Photos are treasures that tell stories of family events. Even the older, unmarked ones are treasured family heirlooms.
I have a stash of family photos from the 50’s. The edges are curled up and there is no writing on the back. They are not in a pretty album. There is no handwriting, telling who is in the photo, or where they are, or what they are doing. They are just loose in the box, and not in any order. It seems so sad to me. These photos are my family’s history.
This week, I had a surprise visit from an Aunt and cousin I haven’t seen in a long time. I never really got to know my parent’s families very well, as my father was in the Armed Forces and we moved every two years. Over the years I can count on one hand the number of time I met and spent any time with this Aunt and Cousin.
Maybe because I am a full time Photographer and I love looking at photos I brought out the container of old photos. I wanted to gain insight into the family history
I was hoping that my Aunt could shed some light on who some of these people were and where the photos were taken. Amongst the photos were my parents wedding pictures. (My Aunt was a bride’s maid at my parent’s wedding in 1954). There are 5x7 prints in frames of my parents wedding party but there are lots of stray photos that were taken during the reception.
It was such a long time ago that my Aunt couldn’t remember most of the people’s names. However, going through the old photos did have a surprising affect on my Aunt. I would catch my 78-year-old Aunt looking at photos of her 18-year-old self. In her youth, she was tall, lean and beautiful. I commented that she was perfectly posed in the images; weight on the back foot, front leg pointed at camera, knee bent.
This is when she told me that she had tried to become a model and had taken modeling classes (which I had not previously known about). In the end, she hadn’t been successful, as they told her she was too heavy. I could tell from the wistful look on her face that she was being transported back to that place and time and her younger beautiful self.
She shared with me stories of her childhood and of being voted the cutest baby of the year. She had been photographed and on the cover of the local newspaper with her mother and brother, when my grandfather came home from the war in 1945.
She shared with us her childish disappointment at seeing her father as he stepped out of the train. She thought that he would be tall with manly hair and oh so handsome, wearing shiny silver armor. This she attributes to the war movies they would show in the theaters during the war of the soldiers. Instead, he was short, balding and not very good-looking, just wearing a uniform. She was 8 years old and very disappointed.
We bid our 'goodnights' and agreed to continue our trip back in time, the next evening. When we met up the next day, she shared with me that she had spent all evening and most of the day thinking about the pictures. She said she had really enjoyed the stroll down memory lane, and thanked me.
The visit with my Aunt and cousin has caused me to think about how important capturing moments are and how important printed pictures (even rolled up ones) are in transporting us back to a place and time.
I see so many people taking pictures with the phones and I wonder if they will ever print them. Will they be lost on a computer hard drive? Will anyone ever see them before the hard drive crashes?
Today, creating albums with digital images is so easy and a Professional Photography Studio like CMQ Photos of Phoenix Arizona can help you create something really special. We are experts at Photoshop and can add beautiful text, stating who is in the picture and where the image was created.
We have a large selection of backgrounds and templates that we can use to customize your album for you. We have the time to create these beautiful Album keepsakes.
Call us to schedule your next special family event, and we will come out and photograph it so that you can be in the images. Then, we will create a special album that will be passed down through the generations. You will not have to wonder when you will get around to creating that album. You can simply enjoy the one that has been created for you.
If you have never looked into your genealogy I suggest you sign up to Ancestry.com during a free weekend and start tracing your family back. I traced my family back and found out that not only was my mother’s family one of the first families to settle in Canada in what is now Halifax, Nova Scotia, but that they were also one of the first settlers in Boston, Massachusetts. Andrew Newcomb, the youngest son in his family was a sea captain from England and sailed to Boston in 1614. He eventual married and settled down in Boston and became a very prominent member in the community.
This was quite a surprise to me as I was born Canadian and only became a US citizen 3 years after I married my American husband. I am now US Citizen, but to find out that I could also be a member of the Daughter’s of the American Revolution came as a complete surprise to me. How strange to know this now, maybe it could have saved me time and money in immigration costs.
Some time ago one of my relatives added immigration papers and photographs of my paternal great aunts, and great grandparents and it is wonderful to see similar facial features of one of my sisters or myself in their likeness. There is a photograph of the house my paternal Great, Great Grandfather and his family lived in for many years in England, which still stands today and I have shown to my son.
It makes me wonder what will happen in the years to come. Will my son be able to show his Grandchildren photographs of me? Will the digital photographs that we take today still be around 50 years from now? A hundred years from now? Will the iPhone photos my clients take today be lost over time?
In my previous career of IT the original hardware I used had a 5-¼ disk drive, then 3 ½ inch disk drives then CD’s and then DVD. Today you cannot find a device that reads a 5-¼ disk drive or a 3-1/2 inch floppy drive. Hard drive crash all the time. CD readers are getting harder and harder to find. What will happen in 50 years or 100 years?
Will my photography clients of today be able to look at their digital photographs that I take tomorrow? I am now convinced more then ever that I should insist on printing the best photographs that I take of my clients so that 50 years from now or 100 years from now they will have something to show their grandchildren.
My heart goes out to those who live in New Jersey and New York. We all get up every day and go to work, grocery shop, take the kids to school. We all have so much to do. Then out of no where a storm. No one expected it to be bad or life threatening. Homes are lost, belongs are swept away. When it is happening all we care about is that the people we love are with us. It's after the storm that we stop and take stock and the things we miss the most are the photos of the moments in your life. I remember listening to a women who restores photos for a living, who went to Japan after the Tsunami. She told stories about how important that seemed to everyone. It wasn't the furniture or TV but it was the photos of Grandma who has passed away that seemed so very important to those who had lost their homes in Japan.
We should always remember, it doesn't have to be a major event in your life, anytime is a good time, to have a photographer capture your family, friends and loved ones.