What do vintage photos and creative writing have in common?
Everyone knows the old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words.” And it’s popular because it’s true! When we look at an old family photo, our brains often recall fond memories and short stories about our families. That’s just one reason why we should save and share our family photographs. They trigger memories and stories that tell us a lot about our family history and legacy. But what do vintage photos and creative writing have in common? A lot! Just as family photos inspire us to tell stories, anonymous photos also spark stories. For creative writers, stumbling across a bin of old photographs at a thrift shop may catalyze storytelling. In fact, there is a wonderful project that focuses on old photos and creative writing. Here’s a bit more background about it, as well as information about how you can participate.
The Captured Project
If you’ve ever stared into a box of dusty old photos and wondered aloud, “who were these folks?,” you will love this project. It embodies everything that’s magical about vintage and vernacular photographs. From their mystery to their anonymity, abandoned photos spark our imaginations. When you visit the site, you will quickly discover a simple yet beautiful description about the project’s mission.
A found photo & creative writing project. Old photos are rescued from dusty shelves in antique malls to preserve lost and extraordinary moments. They are then carefully curated into an online collection and paired with new fictional narratives or poems, reclaiming the stories behind them.
The founder of the project is a self-proclaimed “artist and storyteller, interested in the lost and extraordinary.” She’s certainly doing a fabulous job reclaiming old photographs that have been lost or forgotten. Thankfully, they are renewed and resurrected in the form of short stories. One story is about a young photographer who decides to step out from behind the camera and ask perfect strangers to capture her portrait. The resulting vignette about this unique young woman touches on our universal human desire to be seen.
More photos and stories are available on the site and will quickly draw you in because they’re thoughtful, substantive and funny. Most of all, each short story is creative and captivating. Just like those dusty bins of abandoned photos, The Captured Project is well-worth viewing. It will help you understand the power photographs have to trigger memories.
And if you’re interested in sharing a short story or getting involved in this fun project, you can reach out to the founder and chief curator, Abby, by emailing her here: firstname.lastname@example.org She says contributions from guest writers and artists are always welcome, so send some to her soon! You’ll be glad you did.
By Rachel LaCour Niesen, Steward of Stories & Founder of SaveFamilyPhotos.
Rachel is a Yankee by birth but a Southern storyteller at heart. When a much-loved uncle gifted her with her first SLR camera, Rachel found her calling in photography. In pursuit of her passion, she headed to the University of Missouri, where she studied Photojournalism and Art History. Since then her work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times Magazine and the San Francisco Chronicle. Along with her business partners, she founded LaCour, a wedding photography studio based in Atlanta. As LaCour grew, the team co-founded ShootQ, a cloud-based business management application for photographers. In 2010, ShootQ was acquired by Pictage. When she’s not curating old family photos, she enjoys adventures with her husband and partner in entrepreneurship, Andrew Niesen.