preserving family history

Old Family Photo: Before and After

It's probably obvious, but I love old family photos and feel passionately that they should be preserved for future generations. For that reason, I decided to offer preservation as a Gerald & Joan service line in September 2013. In addition to creating photo books, I also scan and edit photographs and film slides. My scanner isn't the fanciest machine on the planet, but it does a great job when coupled with Adobe Photoshop and an observant eye. It can be painstaking work, but it's fun and rewarding. Once these images become digital files, they can be shared with family and friends to ensure family stories live on forever. I love keeping those stories alive.

Here's a great example of the sort of work I can do.

My mother-in-law has very few photos of her father Clovis Geno, and I'm pretty sure this is the only one she has of him as a boy. The photo is in decent shape when you consider it is almost 100 years old (Clovis would have been 100 on October 3, 2014), but it had a couple of bend marks that I knew I could remove. 

Clovis Yates (before preservation services)

Clovis Yates (before preservation services)

Clovis Yates (after preservation services)

Clovis Yates (after preservation services)

I love digitizing these old photos, and when I can help restore a photo to its former glory, it totally makes my day! Learn more about preservation services by contacting me here.

details of the time

Part of the fun of old photos is studying the details of the time -- the clothes, hairstyles and settings. Even the expressions on the subjects' faces add to the story! These little details keep the history of a family, time and place alive. It is an honor for us to preserve them for future generations to enjoy.

The top two photos are of Jonathan's great-grandmother Eliza and her family, and the bottom photos are of Eliza's daughters -- Linda and Sadie, Martha and Sadie, and Linda, Sadie, Martha, Olivene, Lois and Cass. They are pictured with Eliza's husband and their father, Clovis Yates. 


You might notice that the top photograph has some spots and a tear in it. I personally find decaying photographs to be quite beautiful, but as a preservationist, I scan the original image and save two copies -- one in its lovely original state and one that I've restored. The photo below gives an example of how a restored photo can look. This is a pretty simple restoration -- I didn't remove every little imperfection -- I just cleaned up the big spots and fixed the tear. If you have questions about photo preservation and restoration, feel free to contact me directly or leave a comment below!


The Heritage Photography Collection

Just in time for Mother's Day, Gerald & Joan is excited to introduce the Heritage Photography Collection.

In addition to our film and photo preservation services, we now offer professional-quality, vintage-inspired photo printing featuring a variety of finishes -- glossy, linen, matte and metallic photo papers, various borders and sizes and a variety of editing treatments including converting your photos and film to black and white, sepia and custom colors. Whether your images have been in your family for decades or they're new heirlooms, we will ensure they'll be a part of your story for generations to come. Our favorite sizes are 4x6, 5x5 and 5x7, but custom photo sizes and packages (of two images or one hundred!) are also available.

Not sure which treatment works for your images? We would be happy to recommend a plan that fits your images and your budget! Contact us today to learn more.


the yates family in the 1950s


You might remember our previous post about Sadie's parents, Clovis and Eliza. I love these photos taken with some of their children, grandchildren and children's spouses in the mid 1950s. The photos tell so much about who they were -- hardworking Christian people who were very devoted to their large family and each other. After Eliza passed away in 1959, the family remained close-knit. The photo below is Clovis and his daughters Kass, Lois, Olivene, Martha, Sadie and Linda. The bottom photo is Clovis with Sadie's first grandchild and my husband, Jonathan.