Save Your Family’s Cherished Photos
Touring castles or homes from centuries past makes you notice that almost all the truly wealthy commissioned family portraits that hung in the “gallery” of ancestors. Portraits were the only way back then to visually preserve the family history and family legacy. Complete with elegant gowns, spiffy military uniforms, or cute children in their finest.
Portraits could take months to paint and the subject might have to sit or stand for hours for the artist to get it just right. Very few could afford the cost to update the portraits regularly or find a good artist to make them appear healthy and attractive, while not destroying family characteristics or the good family memories.
Photography changed everything in the 1800s. Even the poorest families began to have portraits taken. Then Kodak changed the world by introducing a camera for the everyday man. The photography industry was born.
In 1900, the “Brownie” camera was manufactured and used a roll of film instead of the plates that had to be inserted and removed for each picture in earlier cameras. The earliest film suffered from incorrect processing and often disintegrated in a few years or discolored rapidly.
In the 1900s, color photography was introduced, but it wasn’t commercially viable for all families because of its cost, until the 1950s. Families began to document their lives, and each holiday, birthday, or special occasion required pictures. Children began to have studio portraits taken to signify milestones in their lives.
For all the millions of family photos that were taken in the last hundred years, many were shoved into boxes or tins, lost in moves to new places, or have otherwise faded into obscurity. Storing family photos safely simply wasn’t done. As families grew and generations passed away, many of the faces in the photos grew unrecognizable. Memories of the details of people’s lives and personalities vanished.
For Rachel LeCour Nieson, a photographer and former journalist, that whole situation seemed almost tragic.
Rachel believes that photographs tell stories, and that those stories are the “currency of the past, present and future.” She believes that photographs are a way of leaving your legacy when you’re gone. Nieson started Save Family Photos and she isn’t in business just to document her own history but everyone else’s as well. People from all over share photos with her, which are then posted on her website.
If you want to share photos online through the site, you will need to digitize your photos by scanning them.
Learning how to scan a photo is relatively easy, with a modern printer with a scanning function. You may also take your pictures to office stores that have print centers, and they can scan your photos easily. They will put them on digital media or email the digital copy to you.
Save Family Photos is a conglomeration of many families’ treasured photos. The photos tell stories of wealth, poverty, royalty, family explorations, vacations, memories, namesakes, and more. Old family photos show portraits of children smiling, couples in love, grandparents, and cars and fashions of a world that lives on only in these pictures. One picture can hold an incredible story within itself.
Marvel at a family posed at the fairgrounds; see a road trip in the good ol’ station wagon; keep the image close of a turn-of-the-century child dressed as a cowboy, riding a tricycle. Observe rural life in the 1960s, via family photos of a boy holding a pet raccoon.
Photos are compelling evidence of other days, worlds gone by. The amazing details in so many of them will transport you into your own memories of the past, memories of people lost and times cherished. Rachel LeCour Nieson started a project that benefits us all.
Everlasting Footprint commends the project at Save Family Photos. We want to encourage everyone to preserve and share their family memories online.