Tonight I’m wrapping up a photo scanning project. This one’s a little special because of how it came to be. I was on my way to pickup Kate from basketball camp at the university and I just had a feeling I needed to stop and say “hello” to my husband’s great Aunt Colleen and Uncle Jerry.
I didn’t have the time – I was barely going to make it on time to get Kate, but I couldn’t shake that feeling. I stopped for just a minute and said hello. Within 30 seconds we were into Aunt Colleen’s living room where she was showing me envelopes of photos…and it was then that I realized why I couldn’t shake the feeling that I needed to drop by – I knew exactly how to help with those photos!
I returned with Troy and the kids that Saturday. I brought along a notepad and we started through the photos one by one. I numbered the back of each photo and then took corresponding notes on my trusty notepad (very undigital I know but I love my notepads)…
Sitting there with Aunt Colleen I remembered WHY I love to do what I do. I LOVE helping people connect their stories & photos in digital format so they can be enjoyed by the largest number of people for generations…
Speaking of stories, there were so many gorgeous photos with memories – I’d pull out a photo, number it and then ask a few main questions:
- WHO was in the photo? This often led to questions about relationships and events.
- I also asked if there were any stories surrounding the photo that weren’t obvious. Things others couldn’t see but would want to know.
I learned so much about our Riggs family. It was such a gift to hear the stories and in a way grow closer to the people in those photos even though I’d never met many of them. Some of my favorite images from the project include this photo -
This is a photo of the Noble Family in 1914. The fifth person in the back row is my husband’s great grandmother Myrtle B. Noble Riggs – or Grammie Riggs. Such a neat family photo and yet my personal favorite photo of the group was taken many years later that I shared at the top of this post.
The photo includes my husband’s grandmother Melba Riggs Lamoreaux, Aunt Colleen Riggs Harris and Aunt Elaine Green in 1959. I just love the three sisters together. I never met Aunt Elaine, but I have many fond memories of Aunt Colleen and Grandma Melba together – so much fun those two had!
Have you ever had a project fall into your lap that you really didn’t feel you had the time to do, but then you just knew it was something you needed to do? I can’t believe how this came together – I came home with photos that Saturday, shipped them off to be scanned the following Monday. They returned a few weeks later and I’ve been adding metadata whenever I could since.
There’s just something about working with photos of people you love – especially for two people you love. Aunt Colleen and Uncle Jerry really took us under their wing when we moved out of state as newlyweds. They and their family included us just as if we were their own. There are kindnesses in life that you really can never fully repay – you just look for opportunities to honor that kindness when you can.
Finally tonight, after weeks of adding metadata, I get to take the files over and guide Aunt Colleen through creating a Facebook account where she can share these photos with family in a way that they can be enjoyed again and again…
It’s days like this that I’m grateful to be doing the work I do. I not only get to preserve my personal photo stories, but also have the privilege of helping others preserve theirs. It doesn’t get any better than that…