For nearly 30 years I have been honored to have photographed local families. Their milestones. Their everyday lives. I’ve got dozens of file boxes of negatives to prove it. I used to give my clients contact sheets – 8 1/2″x11″ sheets of small images. The other day, I was kicking around these file boxes of negatives up in the studio loft. I stuck my fingers inside a folder and took a peek. “Oh somebody’s baby!” … another folder … “Somebody got married.”  *sigh*  And then I thought, “What if some day all of these people in these thousands of strips of negatives are able revisit themselves? Would it bring them joy?”

Taken 22 years ago at the Tokeland Hotel.

I believe photographs, with time, increase in emotional value. Maybe I photographed you and you ordered an image or two? What about those outtakes? 20 years on, wouldn’t you love to peruse them? Many of my clients have become friends over the years. Many, many other clients I’ve lost touch with. Here’s where it gets tricky. Do I try to contact the people I’ve lost touch with? I mean, family dynamics change, divorce happens … life, you know? I believe, in most cases, the people in these photographs will be happy to see the images and take a walk down memory lane.

Kelly and Angel.

I posted my question to social media and received quite the response. It warmed my heart – and will keep me scanning negatives for many weeks to come. [Not exactly my favorite thing to do, but it’ll be worth it.]

Anyone who’s scanned negatives knows it’s very tedious. It may take me a while to get the albums online and there might be some dust spots I’ll miss – hey, they’ve been sitting in my loft for over 20 years, if there isn’t dust it’ll be a miracle. Each online album will have a private link. You can order prints from this album and share pics. Even though I had a larger response than I’d originally thought I might, the offer to scan and post comes from my heart. I don’t plan to charge for the online albums. HOWEVER, should you feel the urge to support this project, a donation via Paypal or check would be gratefully accepted. ( marcy@merrillphoto.com , PO Box 575 , Tokeland, WA 98590 )

I’ve already begun contacting folks as their albums are available. I’m excited to have these images once again see the light of day. They deserve to be enjoyed.