Browse photos

See all photos

People

Subjects

Holidays & Special Events

Historic Events

Military

Wars & Conflicts

Year

Photograph Types

Places

Photographers and Photography Studios

Thanks to these well-known photographers we have these historic moments visually captured in time.

“Photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation and execution.” – Ansel Adams, photographer, 1902 - 1984

A photo truly does say a thousand words - in a thousand ways. See a photo of a relative who has passed and innumerable memories come to mind - Thanksgivings, Christmases, the first day of school, a loving hug . . . . all of these and more come flooding back. Even photos of people and places you've never been or seen can inspire a strong reaction - a beautiful scenic view, a tragic event, a child in need, they all change you forever. Photos are a powerful mode of communication: in one glance, they can change the way you view the world or reinforce your viewpoint.

And who does this communicating? The photographer. We see what the photographer sees, in the way that he or she sees it. Lewis Hine, a sociologist and photographer, took a series of photos in the early 1900's that led to child labor laws changing. The Library of Congress has over 5,000 of his photos in their collection. Dorothea Lange, backed by the Farm Security Administration, documented the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. She said of one of her iconic photos - of a migrant mother and her children in 1936:
"I saw and approached the hungry and desperate mother, as if drawn by a magnet. I do not remember how I explained my presence or my camera to her, but I do remember she asked me no questions. I made five exposures, working closer and closer from the same direction. I did not ask her name or her history. She told me her age, that she was thirty-two. She said that they had been living on frozen vegetables from the surrounding fields, and birds that the children killed. She had just sold the tires from her car to buy food. There she sat in that lean-to tent with her children huddled around her, and seemed to know that my pictures might help her, and so she helped me. There was a sort of equality about it."
Over 80 years later, that photo still speaks to us.

Hine and Lange aren't the only ones, of course. Ansel Adams, an environmentalist as well as a well-known photographer, took photos that have sold for thousands of dollars and have been reproduced everywhere. His photos have inspired love for the environment. Art and fashion photographers like Richard Avedon, Guy Bourdin, Helmut Newton, and Irving Penn have influenced generations of photographers and their photos - in the form of posters - hang on many walls. And the earliest photographers - many of them in small studios around the world - have allowed us to have faithful reproductions of our ancestors, often people we didn't even know.

These are the photos from local studios and famous photographers that allow us to see the past in a new way.

Select a Tag
Gambier Curtis Reeks (1864-1917) was the younger brother of my... more
People in this photo:
Shared on Apr 10, 2015 by
Taken in NJ United States of America .
Howard Van Buskirk, New Jersey ca 1918: Photo of Howard Van Buskirk by the... more
People in this photo:
Shared on Apr 26, 2013 by
Taken at Chas.Eissenman, photographer, New York, NY United States of America .
Posed photo of unknown couple found in a period photo album from a relative.... more
Shared on Mar 20, 2013 by
Taken in Lakeland, FL United States of America in .
Elizabeth Persons, Lakeland Florida, USA. 1939
People in this photo:
Shared on Dec 8, 2012 by
Taken in Athens, OH United States of America in .
Norman Kuegler, Athens Ohio, USA. 1938
People in this photo:
Shared on Nov 21, 2012 by
Taken in .
A photo of President Coolidge and photographers at the White House.
Shared on Jan 11, 2012 by
A photo of a photographer taking picture of couple at beach - in a goat cart!
Shared on Jan 11, 2012 by
Taken in Spartanberg, SC in .
Maud, Blanche and Grace Cheek, young spinners in the Drayton Mill,... more
Shared on Dec 16, 2011 by
Taken at Bingham Brothers Dairy, Bowling Green, KY USA on .
Edgar Kitchen, age 13, worked on a dairy farm (Bingham Brothers Dairy) 10 hrs... more
People in this photo:
Shared on Sep 19, 2011 by
Taken at Howard St, San Francisco, CA USA in .
This photo was taken on "Skid Row" - Howard Street in San Francisco,... more
Shared on Aug 11, 2011 by
Taken in .
A photo of Gerda Taro, born Gerta Pohorylle.She used the name Gerda Taro for... more
People in this photo:
Shared on Aug 1 by
Taken in .
A photo that is the first selfie (of Robert Cornelius) in 1839. He uncovered... more
People in this photo:
Shared on Oct 19, 2017 by
Taken in .
The first ever photo of a street scene. It is a photo of Boulevard du Temple... more
People in this photo:
Shared on Oct 19, 2017 by
Taken in .
A photo of Roger Fenton with his "photographer's van" - what a war... more
People in this photo:
Shared on Oct 19, 2017 by
Taken in .
This is a photo of a photographer's studio - put together without Photoshop!... more
Shared on Oct 19, 2017 by
Taken in .
An 1822 photo - the first ever modern photo of a real scene- taken of the... more
People in this photo:
Shared on Oct 19, 2017 by
Taken in Stockholm, Stockholm County Sweden in .
A photo of Johannes Wilhelm Jaeger, 1832-1908. Johannes Jaeger was the... more
People in this photo:
Shared on Sep 27, 2017 by
A photo of Robert Cornelius (1809-1893) Pioneer of photography, born in... more
People in this photo:
Shared on Aug 19, 2017 by
Taken in Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, PA in .
A photo of Robert Cornelius (1809-1893) Pioneer of photography, born in... more
People in this photo:
Shared on Aug 19, 2017 by
Taken in Springfield, Clark County, OH.
A photo of an unknown young lady - Found in a velvet album with Helm family
Shared on Jul 26, 2017 by
Taken in Springfield, Clark County, OH.
A photo of an unknown Helm woman. Found in a velvet album with Helm relatives... more
Shared on Jul 26, 2017 by
Taken in .
This is a photo of Jackie (Bouvier) Kennedy when she was a photographer for... more
Shared on Dec 3, 2016 by
Taken at The Brewster Studio, Gloversville, Fulton County, NY on .
A photo of Sarah "Satie" Rorick (1889-1949). This picture was taken at The... more
People in this photo:
Shared on Nov 2, 2015 by
Taken at J. H. Wallace, Photographer & Grocer, Buffalo, WV.
A photo of Marcus Lafayette Shaffer
People in this photo:
Shared on Sep 30, 2015 by
Taken at Henry Burrows Photographer, London, England United Kingdom in .
A photo of William Payne in the studio.
People in this photo:
Shared on Sep 14, 2015 by
Taken at Wallace's Studio, Gainesville, TX.
A photo of Jess Daniel
People in this photo:
Shared on Sep 6, 2015 by
Taken at Wurst Studio, New York, NY.
A photo of Geraldine Mott Walker as a baby
People in this photo:
Shared on Sep 6, 2015 by
Taken at David Scidmore Photo Studio, Gloversville, Fulton County, NY.
This photo of John J. Winney, my paternal Great Grandfather, was taken by The... more
People in this photo:
Shared on Jul 5, 2015 by