Recounting One Family’s Past Through Pictures
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Recounting One Family’s Past Through Pictures

By: Zoe Morrison

Sep 25, 2018
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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.

You can’t put a price on your family’s old photos, postcards, documents, and other mementos. These irreplaceable relics of a bygone era can never be replaced, and as such, should be handled and stored with utmost care.

This was truly the case with Homer Speer Jr., who lovingly kept the pictures and slides of his late father, Homer Sr., who lived at the turn of the 20th century. To better preserve his family’s legacy, Homer Jr. got in touch with professional photo organizer Zoe Morrison of My Beautiful Life Story.

“I’ve scanned hundreds of Homer’s collection of vintage photos and postcards, learning the stories behind most of the family treasures he had collected. I’ve learned a lot of local history along the way while preserving important mementos and photos.”

Historic adventures, revisited

Through the photos, Zoe and Homer Jr. were able to retrace Homer Sr.’s footsteps around the world. One trip that stood out was Homer Sr.’s visit to Instituto Butantan in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he studied the effects of the venom of various deadly snakes.

“Turns out, anti-venom research has been conducted in San Paulo for over a century, making it a world-renowned center for sera and other pharmaceutical development,” says Zoe. “The elder Homer was educating himself about serum development and the medical advances that would come around the globe from research being done in Brazil.”

Homer Speer Sr. inspects a cadaver in a photo from 1905.

Homer Speer Sr. inspects a cadaver in a photo from 1905.

To preserve his family’s legacy, Zoe taught Homer Jr. how to label, rotate, and order images on his computer. She also helped Homer Jr. create a video montage of his family’s photos.

“Dr. Speer lived a colorful life and left a deep lasting visual legacy for his son,” says Zoe. “While Homer and I scanned we talked about the photos and share memories. I can imagine I am traveling this junket too, set in the early 20th century.”

Keeping family memories alive through photographs

Shortly after this project was completed, the Speers left their home of 40 years, downsizing to a much smaller house.

With a Nixplay digital photo frame, the Speers can view their family photos anytime they want, and their visitors will be delighted by the stories hidden in the pictures. It’s a great way to always have your family history close by.

“You know how sometimes life has a way of working in funny little vignettes; when you are doing something you really love with another person who has a passion for sharing their stories and inviting you on their journey?” asks Zoe. “I’ve gotten to walk into the past with Homer and have learned some wonderful things.”

At age six, Zoe rode her first two-wheeler into the heart of her neighbors. Their stories and photos opened a world of discovery within those few small blocks. After a 30-year career in culinary arts, she’s gone back to her roots, collecting stories, organizing photos, and making new friends through her business MyBeautifulLifeStory.com.

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