Firm Focus column with QT Better Business columnist Ashley Jones.
Firm Focus column with QT Better Business columnist Ashley Jones. Sarah Harvey

Life's sad to glad moments, Barbara records all of them

AN INNOVATIVE and creative business has been established to capture moments in time that are significant events.

It has grown from hobby to this week being a fully-fledged business. Barbara Westerman is bringing her creativity and training together as she launches At the Drop of a Hat Productions.

At the Drop of a Hat Productions is established to provide two main services, one being memorial and celebration DVDs and the other is website development.

It is a home-based enterprise serving the greater Ipswich area.

"I have a friend who had passed away and I wanted to do something for the family so I offered to do a presentation, back then it was PowerPoint, to capture the life journey. The family were touched and I started getting asked to do them for others," Ms Westerman, owner/designer, said.

She has completed a Diploma of Interactive Digital Media that has given her training to advance her venture.

"The diploma has helped me to move from a hobby to having the skills to operate my business," she said.

We can take the multimedia presentations at funerals for granted but Ms Westerman takes great care to provide a service that captures the life of the loved one.

She is very aware of the need to have empathy and to connect with those who are grieving.

"I have started off doing work for Len Russell Funeral Directors and they refer clients to me, otherwise I get direct contact from people."

Clients will go to her home-based business and either give hard copies of photographs or if they are scanned give an external drive, USB stick or CD of images.

"I like to get some details about the person, what they enjoyed doing, clubs, favourite colours, just get a good sense of who they were so that is reflected in the presentation. Each one is as unique as the individual we are honouring," she said.

"Because of the quick turnaround time it seemed like the perfect name. That is how At the Drop of a Hat Productions came into being."

In addition to the memorial DVD production, she also can provide the order of service and a book mark.

"Some people like the order of service and for others they will opt for just the bookmark so that those attending the funeral go away with something to remember their family member or friend by."

Clients can chose any one or all of these elements for the funeral service.

The presentation can be put up onto her website for 30 days so that those not able to attend can view it anywhere in the world.

She also gives, at no charge, a copy of the images if she has scanned them. "I take care of getting the DVD to the funeral director along with the order of service and or the bookmarks."

Ms Westerman said that she is honoured to be part of this significant time and is pleased to be able to celebrate a life in this way.

It started at the end of life but she has added into her range of services the start of life with a DVD service called the First Years of Life, this is to capture life up to the first birthday.

"It is wonderful to put together, in a scrapbook format, the images of the baby up to age one. It is really popular and again great for grandparents and other family who live away," she said.

"I can do it year by year and ultimately build a wonderful collection for a family. I produce DVDs for all celebrations and events in life including 21st birthdays, holidays, weddings and pet memorials," she said.

Ms Westerman is also developing the website design aspect of her business.

"I pride myself on delivering on time, mobile friendly, cost effective web designs. I can supply a mobile site to deal with ease of access, it is really important these days.

"Websites do not have to cost a fortune."

She is targeting small businesses for website design work.

"I am not coming to my clients as the website guru, I want to hear what they want and build that for them. It will be creative, functional and work in all environments. That's what matters today, the website needs to be user friendly and meet the client's needs," she said.

At the Drop of a Hat Productions can be contacted on 0431 631 663 or at

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