What started as an amateur photographer wanting to convert his old slides digitally has turned into a thriving business connecting families to their memories of the living and the dead. Larsen Digital converts old photos and videos in just about any format to digital format, CD or DVD.
Larsen Digital got its start in 1995 when founder Brent Larsen started to see color fading from his thousands of slides. He wanted to preserve them digitally, but the machine to do so was pricey. To make it worth the investment, he decided he would also help others to do the same with their photos and charge a minimal price. Word of mouth got around and before he knew it, Larsen had a thriving home business. So thriving, that by 2006, he and his family opened a brick and mortar store in Pleasant View.
Two of his daughters run the business now. Tara Hamblin takes care of the day to day operations and Kristin Harding is over marketing and business. They also have drop off locations in Logan, Bountiful, Sandy and Utah County.
“We can take all of your family memories and preserve them digitally and they will be saved for generations,” Harding said. Old slides and photos can be converted to JPEG images and put into a file that can be used on computers with thumb, discs to be viewed on television or even listened to. Audio reels, tapes, records, videos, movies (film), 35 mm slides are all items they work with regularly and convert and clean up. They even work with negatives, even though they are more expensive because the work is a bit more tedious, Harding said. She added that they try to make everything beautiful, yet affordable.
Their business has seen a boost as of late with an increased awareness of genealogy. “We’ve seen a huge surge,” Harding said. “People see the value in doing family history,” she added.
Right now is their busy season because people want to give photos for the holidays, but January is just as busy. “With so much family time people feel motivated,” she added. They also see a big surge after RootsTech, the world’s biggest family history conference that is held in Salt Lake City in March. But their market is not limited to the Wasatch Front. They have orders from all over the globe. They get several orders from Canada. People send their memorabilia through the mail and Larsen does their magic and sends it all back. Customers place a huge trust in Larsen, but they don’t mind. They value each item that comes through their doors and treat it like their own.
Harding loves seeing the results when they are able to clean up a photo or see how happy customers are with a finished project. “I love seeing their family stories through photos here,” Harding said. “I literally get to watch a family grow up through 50 years,” she added with a huge grin. “That is rewarding,” she said. People are so happy when they leave with their packages because what they take with them is priceless. “It’s a happy expense,” she said of the work they do.
“We’re not in it to make millions, we just want to help people save their memories,” she said.