About Us and
Our Mission

April 8, 2021

Hello and Welcome to Pic-a-Pedia,

I wanted to take a few minutes to talk a little about why I have put this site together. Admittedly I am no wordsmith and as I put this together I am finding it difficult to truly convey my thoughts and feelings. I do hope the following helps explain things and bring some understanding to my mission.

I have enjoyed photography since I was around 7 or 8 years old and have been providing professional photographic services for nearly 30 years. This of course means I have been shooting most of my life on film.  I still have a fully functional darkroom and use it whenever possible.  Wanting to be able to preserve my work, organize it for easy storage and retrieval I put a few basic plans in place and physically protected my negatives, prints, etc. Nothing very exciting or innovative but it covers what I needed. During these times I also began collecting old photographic equipment. During my searches for equipment I started to find that is appeared like a lot of people didn’t really know what to do their old pictures because along with the equipment I came across envelopes, boxes, carousels, etc. of old pictures. Many times I tried to obtain these old pictures along with the equipment and in some cases people just gave them to me because they didn’t know what else to do with them or were simply going to throw them in the trash. I have no idea who these people are/were but I felt, deep down, that the pictures should not just be thrown away. Why…at the time I really didn’t know. As time marched on I would continue to come across these little groups of pictures and when possible I would try ‘save’ them. As time passed and I began to lose people in my life and I started to inherit family pictures from birthdays, vacations and such. Without really thinking much about it these pictures were just put into a cabinet with the pictures from my searches, basically because I really didn’t know what else to do with them but they did need to be safe.  I continued to think more about all the pictures I have taken, the pictures I have inherited and all the anonymous pictures I have acquired. Recently these thoughts have started to circle more frequently and I started asking myself – What’s going to happen to all these pictures when I’m gone? Will anyone care or will they just end up in the trash? During the course of one of these musings an idea started to form….I can scan these pictures. But as the thoughts continued I admitted it would be just as easy to throw away a couple hard drives as it would be to toss the original pictures. Hmmmm, so now what. More time passes and I’m continuing to struggle with the idea of all these pictures just disappearing. So I start to think does it really matter if they are gone, why is it so important to me? Yes, as a photographer I have thousands of pictures in my professional archive and I am quite proud of my work but I’m not so arrogant that I think it so exceptional or deserving of historical recognition, to be hung in a museum or such. But it made me happy while I was creating them and they still bring me joy as I look through my shots from time to time. It is understandable I feel this about my work but why do I seem to hold the same desire to keep the family pictures from disappearing and especially why do I want to preserve all the pictures of/from/by people I don’t even know. So again….why…..why do they need to be saved? In the last few months I have simply accepted that I need to do something, even if I still don’t understand why. So I figured I would just start scanning some of the slides I got at one of those estate/rummage sales. As I looked at picture after picture as it was being saved I began to see these pictures differently. Then it came to me. These pictures, of people I never met, were fun to look at and were making me … happy. I could see the happiness in their faces. I saw cars, people, birthdays, weddings, parks, buildings many of which I’m sure no longer exist or at the very least look very different now. I simply enjoyed just looking through these old pictures. It didn’t matter who they were or where they were or what they were doing. It was the ability to look into a small frozen piece of time and realize someone was doing something they needed or wanted to do that made a difference in their lives and in more cases than not those people looked happy. Now I realize not every image I’m going to see will be a happy memory; just like life there are ups and downs. However, the more images I see the more I feel for these pictures. There is a  connection to these other people, regular people, from another place and another time.  BAM … That’s why these pictures matter. They are evidence/proof that these people were there, they were experiencing their lives and in more cases than not they were happy. Through these pictures we get to observe, appreciate and possibly even share their happiness. We can also go to these places or step back in time and see how things have changed and experience what’s gone. Of course we can open a National Geographic, look through a book from a famous photographer or numerous other sources, most of which provide views of dramatic, composed, edited, even scripted pictures or movies and see that one in a million award winning picture from nature or a historic moment. But what I found as I began looking through these pictures is I was seeing some of that same ‘history’ but from a more relatable perspective. These people are just people living their lives; experiencing nature, playing golf, visiting a historic structure, watching a parade/event or more simply stated … living their lives. So, now that I finally figured why these pictures are important I had to figure out how to make it possible to bring these collections out and share them with any and everyone. A website would work – duh. While talking to a very dear friend and explaining what I want to do she pipes up and throws out a name for the site. Later that night I look, and to my surprise, it was available and Pic-a-Pedia has been born , thanks Ace for the name. Since the time from being presented with the name that night to the site’s first iteration has been very brief (around a week) I am sure there will be many things needing to be changed, updated, fixes applied, yada yada yada. Please be patient as I work through getting this all figured out.

To be clear … I am running a little loose with the Us and Our while discussing the site, as well as the title for this page, since I am doing all the archiving work here by myself, but those titles just seem better that way…no harm done I suppose…LOL

All rights are reserved for all content on this site and associated images in the archive and are the property of  Pic-a-Pedia.com, Thomas Ohm and Creative Property.


Answers to a few Questions You May Have

I have thousands of prints, slides and negatives which I will continue to scan and add to this archive as often as possible. As I said earlier I am doing all the scanning and content administration myself so I suspect archive growth will go in spurts. Also, the scanned versions of these original pictures are not intended to be ultra-high resolution images. Their purpose is to be a reasonable capture of the original image that can clearly convey the content of the picture. Also, I do not have much of the background/details for MANY of these pictures but will provide any information that is available.

Let me know what you think.  If you have any comments or suggestions please send an email and I will do my best to respond in a timely fashion. I am absolutely open to discuss ideas for the site.      siteadmin@pic-a-pedia.com

If you know more about any of the pictures and would like to have that information added to the archive’s details please send an email and we can discuss how to get it added.              siteadmin@pic-a-pedia.com

If you have or know of a collection of pictures, slides, negatives that are at risk of being lost PLEASE let me know. If at all possible, I would like to get those pictures and add them to the archive. It doesn’t matter if it is an envelope with 3 pictures, a box of 1000 slides or a handful of photo albums, please do not throw them out. They should not be lost.

What about movies? All those old 8mm and 16mm reels of family, vacation, travel, etc. The movie reels likely being stored in the same boxes with the old pictures. I do have quite a few of these reels already in storage with the pictures I have been gathering. I will certainly include more reels in to insure they are protected along with the still imagery. I also do intend on acquiring updated equipment needed to transfer these movies to a digital format. Once I can begin capturing these reels into digital files I will see what it will take to make them available on this platform as well.

What it comes down to is I don’t want any of these old family/vacation/travel/wedding/etc. pictures to just disappear.

As of now I am doing everything by myself; footing the bill for all costs associated with the building and maintenance of this site as well as all scanning and posting of the images.  If you would like to help with the costs by making a donation or provide some sponsorship for the site please email me and we can figure out what to do.

Thank you.