My love of photography is more than just being behind the camera, I also enjoy collecting vintage photos. Over the years I have amassed a large collection through auctions, swap meets and antique shops. I have to admit every time I come across those forgotten boxes of black and white prints I get a little sad. I want to know the history behind those forgotten people, I want to know about the families who made the decision to toss those snapshots of history. Each photo tells a story, a moment frozen that someone thought to preserve. Unfortunately that history is mostly lost to us now. As time goes on these moments in history will become lost, too faded to discern, and destroyed. So in hopes that maybe I can help preserve history for just a little longer, I collect these images and now I will share a sampling of my cabinet cards and hope someone else will enjoy looking at them as much as I do, and themselves become collectors of history.
When adding to my collection I tend to ignore the age and condition of the images and instead look at the subject of the photography. I’m drawn to the unique facial features of the older studio portraits. Given the time it took to take the photo most of the portraits were formal stiff affairs with straight faces, but can hold an amazing amount of details. The condition of the clothing, shoes and hands can give clues as to the social status of the posing couple. Names and dates written on the back can give an amazing amount of information if one is willing to put in the detective work.
Around the time Kodak became more popular and cameras were faster and cheaper (1890’s) portraits were becoming less serious and a little more fun. The stiff poses where soon forgotten and the snapshot was born. These photos I tend to look more for the fun factor.