Home Front: Making Memories Permanent 

I love you.

I love you.

I love you so much that when I kiss you it hurts.

The birds are tweeting.

Do you hear them?

Happy Mother's Day

The budding young poet who penned this verse has come a long way. He just graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University, but the Mother's Day card he wrote 15 years ago has been preserved. Scanned, reprinted and mat-framed, actually.

Richmonder Tabitha Geary's new company, OK, Picture This ..., helps people keep future blackmail material in good shape.

The idea for the business came out of a need in Geary's own life. Her five kids were generating so many photographs and art projects that it was becoming overwhelming, she says.

"I literally had pictures under my bed and coming out of the drawers of my house," Geary recalls. For Christmas her mother gave each of the children a scrapbook of images she'd laid out on her computer and hand-bound into books. The kids loved it, even the boys. "I couldn't have asked for a better gift myself," Geary says.

Geary opened her business in January. People bring in shoe boxes filled with family photographs. Then the Picture This team, which includes Geary's mom, cull through the snapshots, digitally process them and publish customized scrapbooks.

"We have a lot of moms bring us photo albums from the '40s and '50s. Instead of one family having the albums, we can make digital copies so everyone can have them," Geary says, adding that it's a good way to keep children's art without it overrunning the house.

In the six months since opening shop at 4104 E. Parham Road, Suite A, Geary hasn't had trouble finding business from as far away as the Hamptons. But she'd like to be hearing more from New Orleans. Her business is well-suited to help Hurricane Katrina victims archive and preserve memories threatened by the flooding, she says.

HS

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