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protecting precious memories doesn't happen by accident. Losing them does.

Gregory Coleman atop Tahquitz rock- rock climber, teacher, classical guitarist and my dad - not long before we lost him in 2005. This is one of my most cherished pictures and memories of him, and I protect it along with all my family photos and videos.

Want to learn everything about your photos and videos, including how to protect them? Awesome. Because I'm starting a newsletter and a blog on the topic. Email me here if you're interested in learning anything about photos and videos

Around 2003 I really got into photos and videos.  First with my iPhone. Then I bought my first Canon DSLR (you know, the big camera with interchangeable lenses).  It was partially because my dad got really sick and I wanted all the memories I could possibly have of him with family. Then I had my first son in 2010. I don't regret for a moment the amount I've spent on digital cameras and iPhones, constantly upgrading for better pictures. I've probably taken about 200,000 photos in the past 10 years. Seriously. I'm not kidding.

Now every few months my wife comes to me with her iPhone and I get to do the ritualistic offloading of photos and videos- and even though she now has a 128GB iPhone 6 Plus, it keeps filling up. One day several months ago we were driving up to San Francisco and I was telling her about what I'm up to at TechRoom. Mostly stuff for small businesses, really. She looked at me and asked one question: James, where are all our photos?  That was it. Short and sweet.  Her point was: I want to start enjoying 100% of our family photos and videos, anywhere, anytime. You have the technology, you have the skill, and you're going to make it happen, Now, dammit.

I love taking pictures of food.  I took this in Japan about two weeks ago with family at a sushi bar in Kitashinchi, Osaka, Japan.

I got obsessed. Photography was a hobby already, and then I realized I could combine it with what I love about my work: Helping people learn and enjoy all their tech stuff.  I started exploring and teaching myself everything there was to know about storing, accessing, enjoying, and backing up photos and videos.  I've worked for a lot of fun customers who routinely travel the world and come back with thousands of photos per week. I help them get their workflows together and show them how to protect it all so they would never lose a single shot that mattered.  

How could I not help my family enjoy all our family memories?

I spent the last couple years nerding out on everything to do with digital photos and videos, and even music. I learned how to transform all my old boxes of slides, film and printed photos, and I learned how to deal with videos, including VHS and even older- getting them into iTunes. It is awesome to have a 1930s rip of my grandpa's guitar music when he was rocking out in high school, hand-pressed to vinyl in Los Angeles, now imported into iTunes. Even better, I can pull up pictures on my Mac of grandpa (Ervan "Bud" Coleman) in the white house with the Tijuana Brass entertaining Mr. President.

Analog to digital was just the start. Getting a few terabytes of home videos including all our TV recordings available to stream out of the house to anywhere we are in the world was next.  And I can do all of it without the bugs and other shenanigans, restrictions and various issues that can come with relying on Apple's iCloud.  Note: I do use iCloud, but I don't rely on it and I don't put all my stuff there- but that's for a future blog post.

My sweet setup.  A 27" Ultra-HD display powered by a Mac Mini (hidden in the drawer) and a Pegasus 2 RAID.  I saved money where it matters and invested where it counts. And my wife is beyond happy, which is what matters most.

So I started a web site dedicated to helping people get all their photos and videos under control: www.familyphotocare.com.  It's a site dedicated to sharing everything I've learned through a combination of free resources and also through books, videos and training. My goal is to help non-techies learn how to do it themselves.  I simply can't imagine sitting in a mall having people looking over my shoulder while some kid tries to teach me about an application while he simultaneously tells me that can't talk about other non-Apple products that I need to know about.  

I've been helping some of our customers at TechRoom build simple, awesome photo and video systems in their home that they can use to collect, organize, enjoy and protect all the family memories, photos and videos their care about. Now I'm going to take that to the next level with familyphotocare.com.

I'm starting a newsletter all about the topic of photos and videos.  If you want in on it, send me an email to jc+photos@techroom.com. Let me know what you want to learn!