The family vacation always means it’s time for a little photography. By capturing snapshots of each amazing moment, you hope to make your trip last a little bit longer, at least in your hearts and memories. For the past 30 years, PhotoVision has been making keepsake videos from photographs taken by travelers young and old to keep their most cherished memories alive.
And now, Group Travel Videos™ by PhotoVision, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, offers its services to our travelers on select Sports Travel and Tours trip packages.
PhotoVision has come a long way since its founding in 1985, adapting with each new technological advance. Back in 1985, when it was first launched, PhotoVision converted old home movies and film reels to VHS tape, the most advanced format available at the time.
Around 1997, technology exploded, and with it, came an accidental idea by vice president of group sales, John O’Malley, and the owner of the company, David Martinson.
“We had been on vacation to the Caribbean,” John says. “Once we returned home, we selected about 100 printed photos from our trip, created a video and dropped in some Bob Marley music. It allowed us to instantly relive our vacation.”
They decided that the concept of videos made from photographs was a great one to promote within the travel industry. “It was a great idea,” John says. “Nobody was doing it at the time. Even today, nobody is doing what we do in the mass quantities that we take on.”
Back when the photo videos were first launched as a service, PhotoVision collected travelers’ printed photographs by issuing disposable box cameras to them and collecting them at trip’s end; later, the company purchased digital cameras and provided them instead.
Today, travelers accessing PhotoVision’s services upload their trip photos to their secure app and photo gallery using their own Smart phones and digital cameras. These pictures are then compiled, edited and distributed on DVD, with destination music, special effects and custom titles. Hundreds of tour operators throughout the United States, Canada and Australia—including Sports Travel and Tours—provide most of the company’s business.
Sports Travel and Tours has been offering Group Travel Videos™ as a complimentary value-add to trip packages for the past two years now. For example, this year the add-on was offered to travelers on the Major/Minor: Heartland trip and the overlapping Central Express and Four Bagger trips. On both occasions, travelers seemed eager to contribute their photos to PhotoVision, a process that has become increasingly easy with the invention of apps and Smart phones.
Travelers download a free app to their smartphones, and with it, they can upload their photos—as many as they wish—to a safe and secure website. Those who prefer digital cameras may upload their photos directly to the website via a computer as well. From there, the photos can be shared instantly on social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Family and friends can follow along while the group is touring and see the photos in real time, John says.
After the trip is over, travelers received a DVD that holds a video encompassing a full complement of all travelers’ trip photos, neatly in chronological order; this is available to all travelers, whether they contributed photos themselves or not. The individual trip photos are also available online on the gallery site.
Following the Major/Minor: Heartland trip, John says that Sports Travel and Tours travelers submitted 283 photos to PhotoVision, from which the company produced a 30-minute video. The Central Express and Four Bagger trips resulted in an impressive 458 photos.
According to John, travelers can rest assured that their keepsake videos will be of the highest possible quality when they choose PhotoVision. “We edit all the pictures,” John says. “We also delete blurry pictures and duplicates, only using the best of the best for the video.”
Learn more about PhotoVision’s services and look for the add-on on your next trip with Sports Travel and Tours!