Thursday, March 17, 2011

Capturing Old Family Photos

This is my great-grandmother.  I never met her.

A couple months ago, I was able to see some old family photos that my aunt on my dad's side has inherited.

Instead of copying them, I took digital photos of the photographs (and the backs if they were written on) and I wanted to let you know how it was done.

The back of the top photo ... can you see why I wanted to capture this handwritten labeling?


1.  First, and probably most importantly, I used only full natural light, and no flash.

2.  I chose a spot with no shadows, and laid a white piece of paper down.

3.  I laid each picture out on its own on the paper, and knelt so the camera and I were straight over it and focused as close as I possibly could, and looking straight down onto each photo, held as still as I could and took the photo, then turned the photo over and captured what was on the back.

4.  After taking, check in your review function how each one looks to make sure you got it done right.

5.  Cropping can be done in your photo editing program, as well as labeling the front of each of them if you like!

6.  Now they can easily be uploaded and emailed to your siblings or your cousins or other relatives who might not have copies of the photos, or uploaded to a photo processing website for them to order prints (you'll need to give your cousins the password).

This is a great method to remember when you're at family reunions and relatives have great pictures you'd like to capture.

It's nice to be able to capture the handwriting of ancestors you've never met.

This was my grandmother's brother.

The quality of the photos of photos was top notch!

And the label on the back.

This would be my great uncle.  
I never have met any of my grandmother's siblings.

My grandmother, Clara, the flapper, with an unknown beau.  Grandma was tall and slender all of her life, even into her old age.

My grandmother's parents.  
Joe served for a short time in the Civil War.  

My grandfather on my dad's side with a brother and their buck pole.
And below, my grandpa with friends.
My grandfather is second from the right.

Don't you just love the sepia and the black and white?

My dad and his sister in the 1930's!
My little brother James, (who is now a missionary to England)  looked JUST LIKE my dad here when he was little!


Linda said...

I love the "old" BW photos...this is a great way to get them into a digital photo. I have a scanner that when you scan the photo it scans it into a digital format. Just one of those great technology things I love.

Have a Blessed Day!

Nancy C said...

These are very sweet photographs and I'm so glad you were able to get them in your digital scrapbook for future reference.

I really need to do this with my mother's photos. :)

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Debbie said...

I can only imagine your appreciation for these old photos. I'm not sure our family owned a camera till the 60's and nobody wants pictures then! :D
I'm so glad you posted you method of collecting these images and I have a few I intend to try that on today. Thanks. And have a nice weekend.

Sabrina @Falling Leaf Woodworkers and Primitives said...

These ae great photos. Thank you for sharing.

Old Centennial Farmhouse said...

@Linda: I was no where near a scanner or I would have used it, probably would have been easier. The neat thing about this is you can take these at grandma's house, anywhere you find yourself with a camera.

Like at a summer family reunion, these could be done inside a car or under a pavilion.


Kimberly said...

Joni-Your grandmother was beautiful. I love the clothes and shoes, and her hairdo. She was very stylish.
Thanks for the tips-I need to get copies of our old family photos my next trip to Iowa.
I've been traveling for the last couple of weeks and wasn't able read your post. But as a transplanted American, I appreciate knowing that there are those back home still fighting for our rights and letting your voices be heard. Please keep up the fight! Blessing...

Unknown said...

Love the old pictures. Have some made into a calendar for the next generation to learn about their family.

Gwargedd said...

What amazing treasures to have. I love the idea of taking ditgal shots of old photos so thanks for the tip now I will go and try it.

aimee said...

LOVE old family photographs! I was blessed to be able to inherit a lot of them; the oldest was from 1871-2!

I also digitized them--but I did it by scanning them. Now I take photos of the photos because it is easier-at least for me:) I like it because I can share them and also I just feel better having a copy of them on an exterior drive in case of a fire. I've used the same method with microfilms too (genealogy).

Happy St Patrick's Day Joni! TY for sharing your family photo treasures with us:)

Blessings, Aimee

mary your sis said...

I was wondering if you knew if Grandma's brother who served in the military was in the US Army or the French Foreign Legion? I know they were french, and the uniform looks like it might be different that US Military Uniforms, although I'm certainly not an expert. Thanks for sharing the photo's... they are very interesting!