It’s hard to wrap my mind around sometimes. I have more pictures of what I’ve eaten than most of my ancestors.

Seriously.

Maybe you’re not a foodie like I am, so you don’t #foodporn pictures on Instagram. Or take pictures of artfully presented meals in restaurants. Or decadent meals you make to post on social media to show off what you were lucky enough to eat, so others are jealous.

If you’re not posting the food porn pictures like me, you probably have a glut of photos of something else. If you don’t believe me, scroll through your smart phone camera gallery, or social media feed.

I’ll wait.

There’s a subject that will stand out. If it’s not food porn, I suspect you have photo documented your pet, garden, nature, or travels. I expect you also have lots of pictures of your kids and your grandchildren.

You should.

I want you to have lots of pictures of people.

And speaking of people, I’m glad if you have a lot of pictures of yourself. I honestly don’t mind selfies. When you take a selfie, you’re digitally documenting yourself. You’re preserving a part of your history. You’re leaving a visual record of your life for your posterity, and showing what you value most.

PS Millennial friends and readers, feel free to tell the next person who gives you grief about your selfies what I said.

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With all those digital photos, there’s a way you can have free digital photo storage. Upload them to FamilySearch.org. There’s not a limit on the number of photos you can add. There is even a new feature to link your social media accounts and Import pictures from Instagram or Facebook to FamilySearch. You can tag the photos by person and attach them to your family tree.

And in case you didn’t know already, photos tagged with living people aren’t visible to others (unless there’s a now deceased person tagged in the photo as well.)

Unlike the Firework Oreo cookies I’m currently obsessed with, and taken pictures of twice three times now, there are there are some relatives I don’t have any photographs of at all. (They have pop rocks in them, and are crazy delicious you guys.)  I only have one photo of some of my ancestors alone, like my great great grandmother Emeline Millard Ross.

The one picture I had was damaged. Though I like to take pictures of my food, my ancestors are more important to me than a highly addictive cookie I have eaten entirely too many of. I realized that I don’t always treat it that way though.

The picture I had of Emeline had black ink pen colored on parts of the photo. It was wrinkled. Thankfully, it had survived. I scanned it years ago, and uploaded it to my family tree as it was. I figured that one picture, even if it was damaged, was better than no picture of her.

Like me, you might have a friend or a family member who does digital photo restoration as a hobby, not as a business like Photo Restoration Services. I sent my brother-in-law the digital picture of Emeline, along with a few others smoke damaged images a few years ago.

He hasn’t had time to restore them, and honestly, I haven’t really followed up with him too many times. It probably stems back to my fear 24 of depending on people for what I need.

I totally get it. I’m not throwing him under the bus. Plus, there are plenty of people that are waiting for my help with a favor right now… like one of my readers Michael, who has a genealogy brick wall about his Irish ancestors. Or my boys who need my help with their Idaho state history projects that are due Friday.

I had put the damaged ancestor photo out of my mind.  It’s so easy to get distracted. However, one of my readers, Nick, the owner of Photo Restoration Services reached out to me, and let me know about his business. He offered to restore a couple of my damaged family photos.

His message was perfect timing before I did my scanning on the high speed scanner I rented for a community photo scanning event. Nick let me know that there is a recommended scanning resolution for photo restoration. Even better, his recommendation was actually programmed as the default settings on my Kodak e-z photo scan rental.

If I was happy with the results of his photo restoration, I agreed to let you know about it. I was impressed with the results of the pictures he digitally restored for me.

I was amazed, and got teary eyed when I opened my email this morning to see my 2x great grandmother’s picture.

I felt so much more connected to her. I noticed details like the dangling hair comb she was wearing. I noticed the determined look in her eyes as she was photographed shortly after the death of 2 daughters and her husband Sanford Ross.

I love beautiful pictures of food. (I am getting hungry just writing that.)  The beautiful picture of my great, great grandmother Emeline Millard Ross is so much better.

Genealogy Jen’s Challenge of the Week – There can be ancestor photos out there of your relatives, you just haven’t found yet. If you need tips of where to look, you can read my 5 part series How to Find Photos of Your Ancestors Online . Bonus Points – Share a picture on your favorite social media platform.

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