Old photos and the importance of prints

Just over a year ago, my lovely auntie Yvonne (my dad's sister) passed away at the fine age of 88. After the funeral, at the wake, there was a box of old photos and I saw this lovely, battered, photo of her circa 1939 and decided it would be nice to repair it.

The original photo:

Things like bricks are easy to repair, but the damage was over her skirt, shoulder and the cat which made it much more difficult, not to mention the loss of the entire corner of the photo!

It took a few days to carefully fix the damage and it's made me feel closer to her, zooming in and looking into her face from all those years ago, just before the war was going to evacuate her and my dad away from their family and friends in London all the way down to Devon. Where was it taken? Who took it, dad perhaps? Is the face to the left my gran? What was the name of the cat even! I love it.

After the Repair:

I've deliberately kept the edges a bit tatty and also kept it slightly coloured as I didn't want to take away the feeling of a precious and very old photo.

We are currently the most photographed generation yet the value of photography has almost disappeared. We snap away on our phones taking thousands of pictures but lose them just as easily when our phone breaks, or is stolen, or an upgrade deletes them. We delete photos we're not interested in at the time, but which in 50 years time we might have loved to look back upon. In 100 years will the technology of the future be able to read it? For example, if you had an important photo on a floppy disk now, could you retrieve it? Most of my clients ask for a DVD of images but surprisingly few have albums made or get prints. Will they still be around for their grandchildren to pore over and say, "Wow, look what they wore in 2015!", "Great uncle Fred looks just like Charlie!" and "So you had to drive cars yourself back then?"?

So try to print out photos and keep them safe somewhere; make an album; write on the back who it is as well. There's no way this photo would have survived over 70 years had it been a digital image on a phone (had they existed!) but it's made me very happy.

Oh, and here's a more recent photo of her. RIP Yvonne. x

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