How to Find Lost School Pictures

Written by janette sturges
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Yearning to remember the days of pigtails and braces? Searched all over the house for that one school photo you're dying to show your kids? If you've lost some of your old school photos, you have a few options for tracking them down. Learn strategies for finding your school pictures below. Just remember: once you've found them again, restore, digitise, and back them up.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Old school photos
  • Phone book
  • Printer
  • Scanner

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    Find and restore your lost school photos

  1. 1

    Search through the old photos that you do have. If you're looking for a specific school photo, the first place to look is in that drawer where you stashed all of your old photos. If it's not there, you'll find other school photos, which will likely have the name of the photographer on them.

  2. 2

    Perform an Internet or phone book search and contact the photographer. Most schools use the same photographer for years. Once you find the name of the photographer who took your picture years ago, call him or her. Some photographers catalogue all of the photos that they take. Some barely keep any. But it's worth asking.

  3. 3

    Contact family, friends, and relatives. If there's one person who's held onto that fifth-grade photo of you, it's a relative. Call them up and ask if they'd be able to fish it out for you and let you borrow it.

  4. 4

    Contact your school. If all you're after is an old yearbook photo, you'll be able to find back issues of your yearbook at your school. Ask your school about borrowing the book. Some schools are reluctant to allow an old yearbook to leave the building. Other schools will let you borrow it with a deposit.

  5. 5

    Search online. There are now a few websites devoted to searching for old school photos from yearbooks. But beware that most of these sites charge a fee. And the reproduction quality may not be as high as the original picture.

  6. 6

    Restore and digitise. Now that you've found it, back up your photos. If you have access to a high-quality digital scanner, use that to scan your photo, upload it, and print it. If not, there are plenty of photo services that can do this for you, with varying degrees of quality.

  7. 7

    Return originals to their owners. If you've borrowed photos or yearbooks from anyone expecting to get them back, be sure to return them.

Tips and warnings

  • When sending your photos to a lab to have them copied or restored, it's best to go with a local service, so that you can drop them off and pick them up in person. The last thing you want is to have your originals lost in the mail.
  • Some photo restoring services are better than others. Ask for samples of their work before handing over precious originals.

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