That One Photo

The most rewarding part of our job is hearing our clients share stories about photos they re-discover through the organizing process. Often our clients will say finding “that one photo” meant the world to them. They are instantly transported into the photo and feel all the emotions that the photo represents.   

We decided to create a spot for our clients and others to share their “that one photo” stories.  So, whether you use our services or not, we would love to hear your photo stories and we hope that you take some time to read the variety of beautiful, funny, and poignant stories that are shared below.

We will be rotating in new photos as they are submitted, so please check back if you are interested in seeing more.

We would be grateful to anyone who is willing to share their photo and story with us.  Click here for the submission form.

Becky, Cincinnati, OH: Co-Owner of PhotosFinished

Many years ago I took on the task of digitizing my family’s extensive slide collection. I hadn’t seen many of the photos in years, and some I had never seen.

My dad was the photographer for most of our family vacations and events so he was often not in the photos. I came across this photo of my dad with me and my 3 older brothers. I am not sure I can explain what the photo represents to me.

We were fortunate enough to take long summer vacations because both of my parents were teachers. Being the youngest I don’t remember many of the trips, including this one to the east coast, but looking at the photo it brings up many memories. My dad was an only child and I think having 4 children of his own opened up a whole new world to him. He loved sharing these adventures with us and he had a quirky sense of humor. When I look at this photo, I see “pure happiness”. Having recently lost my dad, this photo is even more special to me.

Kerry, Cincinnati, OH: Co-Owner of PhotosFinished

I chose my photo not only because of the memories that it evokes from me but also because it represents the principle of why I love photographs. EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY.

If you simply looked at this photo, it would be a blurry photo of three guys sitting in a street. However, the story behind it really represents my family. I am the youngest of 5 children. We grew up in a 2-story home in Indianapolis, Indiana. My mother committed her life to raising the five of us and did a wonderful job. The two oldest are my brothers, Bob and Kevin. We lived in a relatively small house by today’s standards and my mom would frequently be trying to cook dinner while my brothers were playing Nerf basketball at the hoop that hung over the basement door. That door happened to open right into the kitchen and very near the oven and stove. There was always something crazy going on in my house and on occasion, my mother would get exasperated with us (especially when basketball coincided with cooking).

As my brothers got older, the obstacles became more challenging. One day, my mother in a not so patient tone suggested that the boys “go play in the street”. Well, in usual Fagan Family fashion, my brothers picked up a game and took it out in the street and played. They would get up and move it when a car came down the street and then return to the game. Finally, a neighbor came over and asked my mom if she knew why the boys were in the street. My mother went to the front door, took a look at the boys and started laughing. As my childhood was filled with moments like this, this picture reflects all that I love about my family.

FYI…the third boy was a neighbor who was an only child. He was around so much, we really thought of him as a part of the family.

KL, Cincinnati, OH

In 2017, my daughters and I were in Ireland for the Irish Dance World Championships. We took some extra days to explore the country as well as Northern Ireland. My father was born and grew up in Northern Ireland so I still have many relatives there. He often told stories about “growing up on the Lane”. I was able to get the address of the house he grew up in on Stockman’s Lane from one of my cousins. We were taking a Black Taxi Tour on Easter Sunday and I asked the taxi driver, Paddy, if he could take us to the house. He did. This is the “house on the Lane” and it was a moment I will never forget.

Jill Yesko, Pittsburgh, PA

I was 3 years old in 1972 when I was photographed by my godfather, “Uncle Jack” in his home in Philadelphia while my mother held me on her lap. My dad’s foot is in the background. My parents were sitting with their backs against a sofa talking with Jack and his wife, Mia. My sister and the other kids were playing nearby.

It wasn’t a photo session, and he wasn’t a photographer. He just saw me sitting there and wanted to take the picture. He gave a copy to my mother and it was framed in our home for a long time.

Years later I asked my mother for it. She said she would look for it but after multiple requests I gave up asking. She has all of my childhood pictures and will not let me have access to them (or her) for reasons that I cannot fathom. It made me sad to think I wouldn’t ever see it again because it is the time in my life where I remember being the most loved, and incredibly special to my parents. It is before my personality was truly finished forming and before I began being any type of trouble to them.

In December 2019, I was visiting him in St. Louis to help care for my ailing father and there it was, waiting for me on the nightstand! It had been sent to his home by my Uncle Jack as he had himself rummaged through photos, probably in an attempt to downsize and get organized with his own photos. I didn’t know it at the time, but my father would pass away suddenly three months later while I was sitting next to his hospital bed.

I began to cry with gratitude and a flood of emotions as I held the little sepia photo to my chest. I needed that photo to remember it all. To most people, I look somewhat sad in this photo. (I was a very serious child.) But while my face bears a somber expression, I promise you that I was the opposite. I was content.

Lynn Douds, Erie, PA

This is a photo of my mother holding me when I was a baby. My brother Pat, who passed away in a car accident when I was just 10 years old, is sitting behind me looking in the other direction. I never knew this photo existed. A few years ago, on July 4th, I ran into the oldest boy Jeff (he is in the dark jacket in the photo) at sunset on the beaches of Lake Erie. Our families and parents had been very close friends back in the day.

Jeff’s wife sent me this photo via email soon after seeing them. It is special because not only my late brother is pictured but because there are only a couple of photos of me as a baby, that I know of, that exist! My mother and father were raising three boys before I came along. I was born four days before Christmas, so I can only imagine how chaotic life was at that time for my parents- not to mention during a snowstorm. Taking photos was not a priority I guess at that time of their life.

I plan to return the favor to Jeff’s family by sharing any photos that I’ve inherited from my parents photo collection that may be special to their family. There are many special photos- but this is the first that jumped out when I pondered “That One Photo”.

Please submit your photo and story for others to see.