Mafe Maria: Personal stories by autism parent mentor, Maria Stultz

Our Wedding Photos

Last Friday, Joey and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary. For a while I had been hoping that to celebrate the occasion, I would finally attack that big project that has been on my to-do list for the last… uhhh… five years. That is: Digitizing all wedding photos and mementos and making the nice wedding web site I couldn’t do in 2001, because at the time I didn’t know any HTML.

My plan was to get it all online and send a nice HTML email to friends and family inviting them to join us on our trip down memory lane, because our wedding was so intimate, so nice, and so special, I think many of those who attended it, and specially those that couldn’t make it, would enjoy seeing our wedding photos. But the last weeks I’ve been busy with work, and as Thursday approached, Comcast decided to make my life impossible, and made me spend 48 unbearable hours without Internet access. God! Was I mad!… So the project had to wait until Saturday, and unfortunately this is not a small task.

I was able to scan a significant portion of the photos, though not all of it. For those who attended our wedding, you may remember our little guest book with Polaroids and personal messages… Well, I’ve been really wanting to scan those pictures before they vanish in a yellow cloud, so I’m happy to say that I got that done. We also watched our wedding tape, and I was able to extract some images from an event for which we have no professional photos whatsoever: That is, the beautifying process of beautiful bride Maria right before the wedding. We started watching the tape, and Joey’s first comment as soon as he saw me on it: “Pilli! You look so young!”. Grrrrr!!!… So anyway, I captured some photos of that too, before someone tapes over our wedding video. I kind of like them.

Initially, I considered using Flickr to post all images. However, the recent Bitacle mega-rip-off and some other scary reports have reminded me of my initial concerns about sharing personal photos with the public. So I thought I’d post these only for friends and family. Problem is, most of my people still refuse to sign up for a Flickr account, or have issues with the site, or whatever. And then I also thought I’d like to present our wedding images a little nicer. So I started designing a custom web site, and then decided that instead, I’d use my own WordPress gallery templates, and customize them a little bit.

I can’t resist to show a little sneak peek:

sneak peek of our wedding photo gallery

This is the main gallery page which lists the different categories for photos. Each category has its own page of thumbnails, which in turn link to each photo page. Obviously, this being completely custom-made, it is not the most efficient and quick way of putting together a simple photo gallery. But I’m weird like that and enjoy doing things the hard way simply because of the rush of the creation process.

I hope next weekend I’ll be able to finish it. It needs to be pretty, work in all browsers, and speak English and Spanish… It’s a lot of work, but the memory of our wedding deserves it.


  1. On , Marla wrote:

    Awesome undertaking.

    Will you be using a mini db? You could do that with php, create one display file for your photos and pull everything else in dynamically based on your db.

    You know this, I know, but I’m envisioning so it’s not so manual. :)

  2. On , Marla wrote:

    Beautiful photographs BTW and congratulations!:)

  3. On , Maria wrote:

    I’m using WordPress. So, I’m entering each photo as a “blog post”, assigning it to a category, and adding notes to it… all managed by WordPress and the photo gallery theme I developed. It gives me a main gallery page, category pages, item pages, pagination, optional info pages (e.g. Joey’s recount of the bachelor trip), and easy maintenance.

    This is easier than me creating the database and all the PHP to interact with it and present it (like I once did for my house’s photos, or for MQStudio’s portfolio).

    However, it’s not easier than using any of the many photo gallery plugins already available for WordPress. I’m pretty sure with those, you simply upload all photos in a batch and add notes much quicker. But I didn’t want to research those… I already knew what my WP theme does… It’s a design I already did and tested and like, so customizing my own theme is easier and prettier than attempting to deal with whatever design those photo gallery plugins have.

    The process of entering each photo is a little tedious, but so is all the scanning/retouching work I’ve done to get the images digitized, and this is something I will only do for really special photos like these. I’ll keep using Flickr for the daily stuff.

  4. On , Petie wrote:

    It is very cool that you’re digitizing your wedding photos. I can’t believe we both were married such a short time ago and digital images weren’t really mainstream. Shows how far and how fast digital images have come! I wish I had someone to magically do this for us. Pixie photographer that comes in the night like the tooth fairy. I watch too many kid shows.

    So, what was the big scam on flickr. Are my photos safe if they are private?

  5. On , Maria wrote:

    Yes, I think your photos should be safe if you keep them private, and just to make sure, also check the API opt-out option: Log in your Flickr account and go to “Your Account”, and then to “API Opt-Out”.

    The big scandal was not Flickr’s…

    Last week the whole blogosphere was in flames (and probably is still going on) because it was found that a Spanish web site called Bitacle was aggregating a ton of RSS feeds (we’re talking big bloggers here), republishing people’s content without attribution, offering it to the world under a Creative Commons license, offering “digg it” buttons and comment boxes to keep all discusion within their site, and pointing back to their site (not the blogger’s), and to add to the insult: profiting from ad revenue placed by all the stolen content.

    They’re also using Flickr’s API to display Flickr’s public photos (which Flickr allows under some terms), again with comment boxes and a few other little features that make me very uncomfortable about the loss of control, distribution, and eventual lack of attribution or information on photos copyright.

    The other thing that got me a little worried last week, was a report from Plagiarism Today about some thieve selling stolen photos at (a well-known stock photo website used by designers). The dude grabbed photos from the Internet and uploaded them as his, making royalties on each sale. iStockphoto didn’t know, of course, and acted on it immediately. The idea here is not to allow public access to the hi-res versions of your photos. They can still grab the web versions, though…

    So, yeah… I really thought a lot about this when I joined Flickr. I had known about it for a while, but it took me some time to get over my concerns. These recent events remind me of my issue with public photos, but I love how easy it is to integrate my images from Flickr to my blog. It’s such a shame that you can’t use good tools in peace…

  6. On , Petie wrote:

    Although I do care about people stealing both text and/or pictures, I care even more about the pictures. I don’t want pictures of my girlie used without my permission. Thanks for the tip about opting out of API. :)

    How low for people to steal pictures and people’s blog work.

  7. On , Kim Rodriguez wrote:

    Happy Belated 5th!

    I can’t wait to see the wedding commemorative collection!……and I love the monjita pic! that’s the you I remember meeting! so serious…..

  8. On , Maria wrote:

    He! he!
    I’m glad to see you’re back online. Must mean you’re feeling better.
    Monjita says: “Hi auntie Kim!”

  9. On , mandarine wrote:

    Happy 5th anniversary !