A Tiara, A Ball Gown, and a Little Photo Repair

My most demanding photo client has had my attention lately…it’s me! Spring cleaning inspired me to tackle a project or two this week. Fixing this photo has been on my to-do list for a long time.

Did I ever tell you about my summer of beauty pageants? The summer between sophomore and junior year of high school, I was in not one, but two pageants! I was only in it for the scholarship money, folks. And maybe a teensy bit for the ball gowns. My gown was medium teal with lots of ruffles tiny silver sparkles ALL OVER. Shoulders ruffles? Check! Crinoline slip? Bien sûr! That doesn’t sound anything like me, does it? 😉 I looked like Glenda the Good Witch.


Homecoming queen damaged photo


Early in our marriage, my husband didn’t believe that I had ever had curly hair. He didn’t know what magic perms offered for girls with stick-straight hair. That’s me on the left, trying my best to feather those curls that everyone had to have in the 80’s. As a newlywed, I displayed this photo on our refrigerator, where it was damaged by condensation.

Sadly, I didn’t take the Bristol Homecoming crown, but I was thrilled for my bestie, Kristi Forbregd, pictured in the front. (Her curls were the real deal.)

That water-damaged photo sat in my personal archives (shoe box) for over two decades. I looked for an original, but the photographer is no longer available. Online archives don’t go back that far. Thirty years ago, an inter-net might have been something you used to move fish from one tank to another. Who knows, this might be the only surviving documentation of that big day. I wanted to restore this photo because it’s part of my story.

My oldest daughter is nearly the age I was in this picture. They still don’t ask about us much, because parents were never children in their minds. But someday soon they might want to know how I spent my summers as a teen, and if they do, I’ll be able to show them that flat-chested, flat-haired girl from a small town in Indiana who wore a ball gown and a tiara for a moment, and then went on to be president…of her own company that helps other people tell their stories through photos.


Homecoming queen repaired photo


Do you have a story like this that is almost lost to time and damage? We can bring it back to life for you. It’s one of many services we offer to help you tell your own story through photo organizing, whether it includes big hair, flat hair, or no hair! We’ve even removed braces from teeth, marker from faces, and no-good exes from photos. Only you can tell your story. Don’t leave it for later.

You have a precious photo like this one in your archives. I hope you find it and share it with someone special soon.

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A Tiara, a Ball Gown, & a Little Photo Repair



This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Tracy

    Smart mom, and beautiful restoration!! Suddenly my college girl is all about the stories. Loving these years so much!!

    1. Darla

      Thanks, Tracy. I’m listening to moms with older kids. Apparently they do come back around at some point?

  2. Linda

    I hope you consider story telling to be among your skill set – loved reading this one. All three of you so pretty in that photo.

    1. Darla

      That’s so sweet of you to say, Linda. We all have a story to tell.

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