Rachel LaCour Niesen (Atlanta, GA) is a professional photographer, entrepreneur, and founder of Save Family Photos - a massive project “where people can gather and share their stories, one photo at a time.” Previously featured in major publications such as The New Yorker and Mashable, LaCour Niesen’s Save Family Photos offers a much-needed outlet for people worldwide looking to keep their family memories alive. Photomyne met up with Rachel for an interview which resulted in this special post.
The need for a fast & effective DIY photo digitizing tool
Question: Hello Rachel, it’s a pleasure to talk to you about your work as a promoter of family photo memories, and of your take on Photomyne. Do you mind sharing with us if you had done any photo scanning in the past? And if so, what was that experience like?
Answer: “Yes, I used a flatbed scanner. The major downside to using one is time - needless to say, it can be super time-consuming to take a DIY approach to digitizing your priceless analog photos.”
To watch the video please visit Save Family Photos Instagram account
Question: So how do you use the Photomyne app? What’s your method?
Answer: “As a professional photographer, I take the process of digitizing my own analog photos very seriously. Ok, that sounds intimidating! What I really mean is that I’m very sensitive to lighting and am mindful when choosing conditions to digitize photos.
Ideally, I wait for an overcast or partly-cloudy day, when the light is even and diffused. Diffused light is ideal because it is low-contrast. Mid-mornings or early afternoons are often the best opportunities. Then, I find an area in my home that has the benefit of a large window. Be careful to minimize the chance of shadows or disruptions.”
Time is no longer an excuse for putting off photo scanning
Question: As a fellow advocate for saving family history, what is it about Photomyne that you feel contributes to the preservation of family memories and legacy?
Answer: “From my perspective as an advocate of family history projects, I think having apps that prompt us to digitize our family photos is inspiring. In fact, having a scanner in your pocket (your iPhone or Android) means that it’s more likely that we will actually take time to scan our priceless photos.
One of the biggest hurdles to digitizing family photos is time. I hear this all the time from our community members. After all, life is BUSY! But with the convenience of an app, digitizing photos can be done in our down moments. Scanning with an app can be done in pieces, rather than in one daunting sitting. Also, being able to scan multiple images at once speeds up the process and makes it more fun!”
"Photographs are the glue that hold our family legacies together.” -Rachel LaCour Niesen
Question: We’re curious to know; what do you especially like about the Photomyne app?
Answer: “Speed is definitely a consideration when digitizing old family photos. First, I select “gems” that have been culled from the masses of photos that our family has in our library. By culling beforehand, you can tackle your scanning project in priority-based segments. Before you know it, you’ll be reminiscing while scanning!”
Question: What is the reaction of Save Family Photos first-timers, when they see other people’s posted photos and their stories online?
Answer: “Everyone loves nostalgia - never underestimate the power of memories. One thing that has humbled me is how many community members have shared their intimate family images with the world. The Save Family Photos Instagram feed is filled with memories that are worth saving and sharing!”
“With the convenience of an app, digitizing photos can be done in our down moments. Scanning with an app can be done in pieces, rather than in one daunting sitting” -Rachel LaCour Niesen
Question: When thinking about scanning photos with an app, how would you explain what Photomyne is to a stranger?
Answer: “It’s a scanner in your pocket! Remember, our family photos remind us that our stories started before us. Please consider digitizing at least a handful of your favorite images. When there is only ONE copy of an image, it is at risk of loss, damage or theft. I cannot imagine a greater tragedy than losing one’s family legacy!”
Question: We’d love to know what you do with the analog photos you scan. Can you share with us?
Answer: “I’m a big fan of creating physical albums and books that can be passed around, and passed down, to loved ones. After all, there’s something magical about holding a book of family pictures in your hands! ’Photomyne is a fabulous app that enables you to scan, edit, save, file and share your old photos that would usually remain packed away in albums or shoeboxes and left to collect dust.’"
Question: So now that you’ve played with the app for a while, what’s the added value you feel you got from Photomyne, compared to previous scanning methods you tried?
Answer: “Photomyne’s major benefits include efficiency, motivation to tackle more scanning, and a constant reminder that photos are precious!”
“When there is only ONE copy of an image, it is at risk of loss, damage or theft. I cannot imagine a greater tragedy than losing one’s family legacy!” -Rachel LaCour Niesen
Question: What is it about Photomyne you feel other people not yet using the app should know?
Answer: “Scanning your old family pics doesn’t have to be so overwhelming. Take a look at Photomyne and consider tackling your family photo projects one step at at time. Rather than staring at a huge box of thousands of images, just take a few minutes to pull out the ones that truly stand out! Then, scan those quickly and you’ll start to feel like you are making real progress. It is not necessary to try to digitize thousands in one sitting. Every little bit helps!”
We’d like to thank Rachel for taking the time to talk to us. We’re thrilled to share the important goal of preserving family history with such a brilliant, talented and enthusiastic advocate. Check out Rachel’s website Save Family Photos and consider posting your family’s photos, too!