When we take time to talk about our photos, we give them deeper meaning and context that can be passed along in the form of stories. Family stories make our futures richer by making our roots deeper.
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“When the photographer Rachel LaCour Niesen lost her grandfather, in September of 2013, she memorialized him as many grieving relatives do in the modern age: by posting old family photos to social media. On Instagram, she displayed an image of Grandaddy Billy as a beaming young man in a Navy uniform, his boots tightly laced, standing on a paved pathway through a tidy lawn. In the comments field, Niesen jotted down some bits of biography (‘The Virginia boy was sent to a naval base in California, where he met the love of his life, my grandmother Eleanor’) and explained that the photo, which she’d never seen before her grandfather died, had been unearthed from her grandmother’s jewelry box. ‘It was like discovering buried treasure,’ she wrote.”
“Save Family Photos started as a personal project on Instagram and quickly grew into a virtual campfire. It’s a safe place where people can gather and share their stories, one photo at a time. We must share our stories or our family photos will end up as anonymous artifacts in thrift stores, along with the countless others.”
“‘All photographs are there to remind us of what we forget.’ – John Berger
These words mean more to me on this particular Mother’s Day than ever before. This year I will become a mother. I will celebrate a world of firsts – first glimpse of my child, first giggles, first cries, first time tangling blissfully in a sea of baby blankets, first time saying ‘I love you, kiddo.'”
“We’re drowning in digital content. That’s why one-of-a-kind analog media – like Polaroids and Kodachrome slides – are priceless artifacts of our existence.”
“Do you have old photos of family members lying around? Are some of them so old you don’t even know the names of the people or the stories behind the images? My interview today is with Rachel LaCour Niesen, founder of Save Family Photos. I’m intrigued by her mission to preserve the world’s family photos and post them on Instagram. Viewing the worn, faded and torn photos in her feed is a treat, in and of itself, but reading the accompanying stories is what really makes this project captivating.”
“Before there was #ThrowbackThursday and #FlashbackFriday, there were boxes upon boxes of old photographs at grandma’s waiting to jog memories and reveal ancestral histories that might have otherwise been forgotten. And thanks to the most heartwarming Instagram account out there, those same pictures are finding their way out of cramped storage spaces and on to the internet.”
“The treasure is not just the photo but the story that comes with it, I believe stories are the currency of our past, present and future. Without them, we are bankrupt. Our family photos trigger those stories. They are like glue that holds my story — and our stories — together over time.”
Save Family Photos and AARP collaborated on a special Instagram project to celebrate the power of vintage family photographs. Together we shared, curated, and posted photos of Sarah Lincoln LaCour, the grandmother of Save Family Photos’ founder Rachel LaCour Niesen.