It’s an age-old question. You’ve been together for years, had so many fun memories together. Everything awesome in your life happened to coincide with this relationship. Your sister’s wedding, that trip to Paris, the time you got to meet your hero Wil Wheaton (or am I the only one who loves that guy?). But once you break up, what do you do with those photos? You want to cherish these memories for what they were, but every time you look at them all you can see is your ex. (Or maybe it doesn’t bother you, but you keep getting questions like, “Why do you keep all of these pictures of your ex? Are you still in love with them or something?” Awkward.)
This hasn’t happened to me personally…mostly because I’m usually on the other side of the camera. But a few years ago, my sister-in-law was involved with someone and, while she didn’t have such a problem dealing with what to do with all the photos after the break-up, her family certainly did (including myself!).
First, the dilemma: I had so many great pictures of our family all together (which doesn’t happen very often with my brother-in-law in the military), but her ex was in them. (We won’t even discuss my wedding photos which, for some reason, he had and forgot to give to my mother-in-law. I’ve resigned myself to never seeing those.)
Obviously I couldn’t just display photos of my sister-in-law’s ex around my apartment. But I also didn’t want to keep such great memories buried in my computer.
So I created new, happier ones!
I put the photos in my photo editing software (I use Gimp now, which is free). I’m not sure what possessed me, but I went digging for a photo of Fonzie on Google. Once I found one I liked, I set to work.
How I did it:
- I found this photo of The Fonz. In Gimp, I opened the picture of us, and then I pasted the picture of The Fonz into a new layer. (To make a new layer: Ctrl + Shift + N. To paste: Ctrl + V.)
- I took the eraser tool and erased the white parts of the picture and the parts that were covering anyone standing near him (I wanted it to seem like he was behind my sister-in-law). I was going to completely get rid of the white and make The Fonz blend perfectly into the photo. But I got part of the way done and Zach peeked over my shoulder and couldn’t stop laughing. He said the part that made it so funny for him was that Fonzie didn’t blend in. So I left it as is and printed it.
Again, for the sake of privacy, I’ve painted over everyone’s faces. But here’s the finished product:
There used to be another person under Fonzie, but you can’t tell!
And Zach was right–it is funnier this way! I get a little kick every time I see this photo sitting in my living room. And so do my guests! It makes for a fantastic conversation piece (though I don’t give out any details, just that I needed to cover someone up). About a month after framing this, my parents-in-law came over. My mother-in-law walked right past this photo, but for some reason it caught my father-in-law’s eye. He got a huge laugh out of it and we wound up passing it around the living room and making up a story to go along with it.
So instead of holding on to all those negative memories, try editing your photo (or find someone who knows how to do it for you) and make some new memories. Like, “Remember that time The Fonz came over for Christmas dinner?” or “How about that time we went skydiving with Samuel L. Jackson?” You won’t regret it. It’s been two years and I don’t think I’ll ever take it down!
Before you ask, “But what about your SIL? She was the one hurt by this. How does she feel about this photo being displayed in your living room?” She loves it. She was the first person I showed it to (besides Zach) and she called it a “huge improvement.” 😛
Do you have any photos of someone you’d like to cover up? Who would you paste over them?