Bridgeville scan master preserves history for many
Most families have one or more boxes of old family pictures they have not looked at in decades.
Some of these pictures never will be seen again. Ryan Tomazin is hoping that is not the case.
“Most of what I do,” Tomazin said, as he looked at his scanning equipment in his small Bridgeville apartment, “what makes all of this worthwhile, is the emotion that people have when they see what I can do for them, what I have done for them.
“People have to realize that this is history that can either be tossed out or relayed on to the next generation. It is my job to keep it alive.”
Tomazin, 37, a resident of Station Street and a graphic designer for 14 years, takes older photos that people bring to him and places them on discs and DVDs for their viewing pleasure. Using $3,500 worth of equipment he has managed to work into the living room of his apartment he shares with his wife of six years, Yan, he has made a living since 2011 operating Tomazin Scanning Services.
Tomazin said in two years, he has scanned, digitized and preserved “thousands” of pictures for people. He also has scanned old newspapers, such as one dating back to the Civil War and another to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Tomazin chose this line of work for several reasons, he said.
First of all, the population in Pittsburgh and the outlying areas is growing older, he said. Many of these residents have taken and collected older photos they want to pass on to younger generations.
“This is a great time to have the photos digitized. A lot of people want to (have older pictures) placed on discs so they can be passed on forever,” Tomazin said. “I want to preserve whatever they may give me for their memories.”
Tomazin can be seen often at the Bridgeville Area Historical Society. He volunteers his time there; over the past several months, Tomazin has digitized more than 1,500 images for the society.
Tomazin also has worked with local historian and newspaper columnist John Oyler. When Oyler was in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1955, he was stationed in northern Tokyo for 16 months.
Oyler took numerous pictures and wanted to have them preserved for time; he turned to Tomazin.
“And his work was fine. I was very pleased with what I got back from Ryan,” Oyler said.
With his scanning business in 2012, Tomazin netted about $15,000; he wants to double that this year, he said.
“That's my goal,” Tomazin said. “I want to do this for as long as I can to earn a living. It's so fascinating. What people don't understand is that they have things just lying around, probably in closets, that I can do something with.”
For more information on Tomazin and his business, go to his website, www.tomazinscanning.com.
Jeff Widmer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5810 or firstname.lastname@example.org.