How to Get Your Old Family Photos Colorized

Remember how I was complaining that I haven’t been doing any genealogy or genealogy blogging for the past 6 weeks because I had a big contract? Well, I’ve turned in the last work on that contract and – save any edits they ask for – I’m finished. I now feel safe to spend a little time back in libraries, courthouses and the internet. Hooray!

So anyway, one of my day-job go-to blogs, Mashable, had a great article called 13 Black and White Photos Brought to Life with Color today. Check ’em out. For some reason, I really like #12 and #13.

I’ve been into colorization since two events: my uncle Jamey, of 3RDSON*VIDEO, colorized some old photos (like his Facebook page and maybe he’ll do some more for us) and since I saw these color pictures of the Great Depression. I even had this one as my laptop wallpaper for a long while:

Please be public domain, photo.
Please be public domain, photo.

Now obviously the world was not black and white before the invention of color photography and television but isn’t it hard to imagine the “good old days” in color? It is for me! So I love seeing old photos colorized, even though I know that her eyes or the berries on her dress may not be the exact shade they were in life.

Luckily for us, if we ask nicely, we may get someone to colorize our old photos for us. The subreddit /r/Colorization features colorized versions of old photos and even allows for requests. Of course, if you’re not familiar with Reddit, it’s a VERY finicky community so your mileage here may vary. But if I ever find an old photo with a great story that could benefit from colorization, I’m going to try it out. You can also try colorization out yourself, of course, with Photoshop or GIMP (which, unlike Photoshop, is the right price – free.)

Now I need to get back to transcribing those old George W. West Family Letters that I promised. I feel like a family history hoarder right now and that’s a sucky feeling since family history information wants to be free. Stay tuned!


2 thoughts on “How to Get Your Old Family Photos Colorized”

    • I like them both! And thanks. I’m ready to get back to the genealogy grindstone – even though I’m feeling a little overwhelmed today. I’m not sure which direction to take or which family to work on!


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