This man reunites dozens of families with their portraits left in a closed photo studio
We’ve seen some incredible cases when people accidentally found forgotten and rare photos (this one’s probably my favorite). And something like this happened to a Missouri architect Brian Bononi. He was working in a closed photo studio on Kansas City when he found a pile of 167 portraits that never got delivered to clients. So, he gave himself a mission: find the people in these photos and reunite them with prints that were never delivered to them.
Bononi found the pile of images in one of the studios that belonged to Portrait Innovations. This company abruptly closed its studios all over the US earlier this year after filing for bankruptcy way back in 2017. According to WSFA12 News, the bankruptcy case was closed in October 2019, listing the company as over $25 million in debt.
As Portrait Innovations closed its operations seemingly overnight, many customers were left without their photos. While Bononi was taking measurements of one of its former studios, he stumbled upon all those portraits that were never delivered to their owners. “If these memories were my memories, I would want someone to do what they could to help me,” he told CNN. So, he did something I highly appreciate and that seems so rare nowadays. He acted, and he did what he would like others to do if he had the same problem.
“I called my wife and we agreed our family would take on this project because it’s an opportunity to extend love and hope within our community,” he said. And so, he and his family got to work. They sorted the prints alphabetically and contacted those whose phone numbers were attached. But many portraits only had family’s name without any contact details, so Brian turned to Facebook in search of the people in these photos:
The Bononi family’s efforts also caught the attention of the local news, so the word has spread beyond social media. I was especially moved by the story you can see above, where a big family got together for a photoshoot. A lady from the photo recognized it on TV and got in touch with Brian. She explained that the whole family got together to take a photo and support her daughter who is battling cancer.
While some portraits have found their homes, Brian and his family are still looking for the rest of the families to reunite them with their portraits. So, feel free to spread the word. And if you happen to know anyone from Kansas City who needs to be reunited with their family portrait, let them know, or contact Brian via this email.
Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.