7 Reasons To Save Those Older Vintage Photos
By: Kristy McClenagan
Nixplay has partnered with the Association of Personal Photo Organizers (APPO) for the Save Your Photos initiative, a public service outreach campaign that teaches individuals how they can preserve life’s irreplaceable photos, videos, and documents in case of an unforeseen accident or disaster. Visit the Save Your Photos website for more information.
September is Save Your Photos Month, a time to raise awareness about the benefits of safeguarding your photos. In the spirit of this initiative, let’s focus on why you should not just safeguard your photos, but save your older, vintage photos as well.
Maybe you’re thinking, “why should I keep those photographs? I’ve not looked at them in years so they’re just collecting dust. I don’t know many of the people in them and they won’t mean anything to my children.” Or, maybe it’s simply that you’ve scanned them and have them stored in digital format.
I’m at a time in my life when I’m going through boxes of photos stored in my home and my parents’ home. I’ve found baby pictures of my dad and older pictures of family, which have brought back so many fond memories. I even found my Grandad’s little box of photos that he used to bring out every time we visited. I’ve probably seen every photo in that little cigar box over a hundred times, yet when we saw them again, they made us laugh so hard and share funny stories about him.
So, whatever your perspective, let me share with you why you may want to save those older vintage photos!
Why keep older, vintage photographs?
Nostalgia and memories
This is the main reason photos are taken—to capture and preserve memories. Maybe you need to weed through your photo collection to remove duplicates, blurry photos and bad shots, but you want to preserve those special moments in time. Your child’s birth. Birthday parties. The first day of school. Weddings. Anniversaries. Photos enable us to remember these moments much more vividly, bringing back the emotions—the laughter, the tears, the excitement.
This is one of my favorite pictures. It’s my Grandma when she was three years old. They were taking family pictures and she did not want her picture taken. She screamed and cried until she was given her mom’s pocket watch. She finally allowed her picture to be taken (although she still has a bit of a sour face).
In 1910, having your picture taken was a big deal—they had to dress up and go to a studio out of town—so they wanted to be sure to get everyone’s picture. Unfortunately, this is the only photo taken that day that survived; all the others have been lost over the years. It sure would be nice to have them now.
Photos tell your own personal history, one that you want your children or other loved ones to know about. Every photo is part of your experience, showing the people, places, and events that have shaped your life and made you who you are. They are part of your identity.
Every picture tells a story. You may learn stories that you never knew. You may never know the story behind a photo, but photos can stir the imagination and you can give them new life by having your children create stories to go with them.
Signs of the times
How much fun is it to look at photos of your parents and grandparents to see how groovy they looked when they were younger? Different decades lead to different hairstyles and different fashions. Were they part of the cool kids, the nerds, or the jocks?
When you look at photos from the early 1900s, when taking pictures was more of an event, you see people in their best outfits, starched and posed.
It’s easy to forget about how things were done in the past years. Older, vintage photos capture the lifestyle of the decade. They help us imagine the past and remember how things were done. How many people in their 20s today know what a rotary phone is? How about an 8-track, cassette, or even a vinyl record?
Help a loved One remember
Do you have loved ones who suffer from memory loss? Old photos can help them remember people or special events or give them back their childhood for a period of time. Looking at these photos may spark some stories that you can capture and pass along with the photo. What a wonderful way to spend some time with an elderly loved one!
Pass on for posterity
In truth, your photo collection isn’t just for you; it’s also for future generations. Your photo collection is a way to leave your legacy, so your grandchildren and their grandchildren will know from whence they came. Photos give them a chance to connect with deceased ancestors and family history. Family pictures are storehouses of long-forgotten memories, just like that of my grandma.
I created a photobook for a friend to help honor and remember her grandparents. There were so many photos that showed what their lives were like as a young married couple and as their children grew into adults. This is one of her favorite photos—taken during her uncle’s wedding, with many family and friends she has only heard stories of and never had the chance to meet, such as her mother’s grandmother.
It captures a moment in time when her grandparents were young and vital, and her mother was just a teen. This image, as well as the other photos in the photobook, show what life was like in Great Britain during the early 1950s. It is something she can pass along to her son and his children one day.
History lives on
We don’t want history to fade away. Your ancestors may have been involved in WWII or the Holocaust or the Civil unrest of the ’60s. Your photos may document historical times that you want to share with future generations.
Don’t lose that precious history. Cherish them. Share them. Display them.
The printed photograph is meant to be shared and displayed, not to be solely scanned and stored away to pass on for posterity purposes one day. I love having tangible photos, coming up with creative and unique ways to share and display them.
Why not snuggle up with pictures of your grandparents or grandchildren or even pets on a warm fleece blanket or pillow? Create a unique wall display that shows different generations of your family. Find some fun frames to display those goofy shots that make you laugh. I love using canvas and metal to print pictures on, they make great gifts and have a unique texture and finish.
I just recently got the Nixplay Iris WiFi digital frame. I love the peach copper finish; it really dresses up my mantle. It’s fun to be able to share photos anytime, anywhere. The key is to enjoy your photos now!
What’s your favorite way to share and display your photos?
Kristy is the owner of Lifetime Memories. She has a passion for helping others save their memories, keep them safe, help you enjoy them today and be able to pass them along to future generations.