It's My Job: Fargo business owner converts old videos and photos to digital
FARGO -- Several years ago, Tamera Kapaun was looking for a work-from-home opportunity. The Minnesota State University Moorhead grad was working as a technical illustrator and media assistant, but she wanted something that would allow her more ti...
FARGO - Several years ago, Tamera Kapaun was looking for a work-from-home opportunity. The Minnesota State University Moorhead grad was working as a technical illustrator and media assistant, but she wanted something that would allow her more time with her two sons.
She found her answer as she was scanning in old photos she inherited from her grandparents.
"I was thinking, it takes a lot of time to scan in photos. Even more to organize them. I thought maybe this would be something people would like help with," Kapaun said.
She started her own business, TK Design, in 2009. Her mission was to help families retain their histories by converting photos, slides and film to digital format.
What forms of media do you work with?
I scan slides and photos. I also transfer VHS and camcorder tapes. I'm talking about the 8 mm camcorder and mini-dvd camcorders. I also transfer Super8 and 8 mm film. I don't do 16 mm, but I know how to get it processed for people who bring it in. I also do audio reels, which were the big magnetic reels used before audio cassettes were available.
What are the challenges of your work?
There's always a new process to learn, technology I have to research and check out. That's a challenge, but I enjoy that challenge, too. It's a good way for me to grow and expand and learn new things.
What else do you like about it?
I really just enjoy helping people, whether it's to transfer film or help them tell their stories or to advise them how to preserve their memories. And, I enjoy the stories people share with me. There's such great joy when someone gets something like their grandparents' wedding video restored. Maybe no one in the family had ever even seen it. Once it's transferred, it's so awesome.
What are your photo workshops like?
If I have a group of people interested, I'll host a Saturday morning scanning workshop where they'll come with their boxes of photos they want to scan and a flash drive or an external hard drive. I'll help them through the process of scanning in their pictures.
Do you help people organize their photos?
Yes, I tell them the ABCs of organizing pictures. A is for the best pictures that will go into your albums. Your Bs are photos that are still sentimental, but not good enough for an album. Those go in a photo-safe box. The Cs are the ones you should probably toss. We should be ditching a lot more duplicates and blurry shots than we do. It's hard because they're your pictures and it's been ingrained in us that we should keep all pictures because we paid to print them or some other reason. Now with digital pictures, it's not so hard to just hit delete.
Do you have any tips for organizing digital photos?
People should make it a habit and do it once a month. Get those photos off your phone, camera or tablet. ... Download everything to one place on your computer, back it up to an external hard drive and then back it up to the cloud. One thing people should know is that they should be opening up those external hard drives every three months or so. They can go bad if you don't use them regularly.
As for organizing, there are sites like Mylio where people can organize their photos. Forever.com is another one. These are sites you can use to upload your photos and share them with family. Like the cloud, the sites keep your photos safe.
Do you help with ancestry research?
I mostly just get clients' films scanned in so they can do research, but I do serve as a committee member for a group called the Al Larvick Conservation Fund. It's an organization that puts together grant money for people who want to get their film transferred but don't have the funds to do so. What they're looking for is for you to preserve your film and to share it with others. I've held workshops here to promote the program. For more information, people can visit www.alavcf.org .
What: TK Design
Where: 417 Main Ave. Suite 135, Fargo
Contact: (701) 200-9153