The Best Ways to Utilize Horses and Zebras

  Yes, this is a blog post about photo identification.  You're probably wondering what photos have to do with four-legged animals.  I have a point. Please read on. First, let me apologize.  I didn't mean to start a storm of comments on Facebook.  How did this happen?  All I was trying to do was sharpen your powers of observation.  The question: What do you see? Medical interns are taught: When you hear hoofbeats, think of ...    Continue Reading

New Ideas for Organizing Photos on the iPad

Last year I started a new collection of images.   I began adding postcard views and photos of my beloved city of Providence to my photo archive.  There are a few hundred pictures in the cache.  This weekend there is a big ephemera show and I wanted to be prepared.  As an end of the year resolution I scanned them all. Added them to Apple photos on my computer and even added keywords to the images.   ...    Continue Reading

Photo Stories: Seeking Lilly Begecher/Schesser

It's time for another installment of Photo Stories. This time the photo comes from my client files. Allen Kurtz has spent a lot of time trying to solve the mystery of his wife's great aunt, Lilly Begecher/Schesser.  He told me, "She is my obsession."  You know how it is.  You're making a puzzle and you can't find the last few pieces.   Frustrating and you don't want to give up...EVER.  Her life story is a twisted ...    Continue Reading

A Mysterious Woman on Instagram

Recently, I featured this picture on my Instagram account.  Now I'm wondering about the story behind it.  It's one of more than two hundred images in my collection from overseas. What Do You See? On the surface this looks like a simple studio portrait. A young woman posed for a picture. She's dressed in an interesting outfit. Her hair is light colored. It could be blonde, light brown or even red. Her short curled bangs ...    Continue Reading

Orphan Photo Lost and Found: The Little Prince Has a Family

It's the kind of story that leaves us all hoping that a missing piece of our family history will pop up and be reunited with us. Photo orphans sit in antique shops all over the world.  That's what happened with this little fellow. Earl Russell Prince, age 3.  A colleague gave me this image years ago.  If you're part of the orphan photo movement then you know how I felt.  The photo had a name ...    Continue Reading

Got a Photo-Related Question?

I'm working on new lectures and need your help.  Audience feedback is important to those of us that speak before groups.  We need to know what you'd like to learn.  There is sometimes a difference between what I'd like to teach and what the audience would like to hear. Perhaps you've heard one of my lectures and still have a question. Maybe you've read one of my articles and still wonder about something you've read. ...    Continue Reading

The Life Changing Magic Of NOT Throwing Out Your Family Photos

It happened again. Three times in one month.  Enough of all this cleaning to create joy. Let's save family photos by putting names with faces. I meet new people every month and invariably the conversation turns to work. When I mention that I'm known as the Photo Detective, a puzzled look is the response.  "What do you do?" I explain.  Your grandmother (or other relative) gives you a box of family photos some with names ...    Continue Reading

How Does Your Family Tree Grow?

Last Saturday I sat with a small group of children (plus a grandmother and two mothers) to chat about family trees and family history. The kid-sized table in the Children's Department of the Providence Athenaeum, a library with roots back to 1836, was covered with tree cutouts.  All over the table were art supplies--markers, paper, stencils and cookie cutters for tracing.  Yes, cookie cutters!  Little hands not used to drawing can trace the inside of ...    Continue Reading

3 Ways to Save Holiday Family History

Thanksgiving usually means turkey and all the trimmings. I’d like you to think about what else the holiday represents. Family and friends. Holidays are great times to collect family history. At our house the dinner chatter usually turns to family history. Food starts that path to reminiscence. My aunt loved parsnips and pearl onions on her table. We haven’t had those foods since she left us way back in 1981. While her food isn’t part ...    Continue Reading

Photo Stories: Mrs. George Gilbert

  Each photograph captures a story in a single moment. That's a fact. By adding up the details in the picture you can make a new discoveries. It could something about the person in the picture. It might be how the image fits into the context of national, local or family history.  In some cases, it's all three. This new blog column, Photo Stories, introduces pictures from different sources. Some come from my photo collection. Others are from ...    Continue Reading

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