Over the last few months, my family has been clearing out my grandparents home (as my poppy passed away a few years back and my nanny is now living in a seniors home). Sorting someone’s life’s “collections” (not all of it good stuff as you can guess…like years of newspapers LOL), is a daunting task. We were really on the look out for the valuable stuff – and by valuable, I don’t mean monetarily valuable. I am talking mementos, special things that help us remember special times. And mostly, we were looking for the photographs.

We stumbled on a metal case that had several trays of slide film in them. If you are a youngun’ and don’t know what I speak of this “slide film” business, check this out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reversal_film (and just so you know, my kids had no CLUE what slides were, and I am a photographer LOL…but my son, who is a bit of a photographer himself, agreed that the colour and vibrancy of slide film just can’t be met.)

I took the trays and planned to go through them to see what we wanted to keep. It was a treasure trove of images from about 1963-1967 (including a gorgeous blonde-headed girl, who was clearly destined to be awesome…even if her blonde hair is now a dark auburn, only marginally chemically enhanced). A friend and client of mine kindly offered to lend me her slide/neg scanner, which was a huge help because I had around 100 images I wanted to scan. It turns out, that there were images in there that my mom had NEVER seen. Just think about that…images from her prom, wedding, first baby, young parents, family cottage…NEVER.SEEN.

And why would that be, I thought? Well, slide film was meant to be viewed with a projector, on a screen. And then put away in the closet/drawer. Not printed. Thankfully, we still can “read” those little slides because they are a physical item, and as long as a device that can reflect light on them exists, we can copy them and print them now.

You see where I am going with this? This is likely not going to be the case 40 years from now with your digital files. It is HIGHLY unlikely that computers will read discs or thumb drives.  Jpegs and RAW and PSDs will likely not be something people of the time will be using as file formats (or even heard of, not unlike slide film today). Unless you are SUPER diligent about copying ALL of your data onto the newest medium (and who is…not me…that would take so much time, time I just don’t have most days), then you likely will lose those photographs.

When your children are cleaning out your home when you move to wherever you plan to live out your old age, will they come across boxes of discs or drives of unreadable images? That would be a crime in my opinion.

I know, you think that because I am a photographer and want to sell prints and albums to my clients, that I am saying this out of personal gain. Not so (and besides, this is not just about professional photographs). MY Poppy died several years ago, and I never saw any photos of him as a young man, or my grandparents as a young couple. That is until we found this metal case of slides. I am beyond thankful that these are readable by this scanner because now I can make an album that my own kids can find in my messy, cluttered, old lady house someday. A gift for sure.

Check them out…

Prom – turns out my mom, myself and my daughter ALL wore pale pink dresses – totally NOT planned because I didn’t realize it til this photo.

 

 

Apparently, guys DID get roped into showing up at wedding showers in the early ’60s…how cute are they

 

 

getting ready…

 

my parents wedding with all of my grandparents (the only one still living is my mom’s mom)

My husband is Filipino and thus, people are very readily able to say my kids look more like him, because its true, they have lovely features from his side of the family. BUT, when I saw this photo of my dad at age 21, I was SHOCKED to see how much my 19-year-old son resembles him in this image…their profile, mouth, brow is nearly identical. Never saw it before this…so cool.

 

My grandfather, camping out on their property while the cottage was being built.

I really wish this was a sharper image because I WANT a 20×24 of this on canvas for my wall…I adore EVERYTHING about it (this is the lake their cottage was on, and I spent many wonderful summers there).

Our cottage…in MY memory, though, there were decks and room additions in later years. I never saw it like this.

 

 

These next two…I am guessing these were taken from around the same age as me right now…again, I have NEVER seen them like this…I just adore everything about these next two shots.

 

My mom and her mom…cuties!

 

If we had not found that box, I, of course, would not know what memories we were missing out on. But I have to say, finding them has been such a priceless thing. Please PLEASE don’t let your family memories languish in storage (especially if they only exist in digital format). Someday, your children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be marveling over what you keep for them, just as I have been if you can keep them preserved for them