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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Old Photos; M Goodwin vs M Kondo!

In that previous post where I wrote about Marie Kondo's book, I mentioned that one of the categories used by the author for tidying/decluttering was 'Komono' which means miscellaneous. And part of a chapter is devoted to Photos. 
As expected, Kondo iterates that you must look at each one of the photos you have and ' will be surprised at how clearly you can tell the difference between those that touch your heart and those that don't.' p119 And of course only keep the ones that 'spark joy'. 

According to Kondo, 'The meaning of a photo lies in the excitement and joy you feel when taking it'. She continued on to say that in many cases, the prints developed afterward have already outlived their purpose. Hmmm...she would be in a state of constant apoplexy if she met me!!!

You see I have not only my own photos but I also treasure photos that were in my dad's drawer. Dad kept them in an old plywood strawberry box/punnet. In most cases I didn't have a clue who was in the photos, but I've hung on to them all these years since he died in 1967. 

With the advent of Facebook, I've made albums of old family photos of both my parents which can then be accessed by not only my generation, but the next one down.
The first screen shot is part of the Facebook album of my mum's Aussie cousins had never seen some of the photos of our Nanna that I had...they were rapt. My children and my nieces and nephew had never seen most of them either.

My dad's old photos...

Thanks to having these photos in FB albums (I have some in my Box account too), I now know the identity of some of the people in these photos. Despite the photos being several decades old, some of my Aussie/Italian cousins have recognised was so exciting. 

And another exciting thing was that my collection of old photos meant that some of my cousins saw a photo of their great grandfather for the first time! And the same cousins identified a photo of a baby as their much loved uncle.  What a thrill for them and a thrill for me as I knew him as an adult. And even my cousin in FNQ who hasn't a Facebook account could access the albums via a share link I could send her. This cousin can speak and read, not only Italian, but also the Sicilian dialect of the region where my dad came from, so she could read the scans of the writing on the backs of photos.

Now back to Ms Kondo and her opinions. She claims that 'unexciting photos of scenery that you can't place belong in the garbage'. Well that could be true but may be she doesn't know about Facebook sites like Vintage Queensland and Old Brisbane Album where people post old photos of scenery. There seems to be always some reader who can pinpoint exactly where the photo was taken...the power of social media! And then those 'unexciting' photos of  scenery become very exciting! Well in my opinion anyway!!! Lol
Tomorrow I'm meeting up with a cousin I haven't seen since her wedding in 1963. With a bit of 'detective work' and googling I've found her again and we're going to talk family and look at photos. (Carmela kept all her parents photos too!) 
A few years ago DH bought me this little gadget and it's coming with me tomorrow...batteries have been changed so it's all systems go!


Jackie said...

I inherited all my parents photos, seems like no one else wanted them and I spent much of last year scanning them and burning DVD's of them. I have a copy, the bank safety deposit box has one, and each of the boys have another copy.

Putting them on as an album on Facebook makes much more sense and I don't know why I never thought of it.

God bless.

Barbara - said...

Fairly new to your blog, but they need to tear my photos from my hands. Love the idea of the handheld scanner. I guess I will need to explore Facebook albums, wasn't even aware! I am so terrible at scanning photos at home that I am taking them bit by bit to Walmart and scanning there.

I am not a huge fan of her organizing system, although I do seem to be in the minority!

Helen S said...

Maria, what a fabulous job you are doing with the family photos. Looking forward to a chat about that scanner!!

Australian Gardening Granny said...

You are doing a great service to your family both now and in the future.

My auntie, the last in line of that generation, kept all her photos in a shoe box and when she died her son gave me the job of naming the folk on the photographs as nothing was written on the back.

Fortunately when I was a little girl auntie would go through her shoebox with me and talk about the folk in the pictures. I remembered, so was able to name a lot of them. (And this is from someone who cannot remember what she had for breakfast!) The sad thing is, the remaining photographs appeared to have no value because they were strangers to us.

So, as I said at the beginning. Well done Maria.

Australian Gardening Granny said...

It's me again Maria.

What I forgot to mention is that when I retired I made it my job to go through my photograph collection and make a family album for each of my two adult sons with a little comment beside each photograph. When I presented it to them I suggested they may want to just put it in the bookshelf for now, but assured them the album will come into it's own as they age themselves.

Vireya said...

M Kondo has lost me now! An old photo is a little piece of history. And as you have shown with your wonderful FB albums, history is important to people still around!

Some years ago I was involved in a project to scan the photo collection of our local historical society, and upload the photos to Picture Victoria. I enjoyed going through the old photos immensely. I did a fun project of locating the sites of some old "scenery" photos, and taking pictures in the same place for comparison.

I like the look of uncluttered places, but surely there is a way to be uncluttered without discarding everything!

angela said...

What a great idea to scan and store digitally. But I don't know about throwing out of photos. I don't think I could do it. But if they're all in a suitcase they can then be stored in the top of a wardrobe and not really take up too much room I guess. That way you have the best of both worlds.

Anthea said...

Ms Kondo is certainly ruffling a few feathers, from what I hear of her, Maria!
I think it's great that you're taking time to preserve this family history, given that you have those pics in your possession & can give enjoyment to your extended family... lots of people lose pics & documents in natural disasters, or just never have them in the first place... good on you.
I'm very interested in the scanner you've shown there - my Mum would like to digitise her old slides & photos but won't ask Dad to help her because she fears he will never get around to doing it - I am looking into how best to do that for her, without too much cost involved. How does that scanner work?

margaret said...

what a good way of grouping the family photos. I have some old ones but I do not necessarily know who the people are. Now of course they are all digital but I do like to have real photos too

Aussie Maria said...

Yes photos are precious. Even ones that mean nothing to you right now.
I never got to meet my Dad's parents and a lot of his siblings, but have found photos through online contacts doing family research. It was such a thrill. Funny enough, just found a FB group of old portraits yesterday helping people to identify them, if not the person, at least the era and area.

Am going to try and identify a particular one, or two, or .... that have been puzzling me.

Wonderful news on identifying family and areas :-)

Aussie Maria said...

I would love to know about that scanner please

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