Announcing the Winners of #LoveInFullColor!

Announcing the Winners of #LoveInFullColor!

In honor of Valentine’s Day this year, and in celebration of our recently released photo color restoration feature, we asked you to share your enhanced, colorized, and/or color-restored wedding photos for a chance to win our #LoveInFullColor competition. We were blown away by all the entries — such stunning photos and fascinating stories from all over the world!

Before we announce the winners, we’d like to share some honorable mentions. These are just a few favorites from among so many wonderful photos and stories.

Julia of @julia.vdelft shared a few lovely photos of her Oma and Opa on their wedding day, August 18, 1959.

She tells the following story about their wedding: “Apparently their whole wedding was planned for the 17th. The invitations said it would be on Monday, the 17th, and even their wedding rings were engraved with the 17th. They arrived in Smithers on the 15th only to find that the banns hadn’t actually been read on time in church, so the minister could not legally marry them. My Opa had to find someone quick who could get them a special 3-day license. He finally found an official in a bar, but it was past midnight. The official graciously backdated his license so they could at least get married on the 18th. Or so the story goes!”

Julia says her Opa passed away when she was 8, and her Oma on her 14th birthday.

“I absolutely love how clear the photos look in colour and so much more real,” says Julia. “Can’t wait to see what else I can do!”

This next one comes to us from genealogist Andy Likins at @glimpsesofthepast, featuring his wife Heidi’s great-grandparents, married in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1908:

This is the story he tells: “Heidi’s great grandparents, Christian Peder and Petra Ingara (Berge) Pederson, lived lives of adventure. They were married in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1908. For their honeymoon, they first traveled to Norway to meet Christian’s mother and siblings. Petra had been born in Norway, but the family came to the US when she was just two. Then they visited the Alps. (Note the cord to trigger the camera in the photo taken on a mountainside.) From there they sailed through the Suez Canal to Madagascar. Christian had been born in Madagascar to Norwegian missionary parents. Christian and Petra would work in Madagascar for the next four decades and raise a family of nine children. When they got married, Petra’s family was afraid that she would surely die young going to such a far off place, but she outlived them all, dying a few months from her 100th birthday.”

Here’s another one from Andy, this time of his own great-great-grandparents, probably taken in Newton, Iowa, around the time of their marriage in 1860:

Andy says that unfortunately, life was not easy for them after this photo was taken: “Thomas was killed at the Battle of Atlanta in 1864, leaving Margaret a widow with two young boys at the age of 20. She would remarry and have three more children, all of whom died young. She would die at about age 30. The families of Margaret’s brother and sister took in her orphaned boys. Our ancestors often dealt with enormous hardships in their lives that we might be here today.”

Below is a stunning photo from Sarah Hinobayashi, featuring her husband’s parents on their wedding day in Japan, 1966.

It’s amazing to see how sharp and bright the colors are, and how clear even the smallest details are!” says Sarah. We heartily agree — check out the deep crimson and bright gold on her mother-in-law’s wedding kimono! Just beautiful.

The photo below is from Henrietta Silverman Jenrette, and it features her and her husband David Jenrette on their wedding day. David was a newly commissioned second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force at the time. He was from New Jersey and Henrietta from Miami, but they met in Texas through mutual friends when she was a freshman at the University of Texas, and he was an aviation cadet in the USAF.

The photo below, from Elizabeth Handler at @elizhandler, features her maternal grandparents on their wedding day in 1931:

Elizabeth says that the couple married earlier than planned to be sure that her grandfather’s mother, who was ill, could be there. The mother died less than a month later.

The photo below, from Michael Dornieden of Germany, features his mother with her first husband, who died in Russian captivity. 

Michael says: “Thanks to MyHeritage, we’ve been able to research quite a bit of new information. What I particularly like about the photo functions is that the pictures are greatly improved and that the faces are ‘brought to life’ again.”

The photo below comes to us from Luca Anderson, an 18-year-old genealogist who has been researching his family for the past 2 years. The photo features his great-grandparents on their wedding day, December 22, 1933, in Springe, which is in the Hanover region of Germany.

“This photo is very special to me,” says Luca. “What I particularly like about this photo is that it shows the special relationship between the two of them. It looks as if the bride is placing a protective arm on the groom’s shoulder, and ready to stand by him as a strong woman in any situation. According to my grandma, her father was always very welcoming. Unfortunately, however, he fell in Russia in 1943.”

“This new life that is breathed into the pictures is really incredible,” he says.

The stunning photo below from Gabriele features her parents Günther and Regina on their wedding day, October 25, 1955 in the Harz Mountains.

“It is almost a miracle that the two found each other,” says Gabriele. Günther, born 1931, grew up with his two brothers in a very wealthy family in the Harz Mountains, and had a relatively carefree childhood and youth. Regina was born in Lower Silesia in 1936, and was forced to flee to the Czech Republic with her family. The family suffered loss and hardship, but they survived the war.

In 1964, Regina went on vacation to the Harz for the first time, and that’s where she met Günther. Gabriele says that Regina told her she immediately knew that this was the man she would marry. The two corresponded for a while, and she moved to the Harz Mountains to marry Günther and the two went on to have 6 children, 14 grandchildren, and 8 grandchildren, and remained married for almost 60 years until Regina passed away.

The photo below is from Manja, and it features her aunt and uncle, who wed in 1979, standing in front of their “bridal car”:

Manja was 5 when this wedding took place, and she remembers that she held up the entire wedding party by falling down the stairs! Fortunately, she was not badly injured and the party was able to go on.

Manja also shared this photo of her grandmother and her grandmother’s new partner, and she says she was amazed when she colorized it because the colors were exactly as she remembered them!

“I’m really happy that I inherited all of these photos and that I can keep memories like that,” says Manja. “Many thanks to you for giving me the opportunity to breathe new life into the old black and white photos and to enhance them. I am always amazed at how realistic they are and how quickly memories come up!”

We love how the restoration worked on this photo of Gary Mokotoff and his wife Ruth on their wedding day 55 years ago:

The white looks so bright and crisp!

The photo below from Tatiana Gimenez, taken in France in 1930, features her dad’s grandparents:

The bride was from Spain, so not many members of her family were present and most of the people in the photo are from the groom’s side. Tat tells us that the son of the couple getting married would later marry the daughter of the man to their left!

The photo below is a double love story: that of a man and a woman, and that of a woman and a horse! Michele Hastings sent it to us, and it features her husband’s great-grandparents on their wedding day in 1902 in New Mexico.

Michele writes that the bride, Dollie, was only 17 years old. “She was visiting her aunt and uncle in rural New Mexico when she met her future husband, Jim. On this same visit, she fell in love with the horse pictured. Dolly reportedly told Jim, ‘If you will buy me that horse, I will marry you.’”

And apparently that’s what he did — even though, according to the family, he was not a big fan of horses! If you look closely at the photo, you can see that the bride is sitting sidesaddle.

The lovely photo below comes to us from Corinna Dallaire, and it features family members Jacobus and Elizabeth Hoogenhoud on their wedding day on June 20, 1946 in Holland. They immigrated to Canada the following year, owned several farms, and raised 6 children:

The photo below from Sandra van Heusden was taken in 1928 at the wedding of Sandra’s great-uncle and -aunt in Aberdeen.

Sandra writes: “I had no good pictures of my Great Aunts and Uncles, so to be able to see this enhanced and in colour is fantastic. What a great tool!”

The photo below, from Sally Olsen, was also taken in the 1920s:

Wedding of Oliver and Clara (Ovre) Kolstad, October 10, 1925

Wedding of Oliver and Clara (Ovre) Kolstad, October 10, 1925

She also sent us this photo from a wedding in 1946 — the results of colorization are stunning!

Wedding of Bob & Emily (Short) Coffin

Wedding of Bob & Emily (Short) Coffin

And in the one below, from 1979, really demonstrates the power of color restoration:

Wedding of Larry and Kathryn Nelson,  May 19, 1979

Wedding of Larry and Kathryn Nelson,  May 19, 1979

The photo below, from Daphne Coats, was taken in 1934 in Riversdale, Southand, New Zealand:

Marriage of Charles Arthur (Mick) Coats, 21, to Annie Susannah Clarke, 25, at Riversdale, Southand, New Zealand, November 14, 1934. Mick’s brother William is on the left, and Annie’s sister Catherine (Kit) is on the right.

Marriage of Charles Arthur (Mick) Coats, 21, to Annie Susannah Clarke, 25, at Riversdale, Southand, New Zealand, November 14, 1934. Mick’s brother William is on the left, and Annie’s sister Catherine (Kit) is on the right.

“We have always had to see this photo in its sepia look,” says Daphne, “but what a difference your colour enhance feature makes 87 years after the event!”

The photo below, from Agnieszka Piasecka, features her grandparents on their wedding day on October 10, 1959, in Poznań, Poland:

Agnieszka writes that her grandmother Anna, as the only daughter of her parents, was brought up terribly spoiled and was never taught how to do housework. So when she married Feliks at almost 30 years old, the only housework she could do was make tea and scrambled eggs! At first this wasn’t an issue, since they lived with Feliks’ parents for a few years, and his mother was an excellent housewife. But when they moved to a place of their own, it was a crisis in the family. “Both families (Grandma’s and Grandpa’s) were so afraid that this may end in their divorce or worse, that they got together all at one table once and were discussing the situation, like at a war table or something,” writes Agnieszka. After a few hours, they finally came up with a solution: to hire a relative to help out. Anna eventually learned what she needed from that relative, but in the meantime, Feliks was the one changing and washing the diapers!

The colorized and enhanced photo below, from Paula Sanvito Dotson, was taken at her parents’ wedding in 1950:

Paula writes: “Although I’m not sure of the original color of the maid of honor’s dress, I think it turned out beautiful!” We agree — it looks convincing to us, and the colorization helps bring out the velvety texture of the dress, especially next to the shining white satin of the bride’s gown. Really lovely photo!

Below are a few more of our favorites that were shared on Twitter:

Translation: My beloved grandparents who were married for nearly 70 years, before my grandfather passed away last summer. Sometimes they had their differences, but otherwise they were like peas in a pod.

And the winners are…

Here are the winners of the #LoveInFullColor contest:

Janice Moerschel:

We just love this photo Janice sent from her parent’s wedding, and the story that comes with it:

Janice’s mother Grace had an identical twin sister, Anne, and when her father — Charles — first met them at his church youth group at Riverside Church, Manhattan, he thought was seeing double! Not being able to decide which of the two to ask out, he wrote to both of them: “Dear Grace and Anne… or is it Anne and Grace?” He invited them both to ride bicycles with him at Central Park on a Sunday afternoon, and only Grace showed up.

The rest is history: Charles and Grace were married at the Riverside Church Chapel in July, 1945. 

“Charles had been serving in the Army and wasn’t quite yet done, so he is wearing his uniform in this photo that I enhanced and colorized at MyHeritage,” writes Janice. “I had to use the MyHeritage [colorization settings] to choose the alternative model, used manual rendering and adjusted the saturation level to get better color on Charles’s Army uniform, but I think this turned out great! The photo was taken at his mother’s apartment in uptown Manhattan where the wedding reception was held.”

This photo is a great example of how you can achieve better results by playing with the colorization settings! Click here to learn how. Good for you, Janice, and congratulations!

Karina Gomez:

The second winner comes to us from Karina: a photo of her parents on their wedding day in 1964 in Singapore:

Dad came from Malaysia to study in 1954 at NSW University, Sydney, Australia,” writes Karina. “He met Mum, who had migrated from Holland with her parents in 1957 — also studying at NSW Uni, Sydney. They met at Uni. She borrowed his badminton racquet for an interstate tournament as hers was broken and she couldn’t afford to buy a new one — that’s how it started. Engaged in February, both graduated in April 1964 & were married in September that year in Singapore.”

Karina tells us that her mother made her own lovely wedding dress — using nylon, foam, and metal wire to make the flannel flowers while she commuted from the North Coast!

“Things were tough for them at the time as they were also challenged with a mixed race marriage,” says Karina. But apparently the diversity of their family history lives on in the second generation, as she and each of her 3 siblings married someone from a different country! “Their marriage lasted 52 years until my mother passed away in 2016, my father passing away 2 years later in 2018.”

So much to love in this story, especially the detail about Karina’s mom making the dress in the photo. Congratulations, Karina!

John Gardiner:

John sent us this photo with a truly remarkable story. It was taken around 1910 and depicts the marriage of his great-grandmother’s older brother, Louis, in Southwark, London:

John’s great-grandmother Eleanor is sitting on the bride’s right.

John has two interesting facts to share about this photo. The first is that the colorization really helped bring out the skin tone of his great-grandmother and her family. They were of mixed race: Eleanor’s father was born to a British soldier and the daughter of an Indian slave on the island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean.

The second is that this photo was discovered on a garbage dump in St. Helena, 7,000 miles from where the photo was taken, in 2016! Apparently, Eleanor’s older sister Louisa brought it with her when she returned to the island to marry a distant relative in 1920. Louisa had two children, but the youngest died childless, and his possessions — including this priceless photo — were thrown away.

Luckily, the curators from St. Helena Museum visit the dump from time to time to look for relics exactly like these, and this photo was among their findings — along with a slave medallion belonging to John’s 4th-great-grandfather!

This story gives whole new meaning to the phrase “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure”! Congratulations, John!

Janice, Karina, and John will each receive their choice of a free Complete plan with MyHeritage or a free DNA kit! We hope they enjoy their prizes and that it helps them continue to uncover amazing stories about their ancestors.

Many, many thanks to all those who shared their photos and stories with us!

Have you tried enhancing, colorizing, or restoring the colors in your old family photos yet? This post gives you a taste of the incredible results! Give it a try at MyHeritage In Color™ and the Photo Enhancer.