It came as something of a surprise recently to find out that one of my relatives thinks a bit differently than I do about our family photos from the last 40 years or so. The goal on this person’s part was paring down – to look at the photos and get rid of those in which the subjects were not recognizable. I asked to keep some of these photos and albums, to be able to scan them. To some extent, I can identify them, as well, and I hope to make copies and share them with the other people who are in the photos.
What I found interesting was that we came to the task with totally different aims; that it is just a part of who I have become, as a genealogist, researcher, and family historian, to desire that photographs, in whatever form, be preserved, if possible, and the subjects identified. (tell me that it doesn’t thrill you to find OLD photos that have names, dates and places on them!).
My fervent desire is that you look at your photos, old or new, and if you know the who-where-when, please identify that aspect. Some future descendant will thank you (and you might just thank yourself in a few decades!!). Oh, and then share your photos (without breaking any copyright laws! See Judy G. Russell, the Legal Genealogist’s, blog post regarding this topic: http://legalgenealogist.com/blog/2012/03/06/copyright-and-the-old-family-photo/ ). Thanks!!