Ancestral Fantasy Photos

There are many various forms of what can be described as ‘fantasy photos’ relating to your family tree. Our ancestors use to have it done quite often. If there was a family group photograph and if a family relative couldn’t be present to be in the group photo, a separate photo was taken at another time or one that was already been done and the photographic shop added that person’s image … making it appear they were all together. This was common if a relative had just passed away, their image was added by the photograph, so applied the term ‘fantasy’, an illusion, something that did not actually happened at that given moment.

So you could well have a family group or a couple individuals in a photo and maybe one was added later. With modern digital imaging, airbrushing and special effects, all types of ‘fantasy photos’ can exist now. When a photo from the family album is found to be altered, notes relating to the photo should be made for future reference. You may need a photographer’s opinion to know for sure any additions or even deletions were made. Yes, sometimes, a valued family portrait even had the face of a person, say an ex-son-in-law removed from the print, negative and any copies or new copies of the changed portrait.

For your own collection of family photographs you just might like to create your own fantasy photos. An example might be to create one image of a husband and wife before they ever married, dated or even knew each other. Possibly a photo of each when they were 10 years old. Unlikely they knew each other, but it is a fascinating image to see the two as youngsters together. Of course you need separate images of each at that age, similar background or one that could be altered to be similar.

A really challenging type of fantasy image would be to place members of the same family branch together, as if several generations sat at the same time for a big portrait. That would take some work, especially locating the correct type of image. If you made each image in black and white it would be easier and more natural to blend them. It could then be converted to ‘color’ and sepia-tone it.

There are several fantasy photo software programs available, some free to download and others for a fee. Do a Google search and place ‘free fantasy photo software’. One free version is ‘Gimp Shop‘ which allows you to not only fix up any imperfections in a photo, but also do some creative work with each one.

If you feel creating a large group photo is too much a challenge there are numerous photo studios and services that can perform this imaginative creation. It is similar to putting your family tree or at least a major branch or two in one photo.

Photo: My husband’s family branch which was originally pictured with 6 family members in 1917, then 7 members born after wards were added. Oldest was born 1869 and the youngest added to the photo was born 1969, her great great granddaughter.

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