Belief in the Photo Album

Belief in the Photo Album

I love having framed photographs and mementos in my home and office.  I don’t need a reminder to know how hard I work each day for my family, but it is a lift to see them smiling at me from my desk.  My wedding photo takes me back to one of the most wonderful days in my life.  The photo of my dad and his family brings back precious memories of visiting grandma’s house and being teased by uncles.

One of my favorite past times has always been to curl up with the family photo albums and watch my mother and father, or my in-laws light up as they share stories of our families adventures and heritage.  It’s flipping through these pages of skinny kids in tube socks and faded Polaroids that trigger the stories and share our unique history.  Without them, I never would have known that my grandmother had to work in a silk factory making doll’s hair, when times were tough.   These albums unlock the past and help families remember where they started.

When my husband turned 40, his uncle surprised us by renting a slide projector and screen.  He showed slides to our friends and family at the party.  It was beyond wonderful.  I learned so much that evening about my husband and his family growing up. The stories poured out, only cut off by how quickly they flipped through the slides.  I could have listened for hours.

I think it’s wonderful that technology today allows us to take innumerable snapshots and store them in the “cloud.”  We can store the pictorial history of our lives to keep them safe from fire and wine stains. What happens to the stories, the oral traditions when we file everything away in the “cloud?” Will this cause us to forget?

For myself, out of site means out of mind. The older I get, it seems the more my head is divided with just keeping up with daily routines – work, my son’s school and extracurricular commitments, not to mention laundry. As a physical being, I need physical reminders.  Notes to help me get through my day to day operations to headstones to honor the loved ones gone before me.   Being able to pull my albums off the bookshelf and share the stories with my son is important to me.  He’s fascinated by where I went to school, photos of me and my seven siblings, and all the trips we took together.  I never want to lose that opportunity.

I believe that is one reason people come to Coyle Studios for restoration services.  They know we recognize these treasures.  We preserve them.  We convert images, negatives, slides and film to digital format, but we do so much more.  We mend and preserve original photographs, documents, albums, scrapbooks, and slides to make them last.  Our clients’ memories become engrained in our company history.

A colleague of mine, Paul, asked me, “What do you actually do with photo restoration?” We make a moment in time infinite.  We bring memories to life.  We show you where your son got “those ears.” We make slides shows set to your favorite songs and bring your travels to life.  We print the negatives and create the wedding album you couldn’t afford 25 years ago when you were married.  We transfer the VHS of your grandparent’s 50th anniversary.  We create the photo album from the suitcase jammed with old photos.  We transfer photos to digital files for you to share with your new found cousins on We remove the broken glass stuck the emulsion of your mother’s only baby photo.  We preserve your originals in their original frames so they last another 100 years. It’s an honor to do what we do.