Genealogy: Common experiences (challenges) of photographing photos

Common experiences (challenges) of photographing photosBy Barry J. Ewell

For over 40 years I have used the camera to capture the lives of my family and friends.  The camera has been a very important tool in my professional career in public relations and advertising.  I first started with a film camera and spent hundreds of wonderful/fun hours in a dark room developing and printing my on prints.

Since the late 90’s I have used the digital camera extensively in to aid in my genealogical research in places such as local courthouses, libraries, genealogical societies, family cemeteries, and long-ago home sites and the homes of those who have a portion of the family record.

The following are common challenges you will experience with photographs.

  • Photos are tucked away in a trunk or glued in an album, etc.
  • Access to the photos requires owner to be there with you.
  • Sometimes photos are already in a book or magazine.
  • Photographs are best captured with a scanner.
  • When scanner is not available, digital camera is next best thing.

Type of photos expected

  • Usually black and white.
  • Tintypes and sepia toned portraits.
  • Postcards.
  • Color photographs.
  • Old negatives.
  • Slides.
  • Transparencies.
  • Printed in book/magazine.
  • Cut out from/printed in newspaper.