Our website has a new look



Today our website http://tearsofjoyvideo.com got a new look.  It has been the same look for a number of years, and it was in need of updating.  For one thing, many of the videos posted could not be played on Iphone and Ipads and since many people these days are using these means to search the web, we thought it was important to have at least the main pages compatible for these means.

Since we were already making these changes, we decided to completely revamp it.  Here is a list of the things that has changed.

1) The pictures and video.  As already stated, the videos have changed to be able to play on all devices.  We also have added a few new videos to our site.  We have changed out the pictures.  Now all pictures on our site are personally created by us.

2) Packages.  We have new packages and with that new pricing.  We have also streamlined the site to make organizing and ordering your product  a lot easier.  Prices are basically the same, but now you are not pigeon holed into a number of pictures.  You can choose the one that suits your needs and then add as many or as few pictures, songs, titles and video clips you want to create your video.

3) Photo book creation pricing has also changed and has been streamlined for easy ordering.

4) We added a new product called Digital greeting card montage.  This allows you to have us create small video message to a digital video download that you can either send by email or load on to personal devices to send a greeting for a special occasion, or just to say hi or I love you.

5) Some items that were hidden on the site before are now easily accessible, like our scanning, and transfer services and our slide art. We have also added a products section, which in the coming months will list products we are creating from our own video and pictures for sale to the public.

6) Photography-We still offer photography in our area, but we are only doing portraits, no event photography.

7) Biography videos.  We have created a simple, low cost way to turn your video montage into a biography video, either by you filming it yourself with our instruction or in the San Diego and surrounding areas, we can come out and film your interviews.

8) We have highlighted our celebration of life/memorial packages into their own private section.

Take a look at the site and for those who have been on our site before, give us your input as to what you think.  If you have any suggestions on other ways we can improve, or anything that is unclear in what you read, please give us feed back here.

If you live in the USA and know someone who would like to have a video created, we would appreciate you letting them know about our site.  Our videos make excellent gifts for family and friends.

Newborn Photography and Video

I have been working doing newborn photography and video for a few years now.  There is nothing more exciting than being there to celebrate a new life.  I have also had couples give me their pictures and video to create a video of the new baby experience or babies first year of life or the birth of their baby.

I love creating pictures and videos of my clients and the ones they love.  But celebrating a birth is one of the best experiences because it is the start of a life, a hope, a future…

Born April 16th-day after tax day-with tax papers copyright http://tearsofjoyvideo.com

Born April 16th-day after tax day-with tax papers
copyright http://tearsofjoyvideo.com

This is for all the ‘picture people’

Picture People Copyright http://tearsofjoyvideo.com

Picture People
Copyright http://tearsofjoyvideo.com

I had a client a few weeks ago tell me as she brought her pictures by, that some people are picture people, and some people are not, but she was a picture person.  She was excited because a family member had gifted her a video montage for her wedding.  As we went through her pictures she was telling me that she was more excited about this video than preparing for her own wedding. She said she always wanted something like this done.  But now she was preparing it, it was so hard to pick which pictures to use- so I helped her edit her pictures down.  She was a fun client to work with as she expressed her excitement over each stage of the video coming together.  She called me her picture fairy, because I made her pictures come alive.  When she came to pick up her video she said she is already planning her 50th Birthday party when I will do her video.  I had to laugh because she was only 30.  But this is one of so many examples of how when we create a story with pictures, movie clips and music; we touch peoples hearts, especially if you are a “Picture Person”.

I have said over and over again that it is the greatest gift you can give.  But I started thinking those words can sound pretentious without knowing the evidence I have seen to back up that statement.  So I thought I would share some of the personal experiences I have seen from my clients, without mentioning them by name.

Copyright tearsofjoyvideo.com

Copyright tearsofjoyvideo.com

Another client came to me a few years ago.  She was referred to me from someone we had previously had a video done.  Her parents were celebrating their 50th anniversary and she wanted to have a video to show at the event.  While going through our website she saw that we did photo books as well and decided to have a book done along with the video.  The video was a big hit and she called me to order books and videos for each member of the family.  She said she wanted to do one for her son and daughter too.  But it was a while before we did that.

copyright tearsofjoyvideo.com

copyright tearsofjoyvideo.com

I did a couple of small jobs for her, and then about two years later she called me to do her Father-in-laws celebration of life video, as we were preparing for that her mother-in-law also suddenly died.  So the family decided to do their celebration of life together.  I created the video and the posters for the entry as well.  When she watched the finished product for the first time she said it brought her to her knees, she was so overcome by emotion.  It was the first time she had faced the grief of the loss.  But she said  this was a credit to me and the meaningful way I portrayed their story, bringing out the best part of each of them.  She later told me the video deeply touched everyone in attendance

Copyright tearsofjoyvideo.com


Finally the next year we were able to get to her daughters and sons video.  She said she had always wanted to scrapbook their life, but was a working mom and didn’t have time.  She had numerous pictures, but most of them were in boxes.  I scanned them all and then we edited them down for the video.  With her input I was able to create the story of each of her kids using their pictures and video clips.  As a final touch I came to her house and had her and her ex-husband tell stories and memories of their kids and a special message at the end to each of them.  The video had their home movies, their personal messages, and highlighted pictures.  The book had even more pictures, but also included their artwork, cards they had written to their parents, awards they had received, and a page with a special written message to each of them.  I finished the video and books in time for Christmas, and she said this gift made their Christmas as they all came together remembering the happy times of her children’s life.

Copyright tearsofjoyvideo.com


This year I have started doing the same thing for another client.  She has 4 children, and I am working on doing a video and book for each of them.  Her kids are all spread throughout the country, and as a parent she wanted to do something to bring them together as a family and help her children always have something to remember their roots.  She gave her first book and video to her youngest daughter a few months ago when they attended her graduation from college.  All the family had come to it, so they all were able to watch it together.  As it was the youngest child, all were apart of this video and book and the other kids enjoyed it just as much.  She is planning to visit each child and give the book and video to then as we get them done, so they can each have that special moment watching their video and looking over their book for the first time.  She said it was the best gift she ever gave them.

Copyright tearsofjoyvideo.com


When I make these videos, and photo books, I know nothing about the person.  Their pictures and the people who love them are telling their story.  By the time I am done, I feel like I know them.  I had a customer a couple of month’s back that created a 60th biography video for her husband.  We included home movies of his childhood and then I went to her house when he was not home and interviewed family and friends, also family members out of state sent me video clips to add in.  After I was done we had a very touching video with the full story of his life. The first time he watched it was at a family party back east and she said he was deeply touched, as he laughed and cried at the stories told about him.  The second birthday party held at his house she hired me to come in and take a few family shots before their party.  When I first met him I shook his hand and said I know all about you, but now I get to meet you face to face.  When he found out I was the one who made the video, he understood this statement.

copyright tearsofjoyvideo.com


I love creating the best gifts in people’s lives.  I love hearing how they touched the person who received them.  Once in a while I get to see the response myself, I get to see them cry tears of joy.  I can relate to this, because we started this business by creating our own video that made us cry tears of joy.  You can see from these personal experiences why I say this is the best gift you can give.  Don’t let the preparation for a video shy you away from creating it.  We will help you every step of the way.  We have different ways you can create a story with photo books, montages, biography videos, or digital cards.  Each one will tell a story, and touch someone’s heart.

Do you have a “Picture Person” in your life? Give them the best gift you could give.  As they are crying tears of joy, they will thank you over and over again.

Family Pictures Tell A Story

Today in the digital age, we click our cameras (or phones) whenever we see something interesting.  Some pictures may be foolish.  I don’t think I have seen so many pictures of food or coffee before the establishment of social media.  But still with each picture we are documenting our life.

In the days of film you were a little more careful of what you took pictures of, because when the film was out, so was your ability to take pictures.  So what we choose to take pictures of had meaning. Even if your parents or grandparents were not perfect at picture taking, the things that took pictures of had meaning in their life.  Here are a few pictures from my family album.  Let me show how they tell a story.

My dad's mustang   Copyright tearsofjoyvideo.com

My dad’s mustang
Copyright tearsofjoyvideo.com

This was my dad’s mustang convertible.  He ordered in in 1964 and my mom and my dad flew to the Ford factory to get it and drove it home.  This is a picture of my dad driving it for the first time.  My dad loved convertibles.  We had a number of them as a kid, but this was his favorite one.  Can you see how this picture tells a story?  Here is another one:

My sister in 50's car seat. Copyright http://tearsofjoyvideo.com

My sister in 50’s car seat.
Copyright http://tearsofjoyvideo.com

The baby in the front was my sister.  Now this was probably taken to show my sister’s ride in the convertible.  But what a piece of history!  It shows the difference from today how car seats have changed. Did that seat have any safety features?  It doesn’t look like it. Did my parents know they were documenting that history?  Probably not, which means our pictures of daily life could have some significance in the future. This picture also showed that my parents were driving convertibles our entire life, which is why this next picture is a part of my personal history.

My First Car Copyright http://tearsofjoyvideo.com

My First Car
Copyright http://tearsofjoyvideo.com

This is my first car.  It had to be a convertible.  I loved this car, even though the body was rusting away and the roof leaked, on sunny days with the roof down riding down the road as a young woman was one of my favorite memories.  I eventually sold it because it wasn’t practical.  But years later when I was in my 40’s I bought another convertible and  I own a scooter now, which when I ride it gives me the same feeling as being in a convertible.

My second convertible Copyright http://tearsofjoyvideo.com

My second convertible
Copyright http://tearsofjoyvideo.com

Me driving my convertible Copyright http://tearsofjoyvideo.com

Me driving my convertible
Copyright http://tearsofjoyvideo.com

Me on my Scooter Copyright http://tearsofjoyvideo.com

Me on my Scooter
Copyright http://tearsofjoyvideo.com

From my parents pictures I know that my love of convertibles started at a young age.  My parents history was told in the pictures.  More history in my next post.

What history is told in your family pictures?  Share your stories below:

Videos that help you reconnect with your family


A while back I had a client call me to tell me her mothers reaction to one of our videos. Her story gave me chills. I had created a video for her father’s memorial. They decided to play it at her brother’s house afterwards. They played it in his family room and kept it playing over and over again for hours.

During all that time, her mother sat on the couch and watched the video over and over again. For a number of years her mother has had Alzheimer’s and hasn’t even recognized her own children. But her daughter told me as she watched this her face started to light up. She used music that was all her fathers’ favorites and her mother started moving to the music.

After a while she started recognizing her husband and her children on the screen. By the end of the evening she was telling people, this is my daughter. She was recognizing all her kids. Her daughter said it was amazing how she reacted to the video. It was just for a while, but for them this experience was amazing.

She called me to talk to me about creating her mothers story now. She wants to do this while her mother can still respond to it.

Even now this story is getting me emotional. To know that something I created allowed these kids to have connection with their mother again. That is priceless!

If you would like to reconnect with your family, give us a call (877) 887-8658 or go to our website for more information http://tearsofjoyvideo.com

If you have had a parent with Alzheimer’s, what ways have you used to reconnect with them?

A business that touches the heart

Our Story of how Tears of Joy Video got started

Dad with girls

Two sisters, Juli and Cathie Dodd, who were trying to make their father happy started “Tears of Joy Video”. These two sisters had been involved with photography and video for many years. Juli had purchased a full editing suite and they had made some amazing video’s that impressed all their friends. Their father was their biggest fan.

Their father became ill and had to undergo an operation. One evening after the operation, Cathie was sitting with him and watching a TV program. It was a biography about Lucille Ball and Dezi Arnez, with home movies and stories of their life. He asked his daughter if they could make a video of his life like that. She said, it would take a lot of work, but it could be done. A few days later he was suffering from complications from problems after the surgery, and his daughters were worried he wouldn’t make it. Juli asked what could she do to help him get better. He said he would like a video made of his life. She said if he got better, she would make a video of his life, and then they would have a big party with all his friends and watch it. Just saying that seemed to brighten his spirits, it gave him something to look forward to. Within the next few days his health improved, and he was able to recover. But he didn’t let his daughters forget their promise.

Cathie began the project by collecting all the pictures and slides and scanning them to the computer. Then she transferred their old home movies to video. Then she created a list of questions and in a number of video sessions, she sat down with her dad and interviewed him on camera about his life. After that Juli and Cathie made a list of their dad’s best friends, called them and made appointments to interview them on camera with funny stories about their dad’s life. During this whole time Juli was collecting a list of songs that meant something to her dad and to the family over the years. Now with all the data in place, came the project of putting the whole thing together.

As the girls worked on this project, they realized they were not just doing it for their dad; they were creating a piece of family history that they could keep forever. Through the pictures, movies, and interviews they were recreating their life, their memories. They had lost their mother years earlier, but part of her came back in the video, and now with this video, they had a part of their dad they could keep with them forever. They rented a restaurant and had over 100 of his friends and relatives. The film was met with rave reviews. But that moment was a memory they will never forget. They realized that instead of waiting till he was dead to remember him for all he did, they got a special chance to celebrate his life while he could still celebrate it with them. They also got a chance to show him how much they loved and respected him, and that was not only shown to him, but all his friends who attended that night. In fact he was in a room filled with love.

From that video came many more requests from friends for videos. A friend of the sisters, another Julie, who attended that night, was also involved with video montages. Together they discussed starting a business. That is how Tears of Joy Video was born. http://tearsofjoyvideo.com

Here is a portion of that video:


Let us know what you think of the video below.

Best gift you could give your adult children


Your children are grown now.  They are out of the house and living their own lives. They may even have families of their own.   All those years of the family being together under one roof are only happy memories in your mind and in the scattered pictures and home movies you look at from time to time.


·         Do you look back at those days and wonder how they passed by so fast?


·         Do you wonder, is there anything worthwhile you now can give your children?


·         Maybe you wonder how can you make a lasting impression on the minds and hearts of your children and grandchildren, as well as future generations long after you are gone?


If you are in the age group that has also lost your aged parents to death, you know how precious a parent/child relationship can be.  When your parents are gone, part of your childhood dies with them.  They are the only ones, besides you, which remember all the aspects of your childhood.  Those stories that once embarrassed you in front of your friends, become a longed for memory after they are gone.


Also it doesn’t matter how old you get, as a child you will always appreciate praise from your parents, or that pat on the back from them saying they are proud of you. As children we longed for that respect as we strive to achieve the goals our parents taught us to reach. Now hearing that praise warms our hearts, and hearing it over and over again, never gets old.


What if there was a gift you could give your adult children that could give them a type of time capsule of all those years and memories you shared together?  A gift that will give your children your praise and respect that they can continue to hear over and over directly from you.  This gift will also be a present for your grandchildren, and future generations of grandchildren long after your gone.  What is this gift?


It is a Parent’s Biography video and photo book. This combination book and video gives you a lasting memory of your child’s background from birth to present, told by the one person who can tell it the best, the parents. The photo book includes a number of photos and memorabilia, like art work, school work, cards or letters, from their past with captions, giving them a printed document of their life story. The video includes photos and home movies along with videotaped stories of their life as told by you directed to them. Along with the stories are your praise of the aspects of their life that made you proud, your expressions of love and your best wishes for their future. This is the greatest gift a parent could give to an adult child. It is a gift of love from you they can watch over and over again. It will be the best gift your child never thought to ask for.


How can you give such a gift? 

The first step is to call Tears of Joy Video at (877) 887-8658 


New Celebration of Life-Memorial Packages

Tears of Joy Video of Encinitas, California would like to announce their new Celebration of Life Packages.  Two sisters, Juli and Cathie Dodd, who have owned the business a little over 7 years, created these packages after helping a number of their clients with their memorial videos.

“At this emotional time of loss many of our clients were overwhelmed with all they had to do in getting ready for the memorial of their loved one, “ said Cathie Dodd. “They would ask if we knew someone who could create the programs, the picture poster, a personalize guest book, or a memorial website.  Since we had done this many times for friends and in our own family, we offered to do it for them. They were very happy to have one service where they could give all their photographs and have everything prepared for them. We decided to create a package that would have all these items created for them at one low price.”

Why did they call them the “Celebration of Life” packages?  “We were noticing a trend in our clients steering away from the traditional funeral, and instead holding a Celebration of Life memorial service where it focused on the life lived instead of the death” said Cathie Dodd “Our products all are creations that help people focus on this wonderful person by using photographs, video, titles, and stories.  The Celebration of Life Package seemed to be the best name for what is being provided”.

Since many people are planning their own memorials or celebrations of life outside the memorial homes or churches, many are looking for creative solutions to make their celebration special.  Tears of Joy Video Celebration of Life Packages could be just what you are looking for. They have helped clients in their own backyard of San Diego, as well as throughout the United States. The owners have been through this a number of times and can offer suggestions to help you create the perfect celebration, bringing honor and lasting memories of the loved one who was lost. They are experts at turning your grief into Tears of Joy.  Their packages can be found at http://www.tearsofjoyvideo.com/Celebration-of-Life.html  or call them toll free at (877) 887-8658.

Green Screen Virtual Travel

Bringing the outside world virtually to those who are shut in

Do you know someone who is shut in maybe because of illness or old age? Do they have limitations that prevent them from getting outside and enjoying a normal life? Our father was like this. His age had gotten to the point where it was impossible for him to go outside of his home anymore. Being an active and social person, it was hard for him not to be doing activities with the rest of his family. He longed to travel and would talk of vacations we had been on as a family. His favorite place was Hawaii.

My sister and I decided that if we couldn’t make the real thing happen, we could do this for him virtually. So we brought our green screen sheet and laid it behind him in his bed and filmed him as if he was in Hawaii. We talked with him about what he would do there, and then he began to sing Blue Hawaii. We combined this film footage with video we actually took on one of our trips to Hawaii. When my dad watched it, he actually thought he had gone there.  See the video below.


Maybe you can think of things your family or friend, who is shut in, would like to do. You can even fulfill a fantasy with the use of a green screen. Maybe they loved a certain movie, put them in it. Have them travel the world. It could even be something simple. Maybe they are sad about not being able to get out to enjoy a party or a wedding. Film the occasion and then film them on a green screen and with editing bring the two films together to make it appear they were there. What a nice surprise when they watch themselves as part of the occasion.


If you are not familiar with how to edit with green screen, just film the occasion and then film them with a green sheet behind them and bring the two films to Tears of Joy Video. We will be glad to help you fulfill a dream for your loved one, even if it is virtually. Just the thought of going to the trouble of making this type of video to make them feel apart of the occasion will mean so much to them. We will never forget what it meant to our dad.

For more information go to:


Ultrasound Birth Announcement

4D Ultrasound is very popular now. If you have seen this, it is really amazing. With modern technology the parents can lay their eyes on their childs face before it is born. They can literaly watch their child grow. But sitting down and watching a computer reading of an ultrasound can be pretty boring. That is where Tears of Joy Video come in. We can take your ultrasound, edit it down with transistions and add titles and music for a short video you can send out to all your friends to enjoy. See the sample below. If you are interested in having this done or know someone who would like this done, check out our pricing and contact information at http://www.tearsofjoyvideo.com