Posts in photo legacy
Google’s New App: Great Way to Preserve Your Old Photos Before They Fade Away

The new Google PhotoScan app allows users to digitally capture their old family photos with ease—and without glare. While the app isn't ideal for scanning high-resolution images for use in print, it has enormous value in quickly and effectively scanning those precious boxes of old family photos you—and your extended family members—have lying around your homes. See why it's a recommended download.

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Don’t Rely on Social Media to Save Your Photo Memories.

Facebook and Instagram are wonderful platforms for sharing pictures of your family’s favorite moments (I do love such everyday history!) and capturing tidbits we might otherwise forget—but by no means should they be considered your primary photo storage. Your memories matter too much to lose them to the whims of technology. Some reasons why social media as archive is a bad idea—and a unique option for elevating your Instagram library to family heirloom.

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When a Bad Photograph Is the Perfect Picture

Throwing away photos that hold no meaning (or are duplicates, or are just plain bad) is a requisite for organizing your visual memories. Think before you toss, though. Sometimes that blurry shot—or an old, ripped black-and-white, or the one where you are so small you're like an ant!—are worth keeping. Here's why.

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“His are the sepia eyes that passed through me.”

“His is the broad nose, the high cheekbones, the determined mouth, the face not like an oval or a heart, but like a square. He died long before I'd ever meet him, but I carried him in my blood.” In Beth Kephart's contribution to our “Pictures Into Words” series, you’ll find inspiration for writing about a photograph that holds more mystery than memory. Sometimes it's the wondering, the imagining, that brings life to an old photo—that carries your ancestors from the past into the present and finds the narrative thread in our connected lives.

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“Honoring Mamita”

Yuliana Gomez Delgado reflects on a favorite photograph with her grandmother, a shot that has taken on new meaning now that Yuliana herself knows what it is to be called Mother. As she poignantly writes, “Burying her was saying goodbye to my childhood—it was the first time I realized time went forever forward, and so many happy memories were destined to stay behind.” And yet, she finds a lasting way to honor her Mamita, and create a loving legacy for her family.

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“My Mother, the Most Beautiful Woman in the Room”

You don't have to call yourself a writer to write meaningful vignettes about your life—and photographs make wonderful prompts. In this series, “Pictures Into Words,” Rachel Brodsky offers up her own vignette as inspiration. "Even as I—and the photo of us together—grew older, my mom still never seemed to age. Perhaps part of that has to do with the fact that she’s blessed with enviable genes—even today she’s well past 50 and still only has a smattering of barely visible gray hair..."

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How To Use Photographs As Prompts for Writing Life Stories

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but when you actually attach words to a picture it gains even greater value. Photographs jog our memories, and as such make excellent prompts for writing short life stories, or as I call them, vignettes. Here are easy tips to get you started writing about your photographs and memories. By elucidating the stories associated with your family pictures, you leave a visual AND narrative history to your children, a gift from the past for the future.

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