I often do something and I think we family sleuths should start a movement.Think how much heritage we could preserve if we would do the following.It honestly takes very little of our limited personal family research time.
When we find old photos in stores and the photograph is either identified by name or by photographer's location, take that information down and then post it to the surname sites or the state/county site which relates.If you live in the town where you find the photograph, ask the store owner to take it home and scan it.Our local shops will often let me do that.Some shops prefer that I just list the name and phone number of the shop when I post info regarding the find.I always make it clear I have no financial connection to the shop and get permission to post the shop's name/address/phone number.
If traveling and I find them, I often tell the store owner what I want to do and they will often reduce the price of the photo and some have given me photos.One woman gave me an album with 54 pictures in it and I found the family.The shop owners or the booth dealer will often know some applicable info on where the pictures were found and you can include that in your posts.In all cases when I have found family, they have reimbursed me for my costs and it goes in my picture jar for future efforts.
It is an act of genealogy kindness that is great rewarding fun, it turns us into an army of archivist and maybe one day, maybe you and I will find a photo of your/my missing relative.
The only problem has been deciding which relative to give a photo to.I try and pick the closest relation, I also scan the picture and save them for awhile in case another researcher finds the post after I have given the photo to family.Regardless it is better for someone to have the picture than for it to sit in a box or on a store shelf.
Tips:I concentrate on photos that are before 1920, really try and center around the turn of the century and earlier, this narrows this down to something manageable.I also will find photos with like shop inventory numbers on them, one photo being identified and another not, the same inventory number will often suggest they were purchased at the same time, same estate sale, and thus related.
Spread the word with your list of genealogy sites and with your local historical and/or genealogy societies.Oh hear our marching feet .....