I interviewed SHOTBOX creator, Aaron Johnson, who has long been in the crafts and memory preservation industry starting with scrapbooking. He later co-created Cricut, a versatile cutting machine for home crafters.
His latest invention, the SHOTBOX, may not be a homemade book of memories, or a cutting machine to put the scrapbook together, but it preserves memories nonetheless.
The SHOTBOX's Role in Memory Preservation
The SHOTBOX is a portable light studio designed for smartphones to capture beautiful. professional pictures of anything you can fit in the box - scaled large enough specifically to fit 12" x 12" scrapbooks. This replaces the long and inconvenient process of scanning.
“All the history, all the heritage that’s in the nooks and crannies of our homes, we need to get a record of,” says Aaron. “We start getting the ball rolling, obviously for ourselves but also for those we pass it down to - our children and grandchildren.”
SHOTBOX can digitize documents and photographs, but it can do so much more as well. 3-Dimensional objects, such as heirlooms can also be photographed. In digitizing such objects, you are creating a record of your ancestors’ and your stories to be shared with the entire family. Hence Aaron’s tagline: “Every home, every history, every one.” It’s about every family member.
The Memories Preservation System
Shotbox is the physical tool that leads to the overall goal, which is preserving that digitized information and sharing it with family. Aaron says that services and products will be released in order to achieve that goal. Or if the company does not provide those products, they will partner with those who do.
“The Someday Syndrome”
As for right now, Aaron says the most important aspect is getting started now. This tends to get put off, especially when there is a lot that needs to be digitized. Aaron calls it “the Someday Syndrome.” We plan on getting around to it, but when? With SHOTBOX, months of work are reduced to weeks. Aaron’s mother’s journal that took 5 hours to scan, took one hour to digitize in a SHOTBOX.
The “Someday Syndrome” is very often associated with family history. People tend to get turned off by the terms ‘family history’ and ‘genealogy’ due to their implications of research and data. But scrapbooking, journaling, taking photos...these are all ways to preserve your family history.
Aaron concludes, "Everybody should be into family history, whether it’s called family history or not.” Our families' stories are important. Don't let them get lost and forgotten in a closet.