Photographer discovers portrait of mother in forgotten camera roll

Emotional moment photographer discovers stunning portrait of his mother in forgotten 34-year-old camera roll from when his parents were students in Ukraine

  • Bogdan Grygorenko, 33, from Canada, found the  old film roll in family camera
  • He had the film developed and discovered picture of mother Olena from 1986
  • Picture was taken by Mr Grygorenko’s father while the pair were at university 

This is the incredible moment a photographer discovers a forgotten portrait of his mother that has been left untouched in a 34-year-old roll of film.

Bogdan Grygorenko, 33, who is originally from Kiev, Ukraine, and is now living in Canada, was ‘super excited’ to find the old film roll left sitting in his family’s vintage Lubitell 166B camera after it was sent to him earlier this month.

After sending the roll to a lab to have the images developed the photographer was left in awe to see a portrait of his mother Olena, 56, dating back to 1986.

Mr Grygorenko said: ‘At first I was a bit disappointed because there was nothing of significant value on them. Just some blurry pictures. 

Bogdan Grygorenko, 33, who is originally from Kiev, Ukraine, and is now living in Canada, discovered the images in a 34-year-old roll of film

The photographer was left in awe when he discovered a portrait of his mother Olena, 56, dating back to 1986

Mr Grygorenko discovered the images on a vintage Lubitell 166B camera that he was sent by his family earlier this month

‘But when I saw the last two pictures I almost started crying. It almost felt that this picture was destined for me to discover. This was fascinating. 

‘My parents were in complete shock when they saw the picture. My mum told me that she was actually seven months pregnant with me! 

‘My mum and dad who were students back then, went to the Carpathian region while in their last year of university. My father bought a camera for this trip. On their return he completely forgot about this camera. 

‘My parents told me they thought about throwing away this camera on multiple occasions. 

‘I got into film photography a year ago and once I found out my family had a few old film cameras I immediately asked my parents to send them over. 

‘When I received the camera and opened it I was in shock to discover film in it. I went to the lab immediately and thought this was a great opportunity to record a video. That’s how I started my photography channel on Youtube. 

The portrait of his mother was taken by Mr Grygorenko’s father while the pair were in their final year at university 

The old film roll held images of snow-covered mountains in the Carpathian region of Ukraine

The photographer’s parents took the pictures during a trip to the Carpathian region while Mrs Grygorenko was seven months pregnant

Mr Grygorenko (pictured with his parents Olena and Andriy) later sent the old images to his parents

‘So essentially I developed a film with myself in it.  It all feels magical especially considering it was during Christmas season.’

During the clip, the photographer told viewers he came upon the camera ‘by accident’ and was curious to see what they contained.  

He said: ‘Guys in my hand I’m holding a roll of film that has been sitting in my family’s camera for around 30 years and I actually got it by accident because my family sent it to me from Ukraine.

‘When I opened the camera I had this very film sitting right in the camera. I’m super excited to see what kind of pictures it will hold because nobody has seen these for about 30 years.

‘I’m on my way to the lab to get them developed now.’

He added: ‘I’ve seen a picture of my mum from this era but there’s something about the fact that this picture was completely forgotten. That brings up a lot of emotions. That’s amazing!’

To view more of Mr Grygorenko’s work visit and

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