Three Photo Collections to Learn About Ourselves and Our World

By itself, a photo is simply a snapshot of a moment, captured and frozen in time. But when it’s part of a thoughtful collection, it takes on layers that tell us something about ourselves and the world around us.

The three collections described here were all compiled in different ways. One was a patient and deeply personal exercise spread out over forty years. Another is a painstakingly curated set of recognizable images, paired with stories of how were taken. The last one is a product of social media – born on Tumblr and bred on Instagram. Regardless of how they were put together, they are all powerful visual diaries that are worth flipping through.


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Snapshots of a Family in the Sixties

After this ScanCafe customer recently converted hundreds of family photographs and 8mm movies to digital, he was moved enough to share some of the pictures, along with a few details.

Here is his story – a simple but engaging account of life in the 1960s by the mountains:

Although the photo digitization project had been on my mind for a long time, it always lagged on the “back burner” as time went on. But when my beautiful mother, the matriarch of our family and our extended families passed away this past April, I felt the need to recapture some of our family history. I am sorry I did not do this sooner so that she could enjoy the results too.


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Finding Geneva: A Lifelong Quest Ends With Answers

ScanCafe customer Jan shares this incredibly gripping account of her search for a ‘mystery’ family member:

Who is she? Where does she live? Is she still alive? What does she look like? Can I see a picture of her? What happened to her? Why don’t you talk about her? These are a few of the questions I always had about my father’s only sister and sibling. I only knew she was eight years older than my father and that her name was Geneva. But she always remained the “mystery woman” in my life.   (more…)

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An Oregon Photographer on the Trail of Haunting and Soulful Images

Portland photographer Kati Dimoff often walks into thrift stores looking for old cameras that might have undeveloped film rolls in them. She has unearthed several old and intriguing photos as a result of this hobby.

One film roll she chanced upon earlier this year was even more significant because it had photos of a historic Oregon event  – the volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980. The camera, it turned out, belonged to an Oregon woman who passed away in 1981. After the story of Dimoff’s special find appeared in a local newspaper, her grandson Mel Purvis came forward to identify his grandmother, Faye Gardner, as the owner of the camera.


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Timeless Pics and a Story: Of Childhood and Bonds That Never Break

Every order we get at ScanCafe – whether it involves scanning photos, digitizing negatives, or restoring damaged images – is processed manually and with a lot of attention to detail. We think it makes a difference and are thrilled when customers think so too.

We recently completed a slide digitization order for a wonderful customer named Cheryl. Many of the images in her collection were close to sixty years old but there was no way to tell by the time our photo restoration team was done with them. (more…)

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