How to Make Your Family Photos Come to Life

Blogs and sites offer many ways to make your photos have a realism and power, and over this holiday season I discovered a sure-fire way to make old photographs come to life.


Visiting with my soon-to-be 88 year old mother, my brother and I got into her stash of photos. They were all wonderful to see and filled with life. Sitting there with her as she went over them, telling us which was which, and as our memories projected into the images, the photos were talismans of family history and meaning.

family 70s

Then we took some of the pix home to my brother’s place where he was going to scan them for full family distribution. To my surprise these images seemed less interesting, less intense the longer they stayed on his dining room table. I realized that they were only a marker away from becoming those abandoned photos you find in second hand shops, stripped of their meaning and relevance.

He lightly told me that while we were at Mum’s place they were almost like Harry Potter pictures – with the people inside living and moving. And this was true. Further from their source they became only images, the life behind them more and more unseen and unknown.

How do you make these photos come to life? Keep your family history alive, and within the family. This is why artifacts taken from families and placed into museums for “safe-keeping” lose their power and relevance – they are no longer near the sources that keep their meaning.

Mum and Dad at the Cave

Nonetheless, I’ve included here a few of these gems, repurposed now as simply interesting images.

(Link here for a random post from my blog.)


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