Article Series

Preserving Your Life Story

Article submitted by Kim Paul -

Oral history is the passing down of knowledge within families, tribes, neighborhoods and even religions. There is nothing new about oral tradition, it has been happening since there was a verbal language to share thoughts! The difference today is that we have the technology to easily and affordably capture personal biographies on video. Many people say to me, “Oh, Kim I don’t have much of a story.” Or “I don’t remember the details anymore.” Or even, “Video? I am too nervous to speak in front of a camera.” Yes, those are all reasonable reasons to NOT capture family stories.

Yet, there are so many more reasons TO record a video biography. The first is that it preserves a life legacy. Video captures the storyteller’s mannerisms, accent, facial expressions and vocal intonations in a way that a simple photo album just can’t. It is a gift to give to grandchildren and great grandchildren and future generations. And it is FUN to capture the memories of funny stories, overcoming obstacles, and what life was like “back then”.

There are many ways to capture the story. Some people will want to tell their life story chronologically and include all the major events. Others will want to tell their history thematically, based on the things that they spent the most time doing, or had the most interest in during their life, like their career, hobbies or travel. Others will pick one timeframe in history, or an event and focus their story more topically, like wartime for example.

If you are interested in preserving your family story, I would recommend starting with your photo albums. Perusing your photos will automatically help bring back lots of memories and details that you may not think about every day. Also, chat with a couple of family members. Ask them what comes to mind when they think about your story. They might pick up something you hadn’t thought of, like your volunteer hours, or quilting hobby. Finally, get your hands on a list of good interview questions and think through the various topics. And if you decide that you are ready to preserve your story on video for your own fun and for future generations, please contact

Kim Paul at Leave A Legacy Video at 720-470-2880 and visit our website -

Posted June 2012 on