The Long Way Home


The Gang’s All Here
October 9, 2014, 7:10 PM
Filed under: Vintage Photo Album | Tags: , , ,
Romanian dance troupe, 1920s

Romanian dance troupe, 1920s

In July, I took a photobook workshop at the Carnegie Museum taught by photographers Melissa Catanese and Ed Panar of Spaces Corners. I wanted to learn more about editing my photography into book form, but when Melissa and Ed pointed out that the act of editing is also a creative act, I started looking through my vintage photos, thinking of ways to categorize them and tell stories. Each time Jeff and I go junk shopping now, I’m not only looking for vintage photos that catch my eye, but also photos that continue the stories in my existing collection. This series captures the different ways people come together to celebrate a moment: whether formal, as in the dancers above, or something fun (and a little strange), like the hay climbers below, posing with a group of friends and family indicates an occasion that demands remembrance. As the photos get passed down through generations, then lost among flea market bins, that momentous occasion becomes a mystery, leaving us to piece together the clues of who they are and what happened long ago.

I found this one under a pile of books in a thrift shop.

I found this one under a pile of books in a thrift shop.

In photos like these, I wonder about the photographer?

In photos like these, I wonder about the photographer?

Lingerie shop, Paris, 1890s.

Lingerie shop, Paris, 1890s.

This one almost looks staged.

Picnickers, early 1900s.

Smokers, early 1900s.

Smokers, early 1900s.

Dress-up, Paris, early 1900s.

Dress-up, Paris, early 1900s.

A card from Uncle Della.

A card from Uncle Della.

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11 Comments so far
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Fabulous photos, all quite bizarre–from the very odd woman sitting in the doorway of the lingerie photo to the hilarious smokers and the little black boy at the picnic. There are lots of clues in these photos to be sure but overall they seem to be from another era altogether, all with their story to tell. Thanks for sharing.

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Comment by Michael Williamson

Thanks, Michael! I was originally going to have a post about my “uncategorized” photos – these definitely fit, in a lot of ways.

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Comment by Lisa

Some time ago I found a family photo album in a bin. Tried to reconstruct the stories behind, which was fun to do. See the tag ‘found photos’ on my blog, if you like. Thanks for your post!

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Comment by 100mijs

Yes, I love when you can find an entire album – a lucky find! I’ll check out your found photos, I’m curious now :).

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Comment by Lisa

I just found out that it’s not a tag, but you should enter the search term ‘found photos’. 🙂

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Comment by 100mijs

i was looking for the search tag on your blog – i’ll try again 🙂 or if you have the link, that’s good too.

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Comment by Lisa

If you try this you should find all 7.
http://100meterijs.wordpress.com/?s=found+photos

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Comment by 100mijs

Smoking children! I wonder if that’s for real, or just all staged for fun?

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Comment by jschreckengost

Wonder the same – I couldn’t pass it up though, this needed a home!

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Comment by Lisa

What a treasury. Staring into those images and wondering their stories. So lovely. Makes me want to go treasure hunting at an estate sale or flea market. And Space Corners looks like a wonderful program.

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Comment by motherblue212

They’re everywhere! Sometimes they are in junk shops just scattered across counters, sellers don’t know what to do with them all. Spaces Corners is the photobook store that used to be in Lawrenceville. They’re moving to Troy Hill – amazing titles, really inspiring!

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Comment by Lisa




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