Saturday, August 05, 2006

Other People's Pictures



Somewhere I think I heard that some primitive tribes don’t want their pictures taken because it steals their soul. (I think I heard that in a Tarzan movie. Because how would a primitive tribe know what a camera does. It’s not like there were Fotomats in the Congo). Perhaps there is some truth to this however, example Paris Hilton…

One of my favorite junk shop/flea market pastimes is going through boxes of old photos. These are some of my favorite recent finds.

An old boyfriend of mine asked me why would I want to put photos of people I didn’t know all around my apartment. I think the term he used was that it was a ‘unique idea’. (Said in the same tone as if I was wearing my underwear on my head.) I guess my reasoning is that finding a truly ‘unique’ photo taken 50-60 years ago in a box at a junk store it’s a little like saving a bit of someone’s soul that was tossed away; repurchased as kitsch for a quarter several decades later.




Photos are often the last things that people want to save when someone dies. I say this because I’ve been to a ton of estate sales. Usually, mixed in with the VHS tapes of Murder She Wrote there’s often a box or album of family photos. As my parents reach the twilight of their lives I’ve been pondering the family photo archive. I can’t see myself giving them away to the Brown Elephant. I wasn’t even close to any of the people in the photos; being a late in life child, most of my older relatives were either dead or quite elderly by the time I was born. Regardless, I can’t see putting their pictures in the garbage.

Having said that…
I’m glad some people do, otherwise I wouldn’t have found these fabulous photos…



It will be interesting to see with the advent of digital photos if discarded family photos become a thing of the past, and instead of being thrown in a box with old paperbacks, they will just sit for decades on some forgotten page on a website until some 16 year old unique kid finds them, circa 2059.


Fun found photo site: Is This You

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I collect old random photographs too; glad to see someone else does!

-graeme

Julie said...

Glad to see you go out looking for stuff you don't need too. What's wrong with us? Did your parents teach us this? Remember "the lobster shirt"?