CRYSTAL LAKE – There are all kinds of natural disasters: Fire, flood – divorce.
Bill Speechley founded A Video & Image Co. in 1991 to produce photo and video images, as well as record images digitally to protect against disasters and destruction, and, yes, divorce.
"Who gets your photos when you get divorced, or there's a death in the family? The boxes of photos in the basement are really at risk," Speechley said..
“Your photos and videos are safest if transferred to digital files. Placed on a digital drive, all your images are protected from aging, water and fire damage," he said.
Founded as a home-based business, the company moved to 15 E. Morgan St. in Crystal Lake in 1991. Three years ago, Speechley partnered with his son, Toby, and added a location at 12 E. Northwest Hwy., Arlington Heights.
“The niche we serve is transferring videotape, 8mm, Super 8 and 16mm film to DVD for family albums,” Speechley said. “The holiday season is especially busy for this segment of our services.”
Other services include corporate, wedding and promotional videos along with media transferring capabilities.
"We’re the best option when it comes to media transferring," Speechley said. "Prints, film, and files stay safely within our facility (for processing), not sent off to another state, putting your memories at risk.”
Speechley's own family goes back to the 1870s in Crystal Lake.
"There's so much history around here that gets lost," Speechley said. "You can't believe the kinds of things people bring in – slides and photos of A-bomb tests, photos from World War II. So much out there is falling apart and fading away."
To get started, Speechley suggests emptying the contents of a box full of pictures and putting the contents into two piles: One the family would want, and the other, "who cares?" After images are digitized, share them.
"Save your memories and share them with family for the future," Speechley said. "Sharing is what it's all about. When you share your images the chance of them getting wiped out by a disaster is reduced. Share them so they move forward in time.
"Why wait until they're already gone?" he asked.
For more information, call 815-455-1323, or visit avideoandimage.com