STEPH:
I remember when we talked about this before because I wanted to test it and you said, "We can test it if you want, but I really don't think you're going to see any difference at all in the print quality because of the way Google is compressing it. It's just the megapixels."

Chari:
Right and the thing that's funny is that there's a good safe zone with pixels. People think that if they boost up pixels or they save something as a tif, a 6000 by 6000 tif, that the bigger the better. Well yeah, the bigger the better, definitely, but bigger after a certain amount isn't better.

STEPH:
Right.

Chari:
It just takes up more space, you can't load things as quickly and actually on our end, when we print, our machines have a hard time printing anything over 20 megabytes. We actually then have to go in and manually adjust it so that we can print it. But something that big is billboard size. We really don't need to be too big, but we want to be in the good 16 by 20 is probably the best size, I would say, to store. We can get into this, to store your digital photo. 16 inches by 20 inch possible print, which means you could ... Sorry, now I'm getting way too technical because [crosstalk 00:12:20].

STEPH:
I know. I'm sure there's a lot of people listening that are right there with us but then there are some that are like "Oh."

Chari:
3600 pixels to 4200 is probably just great to store and that's straight out of camera too, from your phones.

STEPH:
Yes and if people are wondering, a great way, an easy way to check the resolution is just to with the file on ... If the file is on your computer, to click on it and then when it opens up, you don't even have to open it up, but it does a little preview how they do with jpegs-

Chari:
Image preview.

STEPH:
On Macs, yeah, and on PCs. It'll show the image size right there. Also if your photo is stored in Google Photos, you can tap on the photo, pull it up, and then tap on the little i and it will show you those dimensions as well. But definitely a sweet spot and people tend to think that the more megapixels the camera has, the better their photos are going to be but that's not necessarily true.

Chari:
Nope, nope, not at all.

STEPH:
Most-

Chari:
Go ahead.

STEPH:
Sorry, most smartphones don't have more megapixels than 16. Most smartphone cameras don't. iOS devices do not, I think they're 12.

Chari:
Uh-huh (affirmative). Yeah.

STEPH:
Any images taken with an iOS device, would not be compressed at all in Google Photos.

Chari:
Yeah. Except that front facing selfie side, that one's smaller.

STEPH:
Yeah, that's true.

Chari:
Also, while we're talking about this, storing our digital photos is really important. Storing the correct digital photos is really important and not using Facebook or Instagram for doing that but also, please don't email pictures to each other. It's so much better to use a cloud and then send links or download and upload. People don't like downloading and uploading. It's too much, it's too hard, too confusing but the minute you email a photo to somebody, 90% of the time, it's going to be compressed if you don't know what you're doing.

STEPH:
Yeah, yeah, for sure. Also, on the funeral thing, I wanted to mention that I did have somebody that messaged me or posted a message in our Facebook group saying that they had a funeral and they were able to, since all the photos were in Google Photos, they were just able to tap that persons image and have automatically a whole lifetime of photos of that person that they were just able to easily download.

Chari:
Awesome, yes, exactly. Clouds are getting smarter, we can do facial recognition and all of those things. Yeah, Google Photos, use it. What else are we using, are we using computer or hard drives or?

STEPH:
I always encourage people to not use hard drives because they crash.

Chari:
Yeah, me neither.

STEPH:
It's just so sad when that happens, so I love cloud and I tell people that photos need to be in three places, three different locations, and at least two of them should be different cloud locations. That's what I preach.

Chari:
Then one thing about that, so with this very same funeral, they wanted a big enlargement of him for ... Well, they needed one for the obituary and then they wanted one to stand on an easel at the viewing. The only picture I could get that was high enough resolution was one that they actually had printed. A printed photo and then I scanned it, high res scan at 1200 DPI and we were able to print huge. 30 by 40 size picture. The printed photos are going to last longer than a digital corrupted photo or you're safer I guess. You're more safe, safer's not a word, with a printed photo or unless you know what you're doing with digital files and hopefully we can read a jpeg in 20 years. That's why print your photos. Even just one of your favorites of that year, print one, but just print something.

STEPH:
Yeah, yeah, really good advice. Back to vacation albums.

Chari:
Okay back to albums. I know, we could just talk forever, sorry.

STEPH:
I know, no it's good.

Chari:
Okay, before, and this just started evolving. I would go on these little trips and for those of you that don't know, I was married for 18 years and then life happens and things and all of a sudden my husband decided he didn't want to be married anymore and I found myself in a place where I was scared and I didn't know what was happening so now I'm a single mom. It was really, really hard about three years ago, this all happened, and the hardest thing, Steph is well, I'm a scrapbooker, I document and so I really took hold of one little word and I tried really hard to document the hard times too because I know, well, I didn't know at the time that I'd ever feel better. It was one of those times where you just can't see the light.

STEPH:
Yeah, for sure.

Chari:
But look back on those, you can now see how far you've come and even though documenting as a single mom is a little bit different than calling it family. My kids think that we don't have a family anymore and it's really hard and it's sometimes hard to go back and look at previous pictures but I'm like that's our story and I can't go and delete the first chapters. It's part of who we are. We just keep going forward. As I was going through this change, I did a lot of soul searching and a lot of me time and I would actually travel alone so that I could think but it was better than being home alone. I would go out and explore and this is where I found a lot of growth. These travel albums to me are very, they're really inspiring and they bring back a lot of feelings but rather than play victim of being a single mom, I've realized I just need to do the best I can and to make the best of every situation. To be honest, that's how I've been able to travel more because how many of us have small children and are married can ever get away with our spouse without getting a babysitter and it's hard. I'm actually pretty fortunate that I can go places and do things because now the kids, when they go with their dad, I have time.

STEPH:
One of the ways that you're choosing to see a positive thing.

Chari:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

STEPH:
And make it a good situation, that's so inspiring, Chari, thank you.

Chari:
Yeah. I don't want women to feel like, "Oh, well, you're lucky. How lucky are you, you get to go to Cuba and do all these great things." I'm like, "Yeah." It's really because I had a girl friend that invited me and I don't have my kids 50% of the time so it's like a built in babysitter and I am lucky but there's also some hard that comes along.

STEPH:
Exactly. Which it is with everyone in every situation in life but it's easy to only look through rose colored glasses and see oh sure, he's got this great life.

Chari:
Yeah. Yeah, it comes with a lot of trials and struggles.

STEPH:
Yes.

Chari:
But I just choose to make the best of it. With these little travel albums, it's nice because I love to learn and I love to see new things and it's just been really educational and really inspiring for me from personal growth, just to have gotten to experience other cultures because we're pretty spoiled here in the US and it's a good reminder. Back to the traveling, as I started traveling I would think in my mind prior to going, how am I going to document this? There's a little bit of planning prior and I always know that I'm going to do a six by eight album, but on some journeys, I would use just my phone and on some travels, I would use ... This Peru trip I took my DSLR. Usually, I'm just using my phone. Prior to leaving, I'll think, okay, what's my title page and what am I going to do and I'll take a picture as I'm packing and this is this trip and I'll know in my mind ... I usually order the album and the pockets before I leave so then I know, okay, I'm going to use all landscape four by six and some three by four portrait and then the rest are six by eight. I'll know that in advance before I go. I start there.

STEPH:
Do you do, for one album, say for your Cuba, did you do all one size for that?

Chari:
No, I'll mix it up. Pockets, here's the thing about pockets, I love them for certain things but I dislike having to change my composition. A landscape four by six as to go here and having to figure that out, that's too time consuming for me.

STEPH:
I agree.

Chari:
I like to plop them in and be done. What I do though, and this is the greatest thing, is when you travel, for all of you listening, think of when you were able to go on a vacation. You're taking two or three weeks to even plan on that vacation, you're canceling appointments. Then while you're gone, you're trying to relax and have fun and enjoy it, which we do, but let's be honest, when we get home from any vacation, everything's piled up. You've got mail piled up and you have emails and you have ... What I do, when I leave on a trip because I have in my mind thought, okay, I'm doing this and this and this in my album. When I'm on the plane or on a bus or on a train, there's a lot of downtime in travel. That's when I'm creating my layouts for my pages and documenting and journaling on the go while I'm there because I know when I get home, it's not going to happen.

STEPH:
Yeah, I totally agree with that. When you're making your pages, are you making six by eight collages and then cutting them apart or are you doing the actual, what are you doing?

Chari:
That's a good question, that's a good question. With the Persnickety website, you have to have wifi so in a train or plane or something that you don't have wifi, you're unable to do that. When I'm stuck without wifi, I will pull up my Picframe app or the Rhonna Designs app or an app that works without wifi and I'll create a collage knowing. Then in a folder in my phone, I'll drop in my six by eight collage or even a four by six collage that I'll create. Or in the Rhonna Designs app or another design app, I'll create a text print. A four by six that says Cuba with the dates and some cute design maybe over a picture or something and I'll start doing the design elements or the journaling parts. Then when I get home, I'll either have full six by eight prints ready to print or full four by six prints ready to print. In fact, when I'm with the Persnickety site, you can just from the hotel, it was crazy, in Peru from the hotel, I'm uploading pictures and ordering prints that when I got home, I just picked up and stuck in my album then I was done.

STEPH:
That is so awesome.

Chari:
Yeah, and some people are like, "Well, enjoy your vacation while you're there." I do but when you're on the plane and you can only watch so many movies on that plane, an eight hour flight, I take a couple hours and I actually just journal everything and document it and then I'm done.

STEPH:
That's good. I don't sleep as much as the other members of my family do but if I am up and moving around in a hotel room, that's going to be a problem and so that's when I do a lot of my documenting is when I'm waiting for everybody else to wake up. At five in the morning and I'm laying awake, I make it productive and get some documenting done.

Chari:
Yeah, and it's so fun to actually do it in the moment. With my kids too, with this last trip to Peru, I took journaling cards, blank three by four cards, just card stock, and I had them write in the plane ... I'm working on a blog post for this, their top three moments. I had some of the kids in the orphanage we worked at write us some little notes with their name, in their handwriting. Those things, to me, are just little treasures and I love handwritten things because when we look back, it means so much more when I see something that I wrote when I was 10 rather than something my mom typed up for me in a book.

STEPH:
Yeah.

Chari:
That's my go between, between some people like bound books so we might have people listening going, "Well, what about just having a bound travel album." Pros and cons of that, I like silver halide printing for one, which is no ink, archival, dark room printing is what we specialize in.

STEPH:
You can tell the difference with that because it looks like a photo, it doesn't look like paper, it doesn't feel like paper, right?

Chari:
Yep and they're just archival. Even at-home printing, I have a great, loyal customer who actually started printing a little bit at home and you would know her, I won't say any names, but she moved to Arizona, Steph, and he pictures all started yellowing on the outsides.

STEPH:
Oh wow, yeah.

Chari:
Because of the humidity change. The Persnickety ones were fine.

STEPH:
Yeah, of course they were.

Chari:
The Persnickety ones were because we just don't use ink and paper, it doesn't breathe. Books do and depending on the book, I mean, because think 50 years ago, people weren't making photo albums with photo, we were using film and nothing was digital. We still have those pictures and so it really does scare me a little bit that we're in a digital dark age and that's why I love what you do with Modern Photo Solutions is helping people preserve their memories. Depending on the photo album, if it's paper, it's not going to last as long as an actual archival photo. There are companies that I like, Adorama, but they're expensive or a silver halide bound book because they're still using silver halide printing. I like the tangibles.

STEPH:
Well, I love these six by eight albums that you're doing because they are so fun and you sent me photos and I will post these in the show notes at modernphotosolutions.com if you want to head there as you're listening or after you're done and see these. I'll also post them on social media. Because you're including money and ticket stubs and really cool things, especially when you're doing all of this international travel that these physical, you call them tangibles, which is the perfect word for it. I love that you're including all of this stuff.

Chari:
Yeah, it's fun to go back and look at and keep and collect. It's a souvenir, it's my personal souvenir from the trip. My family likes to come over, my parents, and go, "Okay, let's see what you just did." I'll pull out my album and show them everything. To them it's like being there. With the tangible and the notes too, these beautiful little children were coloring pages, they don't speak very good English, and so to give us something, they would draw for us and give my boys these little pictures that they drew and I want to keep those. But I think of looking back, I think of if you saw something your grandmother wrote and it's her handwriting on the actual piece of paper. That's going to be a lot more emotional for you than a typed up book. You know what I mean?

STEPH:
Yeah, I agree.

Chari:
Here's what grandma said and it's just in a quote in a Serif font and whatever or an Abraham Lincoln, if you had the actual letter that he wrote, the physical letter, that's going to mean a lot more to you than a picture of it in a book.

STEPH:
Yeah, I have a birthday card from my grandpa. I was really close to one set of grandparents and especially, it was my mom's parents and then my mom's dad, I was very close with him and I have a birthday card that was written by him. I pulled it out and showed it to my mom and she said, "That's the only thing I ever remember seeing him write ever."

Chari:
Really?

STEPH:
Yes.

Chari:
I have goosebumps.

STEPH:
I know and I feel like it's a part of him more than just like if you said, if it was a typed something, but when I can see his handwriting and what it looked like, I feel like that's a part of my grandpa.

Chari:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

STEPH:
It is, it's more like a living and breathing thing than it is just a print. I agree, it's important to capture that stuff.

Chari:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). In all of my memory keeping, I really like the pocket system for that, even though I don't love having to worry about directions and stuff but I really do use a lot of 12 by 12 pockets still. One thing I do with travel is I'll create the six by eight and this last time, well, I won't get into all the details but I'll duplicate some things. I'll create the six by eight album for myself and then in our family album, I will use the same pictures that I've uploaded to Persnickety and I can drag and drop and make a 12 by 12 memory page as well.

STEPH:
I can see that in your photos. It looks like you've done, and they're four by four photos, right? On the 12 by 12 collages, they're all square photos.

Chari:
Yeah, that's the template that I chose for this.

STEPH:
I remember you telling me, and I think this is a great piece of advice and that's why I'm going back to this is because I remember when the pocket size first came out, talking to you about this and you said, "I'm just going to do four by four for everything because it's easy, I don't have to worry about which orientation, it's going to fit." I think that's great advice if it's hard for you to figure out and put those puzzles together, just go square.

Chari:
Yeah, square is so much easier but the hard thing too is as a photographer, sometimes your composition, you need to have a certain way and so that messes things up but just to keep things simple. Even with gallery walls, people are like, "Well, how?" I'm like, "Just do a square gallery wall. It's so much easier, you just stick them all up." Yeah, just throwing them all up square but in our memory page software, you can customize everything and drag and drop and move the photo placeholders and add text over the top. It makes it a really fun way to document and it's all free.

STEPH:
Yeah.

Chari:
Speaking of storage, we store everything for you for free too. All your photos, high res.

STEPH:
Yeah, you know what? Okay, confession time. I've had some hard drive failures and my listeners know about this, I've talked about it a lot and that's why I've gone to the cloud is because a little while ago, I tend to always lose hard drives, they die at the same time. A while ago, I lost two external hard drives and the internal on my computer within months of each other.

Chari:
Oh no.

STEPH:
There were some photos that I couldn't find anywhere as I was uploading everything to Google Photos and I thought for sure that they were gone for good but then I remembered that I had printed some with you. I logged into my account and they're there.

Chari:
Yay.

STEPH:
Yes.

Chari:
Did you know you can download them?

STEPH:
Yes, I do know that I can download them, but I don't know how so tell us how we download them.

Chari:
Well, just when you look in your album, you'll see, and I'll have to pull it up, like a little magnifying glass.

STEPH:
Uh-huh (affirmative).

Chari:
You just click on that so it pops it up big.

STEPH:
Uh-huh (affirmative).

Chari:
Then it will just say download on the left.

STEPH:
Okay. Yay.

Chari:
It's just when you're viewing your albums and it's a little thumbnail. Hover over it with your mouse and you'll see a little magnifying and then click that and you can-

STEPH:
I think that's where I got stumped because I thought I could just go in and like select all of them and then download them.

Chari:
Yeah, no, you have to do it one at a time, yeah, unfortunately.

STEPH:
Because you're not meant to be cloud storage but it works out great for those of us who need it.

Chari:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), yep. On any computer you can just go back and re-download them.

STEPH:
Yeah. Which I'm so grateful for.

Chari:
Well, good, I'm glad that that was there for you, awesome.

STEPH:
Yeah, me too. Me too.

Chari:
But yeah, photos are important. I love them and I love travel and the six by eight size just works. Who knows, maybe it will change later but I've used, this last Peru trip, I used Simple Stories and I haven't used them before. Have you used them?

STEPH:
I like them. I've bought some of their albums and some of their pocket pages and stuff but they've been around for a really long time and they've actually been doing the pocket stuff longer than anybody else, I think.

Chari:
Yep, yep. Yep, they have.

STEPH:
But yeah, because I remember running into them at a CHA and they were the first company that I talked to about, that was back when I was running around CHA trying to convince every paper company to go digital.

Chari:
Yes, I remember. You're like a digital, exactly. Love it.

STEPH:
I think it was 2009, 2010 and I talked to them about taking their stuff digital and they weren't buying into it at the time. They have come around because you can get it digitally now as well but I remember I thought the way that they were doing the pockets was a great, great idea.

Chari:
Yeah, yeah, this one I just used, a black and white striped six by eight and the pockets and I love them, they're great quality, they're really thick, plastic and nice clear plastic so you can see through them. Really well, so I like them.

STEPH:
You were talking about how you, when I interrupted you and went down a rabbit hole a little bit, you were talking about how you were doing your family pages and your album and how you figured out what you were going to do where for your Peru album.

Chari:
Oh, okay. Yeah, I have the chronological family albums, I do one a year as a 12 by 12 and those I typically just do 12 by 12 full prints and then here and there I'll add maybe even a project life eight by 10 page protector for a drawing or certificate or something from my kids or schoolwork. I do, I add a bunch of those. Then sometimes in the back I plop in a bunch of crap of that year that I'll organize but just that I want that are cute or a report card or something. That's our family albums and I have those lined up for every year and I've been doing that since paper and since literally I was 19 years old. An album a year. With Peru and these travel journals, I'll still create the travel album, but then I'll add two or three pages and add them to that, to a family album, just so things are in chronological order that way. But the travel album's more of a detailed experience. Yeah, I usually do both for those.

STEPH:
Yeah, okay, perfect.

Chari:
Yep.

STEPH:
I love your integration of that. Okay, you're ...

Chari:
One thing I want to talk about really quick though is for iOS users and are you guys about 50/50? Do you know?

STEPH:
No, we're definitely more iOS than we are Android.

Chari:
More iOS?

STEPH:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chari:
AirDrop is the greatest invention ever.

STEPH:
It is, isn't it?

Chari:
With Peru, I took my big camera and used my phone. When I'm on the bus and it's an eight hour bus ride, I'm literally editing pictures in Light Room and then I save them. I don't save them as big but I re-size them and save them onto my desktop on my computer because when I'm driving on the bus in Peru, I don't have wifi, I can't upload or anything, but I'm, prepping everything and going through and looking at all my pictures and editing them but I want them all in one place.

When I'm creating something on my phone, again, the wifi's an issue, but AirDrop, you don't have to have wifi. You turn on your wifi and you turn on your bluetooth and you can AirDrop from your computer to your phone, from your phone to your computer, and you can just go back and forth from anywhere and AirDrop to others. If you're in a big group and for this trip and for other trips that we've taken, I don't want everybody's phone number, I don't want them to have my phone number, and texting's not always the greatest, it uses data too. You can AirDrop to each other on the bus and you just turn on that AirDrop and if you don't know how to do that, you can ask Steph or I and we can walk you through it. But you just swipe up and do AirDrop everyone and then you can literally just drop 50 pictures at once onto your phone or onto your computer and toggle things back and forth.

STEPH:
AirDrop is amazing, I totally agree.

Chari:
Yeah, I love it.

STEPH:
Yeah.

Chari:
I used that a lot too on this last one.

STEPH:
Yeah. What about photos from your kids? Did you include any of those in your albums?

Chari:
Do you think my kids take photos?

STEPH:
I thought maybe they did. They don't need to because you take them all, right?

Chari:
I have boys, I have boys.

STEPH:
Boys don't take as many.

Chari:
They just want to play soccer. My 10 year actually found his camera that I actually packed for him the last day we left so he took some, but I haven't even looked at them yet. But that would be a great way to use AirDrop and to integrate too is if they want to take pictures and include their things in it. Or they could make their own travel album. If I had a little daughter, she would be the best travel album maker.

STEPH:
She would.

Chari:
Unfortunately, these boys just don't care as much.

STEPH:
Yeah. I have girls too, I have one boy and two girls.

Chari:
Doesn't your daughter scrapbook with you?

STEPH:
My youngest one does, she loves to document. My oldest one loves to document as well, it's taken her a longer time to get into it and she's definitely had to try a lot of different things to figure out what works for her best. What she was using before she went on her mission, she doesn't love anymore and so now she's back in that trying to figure it out stage.

Chari:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). I think we all go through the transitions of what works for us too.

STEPH:
I agree, yes and the only way to figure it out is trying different things.

Chari:
Yeah and it's okay, whatever works for each of us is great.

STEPH:
Yes, yes.

Chari:
There's not one solution for everybody, for sure.

STEPH:
Yeah, which is so wonderful that there are so many solutions and options.

Chari:
We help so many people every day with their pictures that just do something. So many people are just like, "It's so overwhelming, I can't even try." That's it, they just stop right there or they don't understand and even if you find one system that works for you, do that, but just do something.

STEPH:
Yeah, I agree. Because our stories make a difference. They make a difference.

Chari:
Absolutely. If you're not telling your own story, someone else is going to and I don't know if I want that.

STEPH:
Exactly because you're not in charge of it, somebody else tells it.

Chari:
Who knows what they'll say. I'll design my own funeral, here, use these pictures and no.

STEPH:
I Photoshopped these for you.

Chari:
I know, I liquified myself in these, you can only use these. Exactly.

STEPH:
For sure.

Chari:
Exactly but photos, statistically if you have small children, I did once, looking back, and my kids still look back at all of their albums, but looking back at photos really builds confidence in kids. They look at pictures of themselves and even if they're not happy times or Disneyland always or something, they know that you love them, they remember those things, and they feel those feelings. The emotions come back definitely.

STEPH:
Yeah. I read one study where kids that understand their story, the good times and the hard times, they understand that hard things happen and that's what they've come from and their more resilient.

Chari:
Absolutely and Steph and I were talking about this earlier, with the trials in life just in general, I'm 42 years old and I honestly grew up thinking that white picket fences and being a mom, that was the greatest thing ever, which it is but my mom was not one to tell much. I think I was tricked as a child. But yes, the hard times and the good times, it builds strength in these kids and they need to see what the people before them went through to get where they are today for sure.

STEPH:
Yeah, yeah. For sure. Most of your albums, you said they've all been six by eight before, right?

Chari:
Uh-huh (affirmative) yeah. I don't know why I chose that size to begin with, but I have a backpacking trip through British Columbia, the Philippines last year and Korea, and a New Zealand biking trip, and Cuba was amazing. Cuba I went by myself for two days. These are just things that you discover and even about yourself. You can use your one little word, if you're doing that or something like your New Years' goals. New Years' is coming around the corner again for 2018. You could even do a six by eight album, it doesn't always have to be travel but it could be your journey for that year and think of what you want to work on that year for personal growth and document it. It doesn't have to be cute and fancy and have stickers, just document it so that you can look back on it and grow from it and see where you've come. I think it's really helpful.

STEPH:
I think so too. Let me ask you this question and it's a little sideways off of the travel but we've been talking about this. If you had advice for somebody that's going through a hard time, like you've talked about and maybe documenting the stuff right now or even going back is too difficult for them, what advice do you have for them to be able to still document things that are going on?

Chari:
Yeah, that's a good one because I felt like I love photos and I love Persnickety Prints and I love our customers and I love but it was hard, going through a divorce and then printing family pictures every day and then going through that first Christmas where I didn't even have a Christmas card. Here I am designing and printing everybody else's, it was hard. Going through that and I have pictures, I wish I could show you right now. I would go to Moab and just mountain bike and I slept in the back of my car and I took a selfie of it and just went okay, this is how I'm feeling today. Looking back on that now, so many people are like, "Oh, it'll get better with time." I'm like, "Yeah right." It does and I look back and I think wow, I can't believe I was able to juggle all of those things and still stay strong for my kids and still be able to function and work hard. One story I have is my mom had Leukemia for a long, long time and finally had a bone marrow transplant four years ago and me being the oldest child, that was my responsibility to take care of her too. Yeah, life's been hard but-

STEPH:
Yeah, wow.

Chari:
She did not like me taking pictures of her. If you know somebody that's struggling with something, they might not like it but I took pictures of them shaving her head when she was going through all the chemo and I took pictures of her in the hospital bed and pictures of her deteriorating and then getting better. Now she's still here with us and I made a book for her and she was so mad at me when I was making or printing or taking those pictures but I know she appreciates it not looking back and going wow. It's something, a story that she can leave with her grandkids. But she wasn't the one documenting it, I was documenting it for her and so I think that's an opportunity that we have as memory keepers or documenters. If you are close to someone that's going through something, you can take it upon yourself to maybe tell their story for them in the best way you know how and they'll appreciate it later.

STEPH:
That's really good advice. Thank you for that.

Chari:
Yeah.

STEPH:
Did you do something during that time, you mentioned briefly someone about one little word during that time. Did you do something document-wise around that or were just [crosstalk 00:44:47] on it.

Chari:
Uh-huh (affirmative). Yeah, the year I went through divorce, I did a six by eight album for my one little word which was up to try to just keep looking up. That was like my little journey because when I didn't have my kids I would ... You know what, even things around here, I would just go out and do things or think or thoughts or quotes. I would screenshot, sadly, you can actually print screenshots from your phone, probably a four by four is as good as you can get it and it's probably some copyright issues there but I would screenshot quotes that would really help me. I would document those and I put them in my album. It brings back all those emotions, not that I want to go back to the bad emotions but I can look at myself now and go wow, I'm a completely different person than I was, not completely, but two years ago, look at how much I've grown personally and it makes me have confidence and know that I can do hard things.

STEPH:
Yeah, you're stronger and for me I would imagine that you're looking back and going I am so strong, look what, I am a survivor, I made it.

Chari:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah and my mom does the same with the book I made her. Even though they're hard times and not always Disneyland, it's okay. Document those things and it's like my journal, it really is. I don't really keep a journal-journal but it's more of my journaling and thoughts and things, you know, I'll write letters to my kids. In that one little word album, I would write my story and be like, "I love my kids so much. If my children are reading this," which hopefully they will someday, I write a little letter to them in there as well.

STEPH:
That's great, I love that.

Chari:
Yeah. Yeah, so good stuff.

STEPH:
Yeah, thank you so much, Chari. This is like gold, all of your advice and your tips. I know that it's going to help people.

Chari:
You're so sweet.

STEPH:
I'm excited for the listeners to hear everything, all of your advice.

Chari:
Well, I hope so. We definitely do more, we could talk all day long about different things.

STEPH:
Yeah, we need to do this, not have as many as long because it's been almost a year since you were on last so let's do it sooner again and have you come back.

Chari:
Absolutely. Have your readers let us know what they want to learn. If it's technical photo things, we can talk about that. If it's about documenting hard things, we can talk about that. Anything that they want to listen to, we can make it valuable and worthwhile.

STEPH:
Yes, yes. Let's put a call to action right here. If you have topics that you would like to hear Chari and I discuss, head over to the comments on modernphotosolutions.com with this episode and we'll call this episode ... Should we call it travel or should we call journal? I kind of like journal better because we're talking about lots of things.

Chari:
Yeah.

STEPH:
Go to modernphotosolutions.com/journal and leave a comment there or you can email me or post a message on social media, on Instagram or Facebook along with one of these episode posts, one of the images talking about this episode. Let us know what you would like to hear Chari talk about because she has a lot of depth and width that she can cover with her information and her knowledge and experience and that's one of the things that so great about you, Chari, is that you're not only printing stuff out for other people, it's not just a business, you're doing it too. You're in it just like the rest of us.

Chari:
Absolutely. I understand what everybody's needs are and we try to do the best we can.

STEPH:
Yes, thank you so much. You can find Chari on Instagram and social media at Persnickety Prints, right?

Chari:
Yep.

STEPH:
Then also persnicketyprints.com if you want to catch up with her. Then, like she said, she's going to have some blog posts coming out. Is that persnicketyprints.com/blog?

Chari:
It's blog.persnicketyprints.com.

STEPH:
Blog.persnicketyprints.com. Yeah, that makes it easy. Okay, thank you so much for being here again.

Chari:
Thanks for having me.

STEPH:
Yeah.

Chari:
Thanks everyone for listening.

STEPH:
Yes and we'll see you next time on Modern Photo Solutions.

Chari:
Thanks Steph.