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It started with this photo

Updated: Apr 26, 2023

My mom and I are going through our family photos. We started in February and have already spent many hours at my dining room table with her carefully arranged family photo album. We are so lucky to have many photos of her side of the family dating back to the 1920's and even more lucky to be able to put names with these faces.

My great great grandparents on their 50th wedding anniversary. August and Clara Anderson in 1923.
My great great grandparents on their 50th wedding anniversary.

As I remove the photos from the album pages, we look for dates, names, locations that are written on the backs of the prints. My grandma did a great job with naming everyone but the dates are not as easy to come by. So we're guessing and piecing together. "This looks like the same front porch. She is wearing the same dress in this photo too." I enjoy this sort of photographic detective work.

Then my mom fills in the details with memories and stories about personalities, traditions, mannerism and family dynamics.

My grandma and her parents. My great grandfather Otto took a lot of photos. We owe the first pages of our family photo album to him.

Next, I get to work on the laptop with Adobe Lightroom Classic, adding what information we have to the files we just created. Each photo is now an image file with the capability of carrying tidbits about dates, names, places and more. And the facial recognition and prediction that we are used to on our phones is available for these sepia toned images.

A search for great great grandpa August shows me 4 photos.

However, with the number of twins in my family it is still best to rely on grandma's handwriting when it is available. Or my mom's ability to remember that they would have Esther hold a handkerchief in her right hand while Hulda would hold it in her left. Or was it the other way around?

Our photos have stories to tell.
They may be from the 1920's or 2020's but I believe that someone, someday, will want to hear them.

If you have a photo project that you're planning to get to "some day", please get in touch with me soon. My summer is filling up with print and digital projects that are finally getting their some day.

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