Familyography was started in 2009 by Daniel Smith. It was a humble beginning. With little cash in the bank, a lot of love and support from his wife, Smith rented and rehabbed small storefront in Clintonville area of Columbus. He envisioned it as studio space where he could interview people and create "life stories" on DVD.
The first week the store was open — some eight years ago — someone came in and asked if Smith could transfer videotape to DVD. He said, “Sure.” Shortly thereafter, another person dropped in to inquire if he could scan slides. “Sure can,” was the reply.
Over the course of a couple years, Smith accumulated enough equipment and expertise to become a place where anyone could bring "their stuff" and have it converted to digital format.
Since then, Familyography has grown. A store in Cleveland was opened in 2013. Though still a small business by any measure, the company employs a group of great individuals with a passion for the work of helping people preserve their history-- this thing called Familyography.
Today, Familyography has helped thousands of customers. This includes families, businesses, colleges, universities, libraries and other institutions that all have "stuff" that needs to be digitized. Over 70% of Familyography's customers come back with more work to do. The rest, we like to say, just haven't gotten around to it yet.
“Familyography is wonderful,” Rebecca Ballard of Granville , "They have done quite a few projects for me.”
Those projects include scanning thousands of slides, videotapes, and a special project involving severely damaged 16mm film from the 1920s and 1930s.
“If it was anyone else, I probably wouldn’t have had that much trust,” Ballard said.
Dave Powell of the Northwest Side is another satisfied Familyography customer. He had Familyoigraphy transfer “boxes and boxes and boxes” of family videos onto DVDs.
“It was 30 years’ worth of family movies in various formats,” Powell said. “I guess what I really, really appreciated about how they did it was the packaging and labeling. They just seemed to have a great knack for pulling out a certain picture from that particular era and putting it on the label.
“It was a great investment. It was my wife’s Christmas gift. She just loved it.”
Today, Familyography is busy around the clock. It continues to invest in the best equipment and softeware to deliver the best results for its customers. Plans are in the works to grow the business further and expand to other locations..
Dan is still very involved in the business on a day to day basis. "If you love it, its not really work," he says.