Photographs Help Write YOUR Life Story

Photographs Help Write YOUR Life Story

Photographs Are Important!

Your descendants will want to see photographs of you, your home, your parents, siblings, pets, vacations, and more. You can insert photographs where they apply to a specific story such as a vacation, birthday party, or school graduation. You can also create an album in the back of your book, which is organized by years, events, or family members. Set it up the way you feel is the easiest for your descendants to follow. Be sure to identify everyone in a photo and the location and year it was taken. Write the information on the back of the original photos so there is always a record for whoever ends up with them in later years. Don’t write Uncle Don, Aunt Beth, cousins Billy and Joe. PLEASE remember to always include the last name and place the woman’s maiden name in parenthesis. On the back of the photo draw a circle that corresponds to each person in the photograph. Assign a number, and write a list of the numbers and names of everyone in the photograph. If there isn’t room on the back of the photograph, write everything on a small piece of paper you can glue to the back edge of the picture.

If you would like to have pictures of the area where you grew up in the 30s, 40s, 50s, or later, there are a number of excellent online sources for vintage photographs.  You also can find images of things no longer used today such as an icebox, a wringer washing machine, a washboard, cradle, or wooden toys. Other types of vintage images you might be interested in are movie stars, entertainers, old cars, trains, colleges, and points of interest that were important to you and your family. Vintage photos from WWI and WWII, the Civil War, Spanish American War, Korean Conflict, and Viet Nam War can also be found. Maps can also illustrate a location and time period. Don’t use too many photos that aren’t family, but do use those that complement that story you are sharing.

Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge Circa 1913   (a panorama view)

The Library of Congress ( has an extensive collection of photographs available online. Just a few of the categories include:

  • Civil War
  • Great Depression
  • African American
  • American Indian (Edward S. Curtis)
  • Civil War and Post Civil War (Matthew Brady Collection)
  • World Travel Photos (Frank and Frances Carpenter)
  • Southern Architecture
  • Daguerreotypes
  • Large Selection of Vintage Panorama Photographs
  • Graphic Arts (Vintage – Includes some Political)
  • Famous Buildings and Points of Interest
  • Transportation
  • Hundreds of thousands of vintage photographs, maps, graphics, posters, etc.

Additional Sources For Vintage Photographs   (Mostly other countries)

An Internet search will turn up more sites if you don’t find what you need in these websites.

Photographs will enhance your story by providing visuals of people, places, and things that no longer exist. Use your own as much as possible, but it’s perfectly okay to use vintage photographs from other sources as long as you identify them as such.

Email me if you have any questions regarding the use of photographs.

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