Discovering since-forgotten photos of loved ones can be such a gift. Especially, if they're no longer with you.

A treasure trove of old portraits was recently unearthed by a local named Sharon Ferraro. If you've been in Kalamazoo for a while the name Ferraro may sound familiar to you thanks to Ferraro Studio, a photography and portrait studio that operated from 1964 - 2000.

Sharon, who is the daughter of Ferraro Studio's owner and operator Lance, is now hoping that people in the Kalamazoo area might recognize those pictured in these newly discovered and long-forgotten portraits so that they may be reunited with their rightful owners.

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Speaking with Sharon, she said her father, Lance, was a proud Italian-American and was well known in the area. "Everywhere we went, we bumped into people he knew," she said. Lance Ferraro also served as the Civic Theater photographer for years and went on to be City Commissioner for three terms.

*Fun Fact: According to Sharon, in the 60s and 70s all of the professional photographers in the area were Italian. So, to be clear, these are photos from Ferraro Studio at 1309 S Westndege Ave in Kalamazoo only.*

A couple of notes about these portraits:

  • They were used for display or competition. Therefore, little to no personal information was written on or attached to the photos.
  • Those in the photos may not all be from the Kalamazoo area
  • The photos have been stored for 20 years

With that last point in mind, Sharon isn't expecting to match every single portrait with the families of those in the photos but, she sure would like to try. In our conversation, she said, "I don't want to just throw them away. I want to reconnect them with their families. I also don't want them in my basement for the next 20 years." Completely understandable, Sharon.

Sharon posted the photos in the Facebook group Vanished Kalamazoo which already led to three of the portraits being claimed.

If you see anyone you recognize or have information about anyone in the portraits please contact Sharon by email at ferraros999@gmail.com. 

Even if you don't recognize anyone, these portraits are pure glamour. Enjoy:

Portraits from Kalamazoo's Ferraro Studio Resurface. Do You Recognize Anyone?

Sharon Ferraro, daughter of Lance Ferraro who owned and operated Ferraro Studios in Kalamazoo from 1964-2000, recently found these unclaimed portraits in her dad's storage and is trying to reconnect them with their rightful owners. See someone you know? Contact Sharon at ferraros999@gmail.com.

See? Absolutely glamourous.

This is Sharon's second round of finding owners to match with their portraits. Hopefully, we can help her be successful once again.

Before You Go

If you love learning about the historical moments in the Kalamazoo area, Lance Ferraro wrote a book called One Hour in Our History that details John F. Kennedy's visit to Kalamazoo through pictures. Finding a copy is a tad difficult but, I did find one on eBay.

Colorized Pictures of Early Kalamazoo That Will Blow Your Mind

Vintage Newspaper Reveals How "Cheap" Things Used to Be in Kalamazoo

A resurfaced newspaper from 1975 shows just how "inexpensive" things were in Kalamazoo back in the day. Can you imagine if we still had these prices??