Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Snapshots: Other People's Lives

Dear George,

They held the Moeller Antique Show this past weekend.  A curious thing happened.  Despite almost never missing one of these shows over twenty years in my quest for antique postcards, I nearly didn’t go this time around.  I think it’s because of the Internet.  I spend so much time with virtual images these days that my interest in hard copy versions seems to be flagging.  I did go though.  Dealers had a lot of postcards, but the item that caught my eye was a big box full of old photos.  Postcard collectors typically branch out into other sorts of paper ephemera, and I’ve been accumulating people’s snapshots for some time now.  Katja can’t imagine why I like other people’s photos, but I think photos always have a lot of emotional significance, and I like collecting big batches of them.  Here are a few of my buys from the Moeller Show.

Here we have a carefully coiffed woman with her carefully coiffed white poodle.  The seriousness of the portrait conveys her love and pride for her elegant pooch.

You can’t go wrong with person-dog pictures.  This one’s more spontaneous, and the girl is ready to rough-house with her canine companion.

Cats, in contrast, prefer their own private portraits.  This animal, majestic as can be, is staring down the photographer and is clearly in charge of the situation.

I picked this because it has such a sweet feel.  Dad is probably taking the picture.  Mother and daughter are in a cuddly pose, the girl looking secure and happy, the mother warm and serene. 

The photographer here is probably a spouse or close friend.  This lady seems supremely content, enjoying her coffee with cream and her morning newspaper.  She knows some secrets of happiness.

Here’s another happy woman with a mischievous grin.  Who wouldn’t be smiling if they had a sensational hairdo like this?

Not everybody’s overjoyed.  This Polaroid proves that blondes have more fun.

This couple is back from their successful fishing expedition.  The man is quietly proud, the woman pleased.  Because my brother Steven was an ardent fisherman in Seattle, I like to collect photos of people with their caught fish.

One important truth I’ve learned from other people’s pictures: Humans and dogs are always happy with one another. 




  1. I should have thought to send this to you sooner, but here's a link to a blog full of Black and White photos that kind of make you wonder what was the story behind the picture: http://blackandwtf.tumblr.com/

  2. Thanks experiment33. Those are terrific.