Several vintage photographs from my personal collection.... I enjoy these so much. The 'other side' to a photo can give clues and help build a story. Imagine a young woman and her family getting ready to have their photograph taken, and why? Travelling to the photographer's premises in Pimlico or Kentish Town, perhaps, as the above suggest. How it was then. Was the studio a tiny little shop or a splendidly draped emporium filled with props, ornate chairs and screens. Did the photographer smile and did he ask his clients to smile? (I prefer photographs of people who are not smiling. I think they tell more about themselves when they are 'composed' which is not to suggest they feel any less awkward, and often a certain awkwardness gives a portrait a particular quality that says something more....)
There are so many questions. What happened next? And why do I now own the photograph. What happened to the photograph between the day it was taken and today.
Looking for faces amongst my photography collection to use in my artwork, my yesterdays dolls, I work on my own gut feeling about a person. I don't know them and they don't know why I have possession of their portrait. It's a strange thing to consider I might find them appealing because something about them reminds me of myself.
Photographs of 'everyday people' are part of our social history and I like the mystery these can offer a collector. I also enjoy not only the faces but the dress and designs of the day. It's the little details that speak the loudest, some times. See the girl above, her interesting corset belt. That kind of detail might find its way into a drawing or stitched piece one day. I'm looking through my photos to inspire my sketchbooks.
Photographed in sepia or black and white, a person appears not exactly different but you might notice a certain look about them that colour just doesn't get. It's to do with mood, light and shade. And perhaps a nostalgia for a time before we felt bombarded by colourful flickering realism.
I like handwriting on the backs of photo cards. See above someone has written in their calligraphic fountain ink: 'To dear cousin Nellie, with love from Minna 16/8/98' - now when I first read the date I thought of course 1998 - and then realised quickly this was unlikely. So Minna wrote this in 1898. A long time ago now. Several generations on, I wonder what is happening in Nellie and Minna's family? (and what is Minna short for, I wonder? I am right in reading that as Minna?)
My recent shop update featured a few new yesterdays dolls - and these sold very quickly, thank you. I have had requests for more to be available and am working on that. So, although my next main shop update will be at the start of March, I shall add a few new yesterdays to my shop toward the end of next week. I'll let you know when. I try to vary day and time. Thanks!