Although pictures can now be digitally stored, printed hard copies still give a different feeling. Framed photos make a house feel homier, and it’s more fun to look at memories compiled in a photo album. You can see the growth of how you and your loved ones became closer as time went by. Old pictures can give you a special sense of nostalgia — as if holding them transports you back in that time. That’s why it’s even more heartbreaking to lose the original copy, especially when it was taken decades ago.
Hurricanes are the biggest memory thieves in families. Due to floods and strong winds, houses are destroyed, including family belongings. Photos are either badly damaged or washed away by the flood. Natural disasters can truly leave a person financially or sentimentally devastated. Families from Fort Myers experienced that kind of heartbreak after Hurricane Ian passed through their town. A photographer’s business was also negatively impacted by the disaster. Krista Kowalczyk was unsure of her next step in life until she thought of an idea, which the community would greatly benefit from.
The plan began when she visited her friend’s house and noticed the water-damaged photos. She instantly knew what to do so she could use her skills again. Krista wasn’t just a photographer, she also has Photoshop skills that can restore water-damaged pictures. From taking wedding photos and family portraits, her business turned into a place where memories are restored. To help more people, Krista posted her project on social media — she was determined to give back, fix photos, and restore memories. Even six months after Hurricane Ian, Krista is still working on her mission, helping as many people as she can.
“I just kept thinking of, ‘What if this was me?’ Even something that seems simple to one person could mean the world to somebody else,” Krista shared. As her work spread through the community, the demand increased until she couldn’t handle all of it. That’s when volunteers entered the picture to restore damaged photos with her. “With many of these photographs, the families would have been happy with anything, but everyone who worked on these pictures took it very seriously,” she said.
It turned into something bigger, and families were comforted from the sadness they felt before. The once-damaged photos are now good as new. See Krista’s works in the video below. Her cause was meaningful and exemplary — she and her volunteers beautifully used their skills for a once heavy-hearted community.Whizzco