Friday, June 3, 2011

Opelousas?

Some photographs raise more questions than answers.

A Photographic Lifetime

When I was younger, my nana would always tell me how important photographs were and even more so the negatives. I could grasp the concept of why the photographs being pictures therefore held a great importance in order to remember past events and people. Negatives made no sense.

I held onto them to make her happy but had not one clue what to do with them. Near the end of my teenage years, I had my first full time job and was starting to preserve my family history. She told me that these negatives can be taken to a local photo shop to be reprinted. I did some research and took my big box o' negatives over to Ritz Photo. They only scanned a handful which ended up being about 1000 photos and made a copy of those pictures on a CD for me. Cost: $600. My entire paycheck was GONE!

I determined there had to be an easier and cheaper way to get this project done. After a little research, I bought a scanner and some archival safe sleeves. I scanned each and everyone of the 35mm negatives I could find.

Why do this?

Simple. Negatives can be reprinted. If the original photograph is lost or damaged, it can easily be replaced. They are priceless.

An additional bonus is that the person who had the photos printed originally might have thrown away embarrassing photos. Can anyone say blackmail?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I survived the rapture!

I don't consider myself religious, if anything I believe I am spiritual. I believe in God but not necessarily the church. I believe that we have over generations have fine tuned religion to mean what we want it to.  I also realize this is going against all the beliefs of my ancestors. However, I believe that we can all agree upon compassion, respect, honesty and most importantly love.

People have been predicting the end of the world since the day the world began and humans have evolved to live in a changing world. Through hardships as famine and war, and with advancements in technology, we find a way to overcome any challenge.

Recently a website has started selling T-shirts stating "I have survived the rapture". While the rapture never happened and may never happen, it has brought together a group of very diverse people to overcome another challenge. They are donating a percentage of the proceeds to a local orphanage and helping others that don't have the means to help themselves.

If you would like to donate to the orphanage please go to Sunshine Acres and if you would like to buy a t-shirt please go to  I Survived the Rapture. It is good to know that after a man that spent $117 million dollars on advertising the end of the world, that there are people that will spend whatever they can afford to give to those in need.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Public Service Announcement

While going through some of my boyfriend's families photos the other night and in the midst of scanning and organizing them I started to get frustrated.

Why didn't anyone think to scribble a name and date on the back of these photos? I am huge on archiving so I would probably take this a step further in modern times and beg to use a photo-safe marker/pen. I know that it is a digital world but if you are one of the lucky few to still have grandparents or great-grandparents alive, jog their memory and write down names and dates on the back of photos. Future generations will benefit from this. They won't have to do all the footwork and they won't be annoying you with questions on who certain people are in photos.

I have sat my own grandmother down often and quizzed her on certain people. Much to my dismay, she will often answer "I have no idea....". So for past, present and future pictures - label, label, label!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Accidental Historian

We all grow up with the weight of history on us. Our ancestors dwell in the attics of our brains as they do in the spiraling chains of knowledge hidden in every cell of our bodies. - Shirley Abbott
My first family tree was probably a cute colorful one made on construction paper back in elementary school. At the time I didn't think anything of it. Further down the road, I started constructing my "real" family tree. This was done almost entirely out of boredom and the elusive 1980 Capoccia family tree poster that may or may not have still existed up until that point. Everyday, My house was like a treasure hunt! 

The first year of researching my tree was amazing. I found birth certificates, death certificates, obituaries, and such. I added a lot of information. I even found a hessian on my grandmother's side of the family. How exciting!

It has been almost 7 years since I started and there is no turning back now. At the current moment, I am attending school to receive my masters in library science with a focus on archiving. I am also going to document my preparations on becoming a certified genealogist.