A Love of Vintage Photos

There is a bit of magic that is held in old family photos. An overwhelmingly intimate glimpse into the lives of our ancestors. The looping, cursive handwriting that often graces the back of these worn family heirlooms. The rigid folds and torn corners from years of living deep in a wallet and the fading, warm tones of aging film. These snapshots have left me curious since my earliest years and inquisitive of the lives of those staring back. 

I decided to preserve these memories, honor the creative drive that my ancestors have fostered and inspire a new generation. Visiting my Great Grandmother's vanity nestled in my childhood home, I was able to rummage through vintage Shalimar perfume bottles. Perched there with lavender tins that would have held her sewing bits and oversized costume jewelry.

On that same visit home during a family dinner, a tradition long standing in our family, my Aunt passed on to me a dusty shadow box. Pieces of her Grandmother's life lovingly displayed in a time capsule. The glue no longer binding these treasures behind glass. Passing the photos through our hands and rediscovering these forgotten relics. A picture surfaced of three generations, dating back to 1934, gathered lily pads and lotus flowers in hand. A soft blue and floral felt glove that held sewing needles and a filagree vanity mirror with pink stones, items that would have passed through my Great Grandmother's hands daily.

I decided I wanted to tell a story with these items and find a way to preserve these memories. Pairing these old photos and heirlooms with flowers only felt natural. Curating a vignette that incorporated my own Mother's favorite flowers, with my experience as a floral designer continued the story beyond those in the photographs. 

There is a powerful connection in staring at those old photos. A reflection of our grandparents at our own age can transcend time and give us a deeper understanding of all of their sacrfices and triumphs. While shooting in Wendy Umanoff's sun filled loft I was inspired to use vintage photos belonging to her family. Letting her eclectic items and candid black and white snapshots tell the story.

While selecting the photos we let the ones that sparked a reaction lay together on a simple white platter, the perfect place on a coffee table to reminisce and explore stories anytime. 

Sharing these stories, photos and family treasures is a beautiful way to keep our loved ones in our thoughts. Incorporating photos into unexpected corners or in place of a card on a package will spark a memory and a connection to your roots.

Source your inspiration for gifting from the magic these photos hold. How would you tell your story? What pieces inspire that magic and connect you to your ancestors? 

Photography by A Girl Named Leney