Do you have boxes of old family photos on the top shelf of your closet? What if I told you that you valuable clues in your family history research are sitting in those boxes?
Have I got your attention?! Now grab those old family photos and let’s get to work.
I have a large collection of old family photos that I was graciously gifted when I began to explore our family’s history. Many of the photos were recognizable, but fading had caused some details to be lost. Others were faded or yellowed and obviously suffered some water damage.
Could these photographs be saved for future generations to enjoy and connect with? Could I restore them? Could I find more clues to use in my research?
Okay, I’ll admit that restoring a photo seemed 1) expensive and/or 2) hard. Happily, I was wrong on both accounts. (Because you know I’m a frugal researcher!)
Restoring Old Family Photos – A Vivid-Pix Tutorial
Vivid-Pix fit my needs perfectly with a short learning curve. I watched their 5 minute tutorial and was ready to start restoring my old family photos. Let me show you what I did. After all, a picture is a thousand words! (I couldn’t resist.)
This dress-up photo is a family favorite, but as you can see the original photograph is yellowed and faded. Using Vivid-Pix I was able to correct the colors and fading (in under 5 minutes!).
Take a look at this example and see how I was able to find clues to an ancestor’s life after the photo was restored.
This construction photo was found among old Howard family photos, but was not labeled. A photograph of a crane was not something I would normally expect to find. Photos of dogs were popular, but not cranes.
I used Vivid-Pix to correct the color and contrast and sharpen the image. That’s when I noticed something in the corrected photograph. See that sign by the crane? Blown up, the sign revealed the name of the contractor company!
Fast forward through genealogy research using the construction company’s name, oral history, census records and Raleigh city directories the mystery behind the photograph was revealed. This is the photograph my great grandfather Connie Howard operated while working on the North Carolina Education building in downtown Raleigh.
Watch how I used Vivid-Pix to restore my photos!
My challenge to you!
Get those old family photos out of the closet for a second (or third or fourth….) look. Don’t disregard potential clues in them just because the photograph is old and faded. Make an effort to restore AND preserve the photo using software like Vivid-Pix.
Take advantage of the Vivid-Pix Free trial! It’s a great way to try out the software with your own photos and see if it’s right for you.
Other Articles of Interest
- What Genealogists Ought To Know About Photo Organization
- Best Practices for Storing Heirloom Photographs
- Preserving Your Family’s Historic Photographs
- Top 10 Resources for Dating Old Photographs
Pin for Future Reference!