Have you ever opened a box of old photos, or a dusty photo album? Instantly, those photos transport your mind to a different time, conjuring up all the sights, sounds, scents, and people that were there, even if they aren’t shown in the photo. The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is so true. One snapshot can singly capture an entire story of a time and place from our past.
The Story Behind the Photo
I have written before about how you probably know more about a photo than you think you do when I shared how I create a photo citation. Well, beyond citation facts about a photo, you might know more about the STORY behind a photo as well. And if you don’t, an older member of your family might. Have you ever pulled out an old photo, showed it to a family member and asked what the circumstances were when that photo was taken? I have, and the amount of information and story that went with a few of the photos really surprised me. A simple photo can bring back the full sensory memory of a time long past… the sounds, scents, emotion and surroundings can come back to the forefront of your mind, even if they weren’t directly captured in the photo.
These are the types of little stories I love to record and share on my Instagram account. That way, my extended family members can learn a little more about their ancestors. Then the memory of the people and story of the photo is preserved for another generation. Instagram is a great platform for sharing photos and the story tidbits behind them. (Thus the popularity of one of my must-follow Instagram accounts, Save Family Photos!) Here are some of the favorite photos and stories I have shared in the past few years.
My grandparents, Walter and Billee graduated from Capitol Hill High #school in Oklahoma City in 1936. Walter was 20 and Billee was 17. They were high school sweethearts and everyone assumed they would marry (it even said so in their high school yearbook). They did get married 5 years later in 1941. #genealogyphotoaday #genealogyphoto #genealogy #familyhistory
Nancy Annie Prentice Humphrey, with her sons E.C. and James Alvis, circa 1905-10. Nancy Annie was widowed by this time, her husband was 20+ years her senior, the same age as her father. She would continue to live in Denton, Texas until her death in 1950, outliving not only her husband, but 3/5 of her children, too. #savefamilyphotos #genealogyphoto #genealogy #familyhistory #dentontexas
Oh, grandma Betty! I adore this photo of you… the light shining from your eyes… the cheeky mischief in your smile… your musical talent that you so often shared. You’ve been gone for almost 19 years, but I can still hear your laugh clearly in my mind, I remember your sense of humor, your kindness and service to all you knew. #genealogyphoto #genealogyphotoaday
Happy 100th Anniversary, Bess & Sid! This cute couple, my great-grandparents, were teen sweethearts. They went out courting on Sid’s motorcycle. On this day 100 years ago, they decided to elope… only they had to tell a lie to do it! It was just a little fib… a tiny white lie… and they were so in love! You see, they told the clerk that Bessie was 18 years old, and Sidney was 21. But Bessie was only 16 and Sidney only 19. They remained inseparable the rest of their lives! Commemorate their 100th Anniversary with me! Learn more about Sid & Bess at finlayfamily.org #100thanniversary #genealogy #familyhistory #savefamilyphotos
My grandpa Walter Fredric Corn served in the Chemical Warfare Service stationed in India during WWII. Although his main task was laundering uniforms in anti-chemical-warfare solution, it looks like his mechanical skills came in handy as well. #familyhistory #genealogy #savefamilyphotos #familystoryminute #ancestorclips
Enter the RootsTech Contest for a Chance to Win Big
This year, a brand new contest is being held as part of RootsTech 2018: Photo+Story. The entries don’t have to be anything fancy, or even anything old. They can be any meaningful photo with the story behind it. You may enter up to one Photo+Story in each of four categories: Connect, Belong, Family, and Heritage. Entries will be accepted through December 31, 2017, and finalists have a chance to win big prizes!