So not only did you teach me about writing memoir, you also taught me about reading and thinking about how others write memoir. Thank you so much! Rebecca

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Writing From Photographs

Recently my long time friend, Rose H., sent me some old photos she found among her things. The photos were black and white and taken in the late fifties. An astounding flood of memories rushed over me.

In my memoir classes we use photographs to refresh memories that provoke stories of our lives. In the photo I’m sharing here, I can easily remember the names of the young people. I am one of them.

But there is so much more in this picture. I see sadness, death, and disillusionment. From this photo, I can create a book of stories.
Do you have old photos that bring back memories?


  1. I love the picture! Your post reminds me of the old saying a picture is worth a thousand words-it really is.

  2. Some of these pictures are almost too painful to view when you get to a certain place and realize the contacts you've lost. They remind you that you simply can't contain everything for good. Makes me sad, but probably will stimulate some kind of written response when I next view some of my own like it . Thank you for the prompt.

  3. Glenda,
    This is a great idea to write stories. I like this old-time photo. It sure brings back a lot of memories. What an excellent way to moltivate people to write about the past. Thanks for the prompt.
    I hope your class is going well. I sure wish I could have taken it.

  4. Hi Tipper,
    This picture does tell some stories. My brother is on the far right. He is the one who passed away in 2009 just months before Barry died.

  5. Hi Joan,
    Thanks for your comment. Yes, these old photos can be quite painful. In writing about our lives we include the bad times as well as the good, and photos can really bring up emotions.

  6. Glenda, I love to look at old photos. Some of the memories are bitter-sweet, others evoke very fond memories.

    They are pieces of our history.

  7. Thanks for this info. I have found it to be very helpful in writing to look at an old photo. Just finished writing one after doing this... Thanks again!

  8. Hi Susie,
    Thank you for stopping by my blog.
    I hope you find it helpful and interesting and that you will comment again.


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