What I learned while scanning 50 years of photographs

This past weekend, the family and friends gathered to celebrate my grandparent’s 50-year wedding anniversary.

I took the entire album of my grandparent’s photos and scanned them all for a slideshow video that told the story of their life. Through this long process, I learned a little about love, life and a whole lot about family.

1. Preserve your pictures – preserve your memories.

I love photos and am used to the digital age that we live in. My grandparent’s photos were in old albums in that magnetic sheeting that turns photos brown and eats them away. I promptly found new albums to better preserve these photos. There were some images from 1910 of my great-great-great-great-great grandparents (I’m not exactly sure that is the correct amount of “greats”).

2. It is the candid moments that resonate the most. 

Those photographs where you get a glimpse into real emotions – not just a smile plastered on for the camera. In the photos that document my grandparent’s early years and courtship, I didn’t see younger versions of my grandma and grandpa. I saw two young kids in love and looking forward to a lifetime of possibilities. What a joy to see and remember about life – we have to live in each moment.

3. 50 years is a lot of life.

Appearances change, residences change, children grow, grandchildren come along. There is an awful lot you can say about a 50-year marriage and it wasn’t easy to boil it down to an 11-minute presentation. Through it all, my grandparents had loyal friends and family that appear and reappear in every photograph. That is the kind of life I want to lead.

4. History repeats itself.

In good ways, in bad ways. For my family, we’ve been blessed to have these shining examples of what marriage and family should look like. It has affected all of us, right down to the grandchildren. We look to the pillars of our family – especially my great-grandpa and great-grandma – and see the caliber and fortitude of their character. This is what we strive to become. I only hope that when someone looks back on my 50-year marriage (47 years to go!), they see the same love, life and character.

5. Always keep blackmail in mind.

Ah the seventies and early eighties. What beautiful clothing, hair styles and attitudes. I cannot wait to resurface the photos I found of my aunt and uncle – and especially my father. Beware, daddy. Beware.



More about Nicole

Community Champion at Buffer ~ writer ~ reader ~ urban homesteader ~ former rodeo queen ~ @nmillerbooks