our story


Your life stories are too valuable to lose, and our passion is to help you save them! Since 1996, we have helped hundreds of clients find and preserve their best life stories in beautiful coffee-table books and videos. We can help you through the entire process of creating a personal or family history, or we can assist you with whatever parts you need, including interviewing, writing, editing, photo preparation, design and layout, cover design, and printing. We would be happy to give you a free consultation about your life story project. To see samples of some of our custom life story books, click here.

Tom and Alison have taught at Rootstech, BYU Education Week, Westminster College, and at public libraries and family history events across the country.


What people are saying about us:

Tom and Alison...without your gentle guidance and coaching, interviewing, editing, book design and other skills, this priceless record would not have seen the light of day. The stories, memories and images would have stayed in the dark—in our dresser drawers, thoughts and hearts, but not stand as a readable record for those who follow after our time....It is a beautiful book.

“Distance was not an obstacle. You live and work far from any of the contributors to the book. All of our family members were able to make their contributions in real time over the internet and phone. Your business is indeed a ministry and a blessing.
— Marianne Egan, Ascot, England
Outstanding!!! The joy I feel is indescribable! Pictures and Stories assisted in creating my family’s legacy book from hundreds of photos, narratives and historical records. Alison understood by vision...and what a grandiose vision it was! Alison was not daunted....Her knowledge of book layout and design is awesome. I am extremely pleased with the finished product.
— Pam Strain, Chicago, Illinois
I can’t believe an old redneck like me could make anyone want to read. But my book is in its third printing now because when I show it to someone, they won’t give it back! We love the book and you’ve been great to work with.
— Jimmy Hughes, Mesquite, Nevada
Thank you so much for your assistance in completing my autobiography. We are very happy with the end product. Your professional assistance was most helpful. You have had a lot of experience which adds to the book’s beauty and professionalism. We are looking forward to your help in producing my wife’s book.
— W. Mack and Judy Lawrence, Salt Lake City
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Writing the Bartak Book and working with Alison at Pictures and Stories has been a very rewarding experience. The resulting book was a fitting tribute to my grandfather and grandmother and their children, who emigrated from Europe to America in 1910. Just one of many responses I received to the book: “Well done - a thousand times over - well done. The enjoyment you’ve brought to your cousins is way over the top. Love, love, love it - and can’t say enough times, thanks,thanks, thanks!”
— Duane Bartak, Cheney, Kansas
We thank you again for My Life Well-Remembered. It is our family treasure! We have had nothing but raves about the book. What you do is a wonderful ministry and a help to so very many.
— Louis and Faybeth Moore, Dallas, Texas
Thank you for your superb work in designing my art book, Memories, and my history, A Life Well Lived....I admire and greatly appreciate your ability to anticipate what I was trying to say in the text and match it with the appropriate pictures and captions. In some cases you were able to add pictures from other sources that were very appropriate. Your attention to detail provided a book of outstanding quality. The cover of my history alone was quite remarkable.

Finally, I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to both of you for your extraordinary talents and knowledge. The books are everything I wanted and more! They are a treasure that I hope will be passed to future generations.
— Blaine Clements, Sandy, Utah
The idea of doing a life story on my father’s 85 years seemed daunting when I first approached Tom and Alison. With their patience and availability, the journey was actually joyful! ... It is a professional, polished AND most importantly—personal account of his life and legacy. It truly captured the “essence” of my father...Tom and Alison’s creativity made all the difference in presenting an interesting and beautiful product. The quality of the book is amazing…high quality paper, clear concise photographs and sturdily bound.

“The workbook especially made the data collection logical and created a clear path that steered the project forward.... I never felt pressured by Tom and Alison, rather encouraged to stay on task. Communication was carried out over 1,200 miles apart as we live in Oklahoma. With email, electronic scanning, texting and phone calls, we were able to seamlessly work together I believe just as effectively as we would have if we lived in the same vicinity.

“We presented the book to my father at a birthday celebration as he was surrounded by family and friends…approximately 250 in attendance. We placed copies on all the tables for the guests to enjoy. The guests pored over the book start to finish!... His life story will now be an influence on their lives as they turn each page and come to know his life and legacy... I could not be more pleased or proud of the work we accomplished together in compiling my father’s life story. Our family is now excited to do a companion book on our mother. We look forward to again working with Pictures and Stories knowing that we will be creating an equally interesting and cherished personal history for her.
— Lori Ahlert, Bartlesville, Oklahoma
It has been a pleasure associating with you in creating my family history book. Your expertise and advice were invaluable, and you certainly made my work easier. I would highly recommend you for any project.
— Shirley Hintz, Minot, North Dakota
Thank you for the wonderful work you did on Arie’s history. We look at it with great joy and share it with others with a deep sense of pride in a job well done. We know that it wouldn’t be nearly as amazing without your talents and skills! You were always so helpful and accommodating. Every time we came you welcomed us and were so patient and helpful to our process. That meant a great deal! Thanks for helping us create a priceless treasure!
— Kathy & Arie Van Wyngaarden, Salt Lake City
I’m thinking of you today with gratitude for your very kind professional talent and support. As I begin to wrap these little treasures I know the effort will linger perhaps beyond our generation and provide a lovely perspective for future family.
— Marjorie Pearson, Salt Lake City
We could not have done it alone. Your expertise and skill was indispensable.

”Just how good is it? Let us answer that question by relating an incident which occurred shortly after we received the finished books... We showed it to a person who works in the business of printing and binding books. After perusing the book for a while he said, “I’ve been in this business for some 19 years now and this is the finest book [of this type] I have seen in my entire career.” Just last week, in another incident, a person having read a good portion of the book told us that this book was “the most inspirational and interesting book” she had ever read.

”Tom and Alison, we believe it was not just by coincidence that we found you, but regardless, we will forever be grateful that we did. With all of our hearts, thank you!
— Arthur & Lila Mae Debenham, Sandy, Utah
I can’t thank you enough for the splendid job you did with my book… I became very emotional when I saw it. It was beautiful. I couldn’t have been more pleased. The appearance and quality was beyond my hopes… I was absolutely thrilled with the final product.

”I was amazed by the reaction to my book… Were they pleased? “Ecstatic” is the word… I had no idea how much emotion it would evoke.

”Your company has great expertise and ability. I was very pleased with the professionalism and the kindness you exhibited throughout the project… It was a pleasure to work with you. Again, thanks for your great work.
— Fred S. Ball, Salt Lake City (Vice President Zions Bank, Host of "Speaking on Business")
I am writing to thank you for the outstanding job you did in creating the historic book Heber Light and Power - 100 years of Service - 1909-2009.

”The stories and pictures in this book tell the entire story of this wonderful company that celebrated its 100th anniversary this summer. I have read the book from cover to cover two different times.

”Everyone that I have talked to about his book has raved about its historical value. I especially appreciate the stories and pictures that walk us through this company from its inception.... The pictures, the stories, the layout… takes the reader back in time and brings us right to the current time. We feel like we’ve been a part of this company the entire time.

”As Chairman of the Board, Heber Light and Power, and Mayor of Heber City, it is truly a pleasure to thank you on behalf of our company and community as a whole, for this monumental book of history and pictures. It will be treasured in our community for years to come.
— David R. Phillips, Mayor, Heber City, Utah
Hank and I couldn’t be more thrilled and thankful as all our dreaming, planning and prayers of the last months were beautifully fulfilled. Everything turned out practically perfect, with the DVD and the Life Story book being the highlights. We’re receiving accolades about them from everyone in the family as well as neighbors and friends who have dropped by. The book is meriting superlatives about both appearance and content. Everyone thinks the cover is exceptionally attractive. Hank is thrilled, and I am as well.
— Daryl and Hank Hoole, Salt Lake City
(In a letter to Daryl and Hank Hoole) When I started to read Hank’s book, Unfaltering Faith—the Life Story of Hendricus J.M. Hoole, Jr., I couldn’t put it down and have now read every page.

”This autobiography is as nice as I have ever seen. It is beautifully written and the photographs are stunningly beautiful. The quality of the printing and the lovely paper and binding all go together to make this a gift of exquisite quality. Thank you so much for honoring me with a copy of it.
— Russell M. Nelson, Salt Lake City
How can we ever thank you? Your incredible professionalism and caring attitude provided our family with a treasure that we will cherish for years to come.

”The pictures you took were wonderful. When they were added to all the old family pictures we provided it created a treasure trove of memories. The way you integrated them throughout the book was great.

”How did you ever create such a delightful dialogue from all those many hours of interviews? You are miracle workers. You make a great team.

“Grandpa McNaughtan Had a Farm was well worth every penny. The farmhouse and the barns have all been torn down and the value of that book is now priceless. The DVD is icing on the cake. Thank you again for doing what we never could have done.
— Hi and Ben McNaughtan and the Rockin' E Ranch
Tom and Alison: what a super team to work with! You were very professional in your approach to our family history. You achieved the message on the DVD and book that we wanted to convey to our family. The interviews were comfortable and the editing was superb. It made us look good and every member of our family loved the DVD and book and how it made them feel.
— Sharon Spencer, Heber City, Utah