Family Pictures USA: why printed photos matter

Scrapbooks and racial histories tell America’s story in PBS’ ‘Family Pictures USA’

“I have images that were taken over 100 years ago. But images I took like five years ago were lost by a device falling in water or a miscalculated click.” Thomas Allen Harris – NYTimes

Family Pictures USA: why printed photos matter

A three-part PBS series created and hosted by filmmaker and photographer, Thomas Allen Harris, explores American cities sharing stories that expand our understanding of our shared history, diversity and common values through printed photos.

“For the past 150 years, families have used the photo album to pass on their stories from one generation to the next,” said Harris. “The family album has kept us together. But in today’s digital age, we have to work harder to keep and maintain the stories of our families and our communities. Everyone is a photographer, but the stories and communities behind our photos are being lost.

FAMILY PICTURES USA strives to keep these stories alive and – by sharing them – remind us of our common roots and strengthen connections with our friends, families and neighbors.” -PBS

Family Pictures USA on PBS

“The family album allows us all to start from a certain common space”

Family Pictures USA on PBS

I started Persnickety Prints almost 10 years ago because of my internal passion for photos and storytelling. I needed my own photos to be high quality and archival. Why are we taking photos? What is the point if it’s not to preserve the moment now gone. Are we relying on Facebook to be around in 50 years?

As a filmmaker and photographer, Thomas shares the same passion interviewing families who share the emotions and how they connect with the larger story through their family photos. I hope you can find the time to watch it.

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Season ONE starts in North Carolina. Stream it here on PBS.