Turning 2,300 Framed Pictures Into Lasting Memories

SMP CC Nora coming down stairs circa 1956 copy 2 192x300 - Turning 2,300 Framed Pictures Into Lasting Memories
Nora, about age 11, coming down the stairs

Old print photos usually end up in an unorganized pile inside a box or plastic bin. While this storing method is not recommended, it can certainly be easier to prep these photos for a scanning project than pulling apart framed pictures and praying the original copy doesn’t stick to the glass.


ScanMyPhotos customer, Christine Cowart, found herself faced with such a challenge and ended up removing over 2,000 pictures from their frames—and several from photo albums—to get them scanned and digitized for her niece.


“My older sister, Nora, passed away suddenly last year. She was 70 at the time and had lost her husband in an auto accident years before. They left behind their only child, my niece who’s now 48. After her mother passed, my neice decided to move back to her childhood home, but the walls were covered with framed photos. A good portion of the photos were poorly framed pictures that were taped to the glass, but the memories were important to preserve.”


So Christine offered to help her grieving niece by collecting all those framed pictures, removing them from each frame, organizing and identifying every photo, and then sending them to ScanMyPhotos to digitize.


“It took four months, an SUV full of picture frames, and when we were done the walls of the house looked like Swiss cheese because of all the nails. Some of the photos were in bad shape or faded from the sun, but we were able to get the vast majority of important pictures together and got rid of any non-descript ones—like random pictures of the ocean or a sunset.”


SMP CC Nora going to prom 1961 copy 300x300 - Turning 2,300 Framed Pictures Into Lasting Memories
Nora, heading out to her high school prom in 1961

Even though the project was time-consuming, it was important for Christine to complete it for her niece’s sake as well as her own.


“It was a good project—kept me busy over the winter. I have to admit going through those photos really helped with the grieving process. You re-live all those moments and it brings back so many long-forgotten happy memories and events.


“My sister was a nurse and went to a catholic nursing school, so there were pictures of when the nuns putting her nursing cap on at her graduation. Then there were her prom pictures and all the photos of her looking pristine over the years—she never got dirty and always looked perfect. But the most important point to all of this is that we got to remember how she lived, not how she died, and that took away some of the pain in the process. You never get over the suddenness and shock of it but you have something tangible to look back on and it really was a life well lived.”


Not only was it a daunting project to complete, but sending those photos away to get scanned did initially cause some concern.


“It does take a leap of faith to take an entire lifetime of memories and send it across the country to get scanned. But ScanMyPhotos provides really extraordinary service. It’s high quality and I got the impression that the team truly cares about these photos as much as you do.


SMP CC Baby Nora Molly stroller copy 294x300 - Turning 2,300 Framed Pictures Into Lasting Memories
Nora and her mother, Molly, circa 1946

Once the scanning was complete, I was so relieved to know these memories were now in a protected format that wouldn’t be lost forever. I’ve encouraged other people to take the plunge and send those print photos to get scanned. You never want to lose those pictures to a fire or flood or even sun damage. You’ll never get those memories back.”


Now that the project is complete, Christine’s niece was thrilled to get the digital copies and often shares them on her Facebook page. Her niece’s children, who were very close to their grandparents, are also enjoying looking back at the old photos and learning who is who in each picture.


“It’s a tribute to the person who passed. Things matter in life, proms, engagements, and science fair awards—it’s all a part of living. A picture tells a story and holds a memory—it’s so important to keep these safe.”


And we couldn’t agree more.