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5 Steps for Identifying People in Old Family Photographs

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Identify the Type of Photograph
Old family photographs are a treasured part of any family history. Many of them, unfortunately, do not come neatly labeled on the back with names, dates, people or places. The photographs have a story to tell...but about whom?

Solving the mystery faces and places in your old family photographs requires knowledge of your family history, combined with good old fashioned detective work. When you're ready to take on the challenge, these five steps will get you started in style.

Identify the Type of Photograph

Not all old photographs are created alike. By identifying the type of photographic technique used to create your old family photos, it is possible to narrow down the time period when the photograph was taken. If you have trouble identifying the type yourself, a local photographer may be able to help.
Daguerreotypes, for example, were popular from 1839 to about 1870, while cabinet cards were in use from about 1866 to 1906.
Overview of Photograph Types & Techniques

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