Tom and Alison Taylor: OUR STORY

Tom: After interviewing hundreds of people in the course of my career in business development, I realized that I was more interested in people’s personal stories than corporate strategies. I started Pictures and Stories in 1996 so that I could continue listening—and preserve these important life stories and memories for the future in print, audio, and video.

Alison: When Tom and I met in 2005, I fell in love—not only with Tom, but also with the idea behind Pictures and Stories. My artist’s eye and training gave me a vision of what these stories could become: gorgeous heirloom-worthy books with special attention to design. Books not to be stored on a reference shelf, but enjoyed and cherished for generations.

Since then we’ve created hundreds of custom books and videos for clients around the world. Each project is unique and each client deserves our personal attention. We still love working together—and we feel so lucky to be able to see your pictures and hear your stories every day. —Tom and Alison


What people are saying about us:

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We appreciate the excellent service you have rendered during these past several years. No task has been too much and all tasks done cheerfully, happily and professionally. We could not have asked for better service or sweeter friendship.
— Gene England, C.R. England Trucking, Salt Lake City, Utah

We have sold half of our inventory and have had nothing but praise for the writing of “Herriman: A Pioneer History.” People have been thrilled with the writing, the pictures, and the printing of the book. Thanks again to Alison and Tom for a wonderful job!!!
— Herriman Historical Committee, Herriman, Utah

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I appreciate your patience and help making this book a reality. I truly appreciate all that you’ve done to make this the perfect gift for my Dad.
— Liz Mazzarella, Rhinebeck, New York

Major Howard Egan
This Egan book is magnificent! Our team effort produced a terrific book. In design it’s beautiful. It’s visuals are outstanding. Alison worked wonders positioning the visuals and enhancing them into a handsome layout. Thanks for all your great work and dedication on this project.
— Bill Hartley (author), Provo, Utah

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I wish to thank you for all of your caring help to me with my life history. I have given the book to family members and friends and have received praise and complementary reports on its professional look, layout, and editing work that you and your staff did to make it memorable as a personal history book.
— Jean and Don Bradshaw, Salt Lake City, Utah

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What a pleasure it was dealing with Tom and Alison. They did a excellent job designing the book and cover. They were very responsive and efficient. They also interfaced effectively and seamlessly with an quality printer, including optimizing the images to the printing process.  The book turned out great. Everyone who received one was very complimentary on the professional quality of the product. Well done!
— Dave DiCarlo, Palos Verdes Estates, California

I’m so deeply grateful, not only for your world class work on “Reflections of Life’s Journey,” but for your untiring patience with me as I kept making changes and additions.
— Gordon Johnson, Salt Lake City

I am just speechless. I have massive tears running down my face and the flight attendants are worrying about me. This is the most beautiful thing I have ever read and while I thought I was giving my dad the gift of a lifetime, instead it’s the greatest gift I have been given. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your work on this and for the beautiful result.
— Allison Nielsen, Seattle, Washington

I am so fortunate to have worked with Alison and Tom in the design process. From the interior layout to every detail of the book’s cover, I, along with the rest of the entire Koellner family, are thrilled at the look of the finished product! Alison’s approach to the project was low key, timely, first rate, and above all, professional. Choosing Pictures and Stories to design our family’s history book was a great decision! Thanks Alison and Tom for all your efforts. The Koellners appreciate your work!
— Steve Koellner, Fort Madison, Iowa

This book has been a miracle in our family. I sent it to my estranged daughter who hasn’t spoken to me for two years. She loved it so much that she called me and we talked for three hours! Other family members have stayed up all night reading it. You are truly an answer to my prayers. Thank you for making this beautiful book happen.
— Susan Call, Salt Lake City

It is an absolute masterpiece! Thank you for creating such an incredible tribute book of my father. It will be treasured for the rest of our lives and by future generations as well. So grateful to you and Tom for so beautifully putting these memories together. He will be continually celebrated through this beautiful book.
— Rachel and Emily Falkner, Telluride, Colorado

There are no adequate words to thank you both for bringing this great work of art to fruition. I truly believe that at this moment I am the happiest person on earth. I consider myself blessed to have had Alison do the layout of my history—with her creative, artistic genius. Framing the interview conversations with such encouragement and love is part of your lovely work ethic. You are both very wonderful to work with: no pressure, little stress, a whole lot of empathy and loving kindness. You have gone so much the extra mile for me in this endeavor, that I could just give you the biggest bear hug on the planet. Muchisimas gracias!
— Marlene Knight Riggs, Mesa, Arizona

The idea of making a video of 90 years of JCC history was daunting. Tom encouraged me, made helpful and sensitive suggestions, and pulled it all together to make a film that was exactly how I’d hoped it would be in sentiment and tone. The film was shown at a gala event and captured the full attention and emotion of the audience. Tom was masterful and it would not have happened without him.
— Andrea Alcabes, Jewish Community Center, SLC

An author composes his literary work with passion. His completed book needs the perfect designers to “clothe” it. What a tremendously talented couple you are. We appreciate you and we surely were guided to the right publisher. Our thankful respect for a heavy and faithful effort to catch the spirit of the book.
— Oscar McConkie, Jr. and Judith McConkie, Salt Lake City, Utah

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