When Steve and Shana Acosta got into their car in Ponchatoula to drive and meet Mason Dauphin in St. Charles Parish, all they could hope and pray for was the best.
“I had a friend direct me to Mason on Facebook,” Shana remembers. “I’ve needed to convert tapes for years – a mix of holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions. When we first met Mason we were excited to see what magic he could work. He was so kind and enthusiastic to help us preserve our memories. You could tell he genuinely wanted to help us.”
Shana said that Dauphin initially had no idea what kind of footage he was converting.
“I was so eager to get these videos,” she said.
Dauphin, born and raised in St. Charles Parish, started Dauphin Media, LLC a couple of years ago as a side business where he works digitizing analog media like VHS. He said he remembers originally thinking it was odd for the Acostas to want to drive the footage over instead of mailing it in, but then they told him they were too nervous to have the tapes lost or damaged in the mail.
“The first day he had our tapes he sent me a picture and it was of our son Logan at four months old,” Shana said. “These memories are especially close to our hearts. Logan went home to be with our Heavenly Father in January of 2011. He was five and a half years old. To have Mason take such good care of these tapes and convert them to digital for us means the world to us. I guess it is no coincidence that Logan and Mason share the same birthday.”
Shana said having the video memories converted by Dauphin has made their memories of Logan more vivid.
“It’s like he’s with us,” she said of Logan. “We always talk about him, but to see these videos and see him through his stages … we laugh and we cry and we have them to share now.”
Dauphin said the experience of meeting the Acostas and getting to help them couldn’t have come at a better time in his professional journey, as he had been feeling stretched too thin by running the small business and working his daytime job as well.
“It broke my heart and it inspired me to keep the business going,” he said of the Acosta’s story. “It made me feel like, ok … I’m not just converting my time into money. I’m genuinely helping people in a way that I never dreamed I would.”
Dauphin said he’ll never forget the Acosta’s initial reaction to seeing the first converted file.
“They just texted me so many times and told me that they had broke down crying when they saw that photo,” he said. “It broke my heart. I finished them as quickly as I could. They were able to get hours of memories.”