One of the main reasons I wanted to start a blog was to share photos and documents I've been able to find. A lot of my work on findagrave has some of this information but it's missing the story of how I came upon what I have. I don't have an exact number but I'd be willing to bet I've sent out at least 100 letters, made at least 100 phone calls and sent hundreds of emails to distant cousins I've found (if you use census records and obituaries you'll eventually find someone living that's related and maybe you can get them to share). I always figure "nothing ventured, nothing gained" and more often than not I've gained nothing but the times I've gotten a response have been very rewarding.
My favorite photo I've received this way came from the grandson of one of my great grandmother Minnie Comstock Swank's brothers Charles Delmer Comstock. It's a long convoluted story but there was bad blood between Minnie's family and Charles' family. In Charles' obituary it listed the names of his grandchildren - I found a grandson living in MA and called and spoke with him. Due to the bad blood (from decades ago) he was hesitant to talk to me but he was kind enough to share this gem of a photo with me. Persistence truly paid off for me on this one.