Before My Time is about the ancestry and extended family of my four grandparents: John Samuel Krentz (Indiana/North Dakota), Margreta Tjode Hedwig (Gertie) Buss (North Dakota), Rosmer Pettis Kerr (Pennsylvania/Michigan), and Evelyn Elvina Hauer (Michigan), and other topics in genealogy and family history.

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Exemplar: A Then-&-Now Family History Book

In G&G, Matthew Epler restages photos taken half a century ago to tell the life-long love story of his grandparents. The text is minimal and consists of bits of memory as told by the grandparents themselves. Used sparingly, these quoted remarks have much more impact than they would if they were lost in a large body of text.

To view the book full-screen, click on the little square next to the Blurb logo. You might have to squint to read the text, but it's worth doing.

  • Bring new life to old snapshots by restaging them in the present. Presenting the two together gives the viewer a reason to really look at them.
  • A good, pithy quote can tell a lot more than it says. It engages the reader in a way that a thousand words of third-person explanation doesn't.
Reader, what ideas do you get from this book?
    Last year, Jasia (of Creative Gene) used restaged photos of places to tell a story about Detroit in her post, Melancholy Too. It was a very effective (and affecting) tool. If you'd like to try it, you'll find a very detailed how-to in this "Then and Now" tutorial by John Walker. (Even if you don't plan to photoshop the dickens out of it as Walker does, you'll learn a lot from the tutorial about perspective, etc.)


    pastprologue said...

    I love "then and now" photography! For another interesting take on it, check out my link to "Reviving the Ghosts of Amsterdam" in this post.


    T.K. said...

    Donna, thanks so much for the link. Those photos are fabulous! Have you tried this technique yet?

    I'm itchin' to pick out some family pictures and play around with this idea. Honestly, it's no wonder I have such a hard time finishing a project--there are SO many other projects to do, and most of them look like more fun than the grunt-work of finishing whatever's already started.

    pastprologue said...

    I WANT to try it, but I haven't yet. It is definitely on my list of things to do, hopefully this year. Along with re-organizing and sourcing my genealolgy data and making some books like you've been doing. If I didn't have to work all day, I'd have a lot more time for the fun stuff! I'd even just like to try a simple then and now by restaging some old photos...hopefully this summer you'll see some on my blog!

    T.K. said...

    Looking forward to it! (Sheesh, work is such an inconvenience!)

    Blog Archive


    Our Family in Books: A Bibliography

    • My Ancestors in Books (a library of resources and notes pertaining to Reverend Samuel Stone, Major General Robert Sedgwick, Elder John Crandall, and other early Americans in the forest where my family tree was grown)
    • The Zahnisers: A History of the Family in America by Kate M. Zahniser and Charles Reed Zahniser (Mercer, Pa. 1906)
    • History of St. James Lutheran Church [full title: A little of this and a little of that in the 141 year (1861-2002) History of St. James Lutheran Church, Reynolds Indiana] by Harold B. Dodge, published at Reynolds, Indiana, 2002; 170 pages.
    • Lisbon, North Dakota 1880-2005 Quasuicentennial, published at Lisbon, North Dakota in 2005; 391 pages.
    • The Paschen and Redd Families of Cass County, Indiana by Alfred Paschen, c. 2005 (Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD); 322 pages.
    • Sheldon Community History: Sheldon Centennial 1881-1981, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 1981; 376 pages.
    • Sheldon, North Dakota 1881-2006 - 125th Anniversary: The Queen of the Prairie, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 2006; 498 pages.
    • A Standard History of White County, Indiana, written under the supervision of W.H. Hamelle, c. 1915 (The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York).
    • The Roots of Coventry, Connecticut by Betty Brook Messier and Janet Sutherland Aronson, c. 1987 (Coventry 275th Anniversary Committee, Coventry, CT); 206 pages.
    • "Elder John Crandall of Rhode Island and His Descendants" by John Cortland Crandall; New Woodstock, New York, 1949; 797 pages.
    • "The Descendants of Robert Burdick of Rhode Island." Nellie (Willard) Johnson, Pd.B.: H & L Creations, LLC.

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