In the midst of COVID-19, I had this great plan to organize all my closets, clean things out and do a purge of things that were not necessary or needed anymore. What I didn’t anticipate was a simple slip of the fingers when cutting carrots, while using a mandoline slicer, would result in slicing the tips of 3 of my fingers on my right hand, a lot of blood and quite a few days of pain. And so, all of my grand plans came to a grinding halt.
About a week later when my hand was not throbbing through unless I had it above my heart, I decided I would organize the files that I had on my hard drives. The first hard drive I chose was a replacement hard drive for one that I had dropped back in 2017 and had to send off to recover the files. I was in the middle of a very busy season shooting a high school which included sports team and individual photos, underclass photos, senior casuals, cap and gown and formal portraits. Needless to say, it got put into a drawer and left for another day.
When I finally stumbled across one folder, I noticed that the images were ones I didn’t recognize. I started to put them in the trash because they weren’t mine, but I curiously skipped through the pictures to make sure they weren’t mixed in with mine. And that’s when I found some baby pictures and wedding pictures! At that point I knew I wanted to find out who this was and if I could get the pictures back to them. I have had one hard drive from a computer crash with tons of pictures on it, before I started my business and backed things up in multiple places.
And so, my detecting days began!!
I jumped through the images and a lot were from Europe. I wish I had counted the images then, but I had over 80,000 images in the folder!!! I had almost given up when I found it!!! One picture that clearly had a name on it. Armed with her name I did what anyone would do and located her! I sent her a message via Facebook. I’m sure when she read the message the first time she was probably thinking ‘Who is this crazy person emailing me and how does she have my pictures?’ We finally figured out that her husband had sent his hard drive off to the same company at the same time. I proceeded to zip up the more than 80,000 images to send to her (note, some of the images I had 2 or 3 of), but that’s still a lot of images! After I sent her the first 2 the exchange of messages changed as she realized that though they thought they had received all of these images back, these images they had not. So the memories that had been lost to them had been returned. The trips, the moments and the people that were a part of their lives.
So not only did I get to reconnect a family with their cherished memories, but she sent me this special and sweet thank you after receiving all the images.
“Thank you again from the bottom of my heart. This was hands down one of the BEST Mother’s Day presents I could have ever gotten!! To see all these lost photos is just SO wonderful and truly has lifted our spirits. Bless you and Take care!”
Never take your memories for granted. And please take a moment to create some albums or prints of the memories!! Feel free to contact me if you need any help doing this. These moments may be gone in an instant, but to share them and pass them down to our children, that is a true treasure.