Do you remember the emotions you felt when you found a photo you’d forgotten existed, whether it was in an envelope of old prints or buried way back in your phone’s photo feed? Maybe the picture brought up nostalgia (a classic college-era party pic) or re-touching grief (a loved one you’ve lost) or even embarrassment (that cringe-worthy hairstyle from the ’90s).

One of the early `aha’ moments with using Mylio is seeing, often for the first time, all your photos and videos from all sources in one place. As you consolidate and organize all your image files, you’re likely to discover some surprises. 

Recently, I found myself struck by the full weight and height of nostalgia when I found an emotion-sparking image of my late grandmother.

Reconnecting to family memories

I have been a Mylio user since late 2014, so Mylio is not new to me. That has not stopped me from coming across surprising images buried in my Library. In late 2019, just before the COVID-19 pandemic, I had invested in digitizing several decades of my parents’ and grandparents’ slides. I imported them into Mylio with the intention to protect the files to multiple hard drives.

The last time I had seen any of these images was as a child, sitting in the living room with my parents, sisters, and family friends. Each memorable scene was projected on our wide white vertical blinds (in full view of the neighbors, LOL). We would munch on steaming microwave popcorn and retell the stories of each glowing image punctuated by mechanical clicks of the turning carousel; our yells and laughter would occasionally overcome the awesome whir of the slide projector’s cooling fan.

Finding joy through forgotten photos

Now that all these precious images were in Mylio, the face recognition feature was working in the background on my devices and collecting pictures together as people. When I opened the untagged photos collection, I found what felt like a miracle. The first image was a lovely candid portrait of my grandmother.

In the photo, she stands on a beach, holding her sunglasses. The summer breeze lifts her short grey hair and her eyes squint slightly at the sun, a relaxed half-smile on her face. While I couldn’t remember who had taken the photo, I remembered the beachside hotel behind her with fond nostalgia. It was in a small town on the Washington coast where our family would vacation each summer when I was young. 

The photo launched an explosion of emotions and memories in me. My grandmother had passed away years before when I was still young. Her face and presence had already started to fade from my memory. And suddenly she is here and present, brought to life again in one of the happiest moments I can remember with her. All the sights, sounds, smells, and stories rushing back in an instant.

Spreading the joy through photos

Of course, my first impulse was to share the discovery with my family. I made a couple of quick edits to make the most of this image, then texted it to my parents and sisters. Then I shared it more widely on Facebook, tagging all our extended family members I could find. 

This experience was so different than the event that was hauling out the old slide projector. But the power of this unexpected discovery coupled with the instant ability to share it immediately with relatives to include them in this joyous experience wherever they had gone was overwhelming. Even better, all this history is something I have protected with Mylio, to be shared whenever and wherever I am when I find it again.

Download Mylio today to see what unexpected photo memories you might find.