I began creating collages in 1997 when my oldest daughter, Kris, was married. I wanted to create something for her and for the other members of my family that they could hang on their wall and enjoy instead of putting it in an album or a drawer. I created that first collage by making color copies of photos in different sizes and cutting them and pasting them up on a large piece of paper. Once it was done, I brought it to a copy place and had them make reduced color copies that I mailed to all our family members. They loved it.
As I've become proficient in Photoshop my passion for this medium of creative expression has grown. I started making collages of family events, weddings and holiday get-togethers. The event, however, that made me decide to create a business was when Victor's daughter, Echo, gave birth to her first child, Kai in May of 2002. She had had a normal pregnancy and there was no reason to anticipate that she would have anything less than a normal delivery. She called us when the time came to tell us that she was in the hospital. Victor and I drove to the hospital to be with her. Her labor progressed, but she never dialated and when the monitor indicated that the baby was showing signs of stress, she was rushed into surgery for a C-section.
We waited for what seemed to be an endless time until the doctor came out and ushered us into a recovery room, letting us know that Mom and baby were just fine. Soon they wheeled Echo into the recovery room and we greeted her. She had not yet seen her baby. In a couple of minutes the nurse brought Kai in to his waiting mom and placed him in her arms. I began snapping pictures. I got the photo of when she first saw her baby, when his dad saw him for the first time, Victor and Echo looking lovingly at each other. It was truly a magical time.
When Victor and I went home, I said to him -- I want to make a collage for Echo from the photos I took. So I went to work, finished it and brought it to her the next day in a beautiful frame. She took one look at it and began to cry. "Oh my God, Carol. You captured all these wonderful moments!"
Echo placed the collage on her night stand and told me that all the rest of the day people from the hospital would come by to see it and ask if I made collages professionally. It was then I decided to start Collage Keepsakes.
Kai, now two years old, loves to look at the collage that hangs in his room of the day he was born.
For more information and to see a variety of samples, visit CollageKeepsakes.com.