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My digital archive begins around 2005 with poor-quality photos (both in technique and equipment) and really takes off in 2007 with my first DSLR.

However, I have over two decades of life prior to then.  Granted, I wasn’t taking photos for all of that time, but I still have plenty of pre-digital memories.  Most of these are in boxes, a few have been preserved in scrapbooks, and many many more are simply somewhere else.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016
The days when I cared most about my (and my brother’s) stuffed animals

I took lots of photos as a kid, but I don’t really know where they’ve gone.  I suspect they’re likely at my parents’ house, and this theory was corroborated by my dad bringing out a stack of old photos he dusted off from a box in the garage when we were there over the holiday.  They’re planning a big move, so they’re cleaning house (literally!), and some of these memories are surfacing.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016
This is one of the very first pictures I remember taking of the underground coal mine fire (that’s been burning over 50 years) in Centralia, Pennsylvania on our way to visit Dad’s cousin.

One of our pending projects is to digitize our physical photo collection.  More than anything, it serves the purpose of backup.  The prints are the only copies of those moments.  Were our home to burn down (god forbid), they’d be lost forever.  We have a scanner, and I’ve digitized a few photos, but that’s a long, arduous process.

Google to the rescue!

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016
An artistic black and white from photo class.  I developed this in the darkroom, myself.
© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016
This is one of my most prized photos.  Savage Garden was my all-time favorite band growing up, and I got to see them in concert.  Fans were allowed to line up and, one at a time, get close for a single photo.  I waited forever (worried about the bouncers kicking me out) for Darren to turn back from the far end of the stage, just as Daniel came to the front for a guitar jam.  *Click!*

Google just released a new (free) app that lets you take a picture of the physical print and save it as a high-res file.  This doesn’t sound like it’d do a good job, but I tested it out on one of the dusty garage photos, and it held up pretty well!

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016
Those who know me would say I was employing the “Brianna angle” from even this young age.

This is good for a quick photo here and there, but I don’t really see myself digitizing hundreds of pictures or old glass photographs in this manner.  We might bring in our boxes of prints for professional digitization – less work on our part.  For now, it was good enough to bring in these pictures from the past.  (As a note, I did not edit any of these digitized prints; these are as close to the original as I could make them.)

When Dad first showed me this photograph, I loved it instantly.  This was from when I was the flower girl at my aunt’s wedding 25 years ago.  I remember I was responsible for popping the stuffed balloon of confetti over the newlyweds’ heads (though I was deathly terrified of popping balloons) and dancing with my cousin Adam for most of the reception.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

I don’t particularly remember this moment, but I love it so much.  It made me wish I had it for our wedding.  What a sweet image.. a father dancing with his daughter all those years ago and then as father of the bride..  I can be a sappy sentimental sometimes.

Here are a few more from my physical collection.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016
My sister’s wedding

Of course, I didn’t have the best techniques (or the best cameras), but that didn’t stop me.  I chopped heads off, and I was notorious for getting my thumb in on the photo, but the memories are preserved.

I even shot for shows all the way back in high school.

Overall, I find it intriguing to see the transition of my photos from personal (capturing people I love, snapshots, and kitties) to professional (capturing events, landscapes, and kitties).

I sometimes miss the higher sentimental value of the former, and I’ve been trying to include more of this in some of my more creative and artistic shots.  These older photos have an ambiance of novice nostalgia, and I love them for that, poor quality and all.  Perhaps years down the line, I’ll look at the photos I take now with similar reverence.  I’ll remember my insatiable passion for the art and the irresistible pull I have to take pictures almost every day.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016
I love this moment.  I really lucked out with this picture in Trafalgar Square on a summer school trip.

Though I will no longer need to digitize them (unless there’s some new inconceivable technology by then), they’ll still be evidence of some of the best years of my life.

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