Sunday, May 8, 2011

Article #149 Using Photos

Photos can be great memory joggers and help you recall experiences to write about in your life story. At some point you’ll want to organize your photos to put into your history. Make a list of them or create a file folder/s or envelope/s to put them in, if they aren’t attached to some scrapbook. You can copy photos to use by scanning them or making a copy at a photo store. You’ll need a scanner or change them into digital files to use on a computer. (Photo of my mom as a teen in front of her house in Silver City, Utah now a ghost town.)

A picture is worth a thousand words, especially to show how you grew and changed during your lifetime. What kind of clothes you wore, where you lived, etc. Other materials like old newspaper clippings of events like marriages, graduations, family deaths, postcards, letters, maps, certificates and programs can also be scanned and added to your manuscript to add interest. In fact you could just do a photo scrapbook with captions, if you want a quick project. It’s better than no life story at all. Copies could be made to share with family members.

I remember my grandmother’s old black photo scrapbook which she hadn’t put any captions in. The pictures were held in place by corners and it seems they were always falling out of the book. We sat down many times when I was a youngster and looked through it as she pointed out her parents or an old homestead, but no one bothered to write down any captions. Now she is gone and all those memories, we can only guess who the individuals in the photographs might have been. Perhaps that’s a project to do before scanning your photos.

How do you store your pictures? Hopefully not in those acetate sticky pages that were so popular years ago because they held your photos in place easily. They also sucked out the color from your photos because they weren't acid free. Take your photos out of those kinds of books and store them in archival safe plastic sleeves that will protect them. At the same time how about adding some captions and while you’re at it scan your photos, so they can be stored safely for generations. They are invaluable and in case of a fire, the first things you’ll want to grab cause they are irreplaceable. Organize your photos today and share them with others so they are preserved as your family’s legacy. (Photo of my maternal grandma in her flower garden.)


Linda Reeder said...

We have such a wealth of ways to store and remember photos and documents now. It's so easy if we just take the time t do it.
Happy Mother's Day, Lin.

kavita said...

Happy Mother's Day, LIN ! I have been arranging my photos since i bought my new laptop.Looking at them is very relaxing .I liked your idea of adding caption to them.

SandyCarlson said...

It's so important to mark photos, to keep the context alive. Finding notes on photos is like finding treasure. My mother's family made all kinds of notes. Not so with my father's family. And what a difference this makes on our sense of connection with our forebears and even with the present.

ramblingwoods said...

That is good advice...I need to do that...michelle