Let's begin by defining the term "vintage photo". In my book, that would be a photo that was taken at least 25 years ago. Not that I want to call myself vintage, but for me that would be any photos from my childhood and earlier.
On a recent visit, my Mom brought my Grandmother's scrapbook with her. One thing I noticed as I looked through the album was the typed caption for each photo that included who was in the photo and when it was taken. Some photos also included where it was taken. The only thing missing was the what and why. I think it is pretty awesome that in a day when scrapbooking wasn't even a hobby, she was documenting bits and pieces of their life that would tell future generations something about her family.
I found myself asking these questions while browsing through the album…
- What did they do for a living?
- Where did they live and what was their home like?
- What kind of childhood did they have?
- What did they enjoy doing in their free time?
- Did the women work?
- What was their daily routine?
It made me realize those are the things that I should be documenting about my family and our life, but that is a topic for another day.
Today I want to share a few ideas to get the photos and stories of your family's heritage out of the boxes and onto a layout.
Enlist the Help of your Family
Ask your parents, grandparents, siblings or aunts and uncles to help you fill in the blanks. They may be able to help you identify people and what they were doing. My Mom is a valuable resource for me. I call her on a regular basis to ask her questions about photos that I want to scrapbook.
This layout is a perfect example of a time my Mom helped tell the story.
I remembered from my childhood how much my Grandma liked pigs. She had little pig figurines throughout her house so when I stumbled upon this photo of her with a little pig I started planning a layout about her love for pigs.
After talking to my Mom, I learned there was much more to the story than Grandma just liking pigs. She was given the little pig shown in the photo and cared for it until it was large enough to sell. She was soon to be married and bought her china set with the money she earned from selling the pig. What an amazing story to tell!
Here is another great example of how my Mom helped me tell a meaningful story.
I had this wonderful picture of her dressed in her cap and gown for high school graduation. I wanted to do a page about where she went to school, favorite subjects, and when she graduated. After talking to her I had a fabulous story about her plans to be a secretary and how she ended up being an accountant instead.
Tell your story
What about your own story? Your children and grand kids will want to know all about your childhood too. Use your childhood photos to document favorite pastimes, relationships or something about your day-to-day life.
These photos of my Dad and I fishing bring back fond childhood memories. I wanted to document how much I loved fishing with my Dad and our routine. I included those thoughts on a journaling card attached to the back of the layout.
Using school photos on your pages and journaling your thoughts or hopes and dreams is another great way to give others a peek into your past.
Don't keep others guessing about your childhood, look for photos that relate to your stories and create a layout.
Stories about Heirlooms
All those family heirlooms and memorabilia that have been passed down through the generations have a story too and certainly deserve a place in your album. So what do you do if you don't have any photos of your heirlooms in a vintage photo? Take a current day photo of the heirloom.
This little yellow dress from my childhood has special meaning to me that I wanted to record. I couldn't find any photos of me in the dress and I obviously couldn't fit the dress on my page so I snapped a photo and used it to tell my story.
My challenge to you today is to dig your vintage photos out of storage and browse through them. Do any stories come to mind? Jot them down for a day when you have time to sit down and scrapbook. Do you have questions about the photos? Call your relatives and ask if they can help you fill in the blanks.If you have time scan a few photos in preparation for scrapping them at a later date.
Have fun reminiscing and I'll see you back here tomorrow with some more ideas for scrapping vintage photos.