The Big Reveal: What Will YOU Discover?

Friday is a big day in my life. It’s a special day set aside for photo consults with clients. I get to peek into your incredible collections and solve mysteries. Each session starts with a question: “How did you hear of me?” Some folks have been hanging on to one of my business cards for…

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P is for Polaroid. L is for Lost.

A long time ago, my husband worked for Polaroid. Portions of my kid’s childhood are frozen in those shiny plastic images. Part of the fun was watching them develop. The plastic makes it difficult to write information on them so you know what I’m going to say. It’s a photo saving nightmare. At the outdoor…

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Let’s Stop Trashing Family Photos

A few weeks ago, my daughter went on a photo hunting expedition with me. Rhode Island is full of tiny antique shops tucked into old buildings. On this particular afternoon we were in an old mill that wandered over the landscape. The smell of mold was in the air. I’d found good things here before.…

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Finding a Home for the Hollenbergs

On a recent trip to Burlington, Iowa, I drove through the town of Roseville, Illinois. Right in the middle of town was an antique store.   It was lovely. Clean and well organized. “Do you have any photographs?” I asked. “Hmm, I’m not sure. I have trouble keeping them in the store. They get bought as…

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What Do You See in a Photo?

On the surface this is a simple family snapshot. My Mom and Dad are in the middle. It’s their wedding day; my mother’s oldest sister stands to her left and my mother’s niece to the right of my father. It captures a happy time. The houses, the car, and the people all help date the…

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Make Relatives Work For Their Supper ?

It is possible to survive the holiday season, with sanity intact, by planning ahead and developing a sense of humor. Unexpected visits by relatives and cranky cousins add to your stress levels, but try to offset the tension with a little family history. Don’t put your charts and notes away for the holidays take them…

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Where We Lived

One of my favorite books is Jack Larkin’s Where We Lived: Discovering the Places We Once Called Home, (Taunton Press, $40.00). When I pass by an old house I can’t help but wonder about the everyday lives of the original occupants. Larkin lets us peek into that past with gorgeous photographs and fascinating stories.  Houses, schools,…

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Tips for Saving The Life of a Photo

At a recent family gathering, I met a woman who was amazed that an unidentified photograph could be a valuable piece of family history and that it could be identified. She looked at me with astonishment and confessed, “Oh no, I threw them out. I wish I’d known.” It’s hard to imagine that this charming…

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A Mystery Photo from the Big Easy

  Paul Selleck’s picture depicts a man in uniform with a US on his belt buckle. US military service, right?  Wrong.  Selleck’s ancestor, James T. Selleck appears to have never served his country.  So why the uniform?  That’s only part of the mystery. The likely date for this picture is 1893.  Paul thinks it depicts…

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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…

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