I’m investigating snapshot photography, what it really means, and it’s value as a school of photography. I visited my mother today, and nothing to do with this blog or investigation, but suddenly, the magic shoe box of old family photographs was pushed onto my lap.
I always loved browsing through these old photographs. It seems a shame, that we print far less in the Age of Digital, and that future generations will miss out on this magic.
These photographs were shot on a roll film (120) camera, with narrow frames, that allowed more photographs to be captured. However, they were printed from the negatives direct onto Ilford paper with no enlargement. Tiny little prints. They would have been taken during the mid 1950s.
The top photo is of my parents themselves. A snapshot or a portrait? My father was dressed up to the nines. Apparently at that age, he did like to doll up though, so it may not have been a special event. Funny, because later in life, he’d as often as not be found in a pair of work overalls.
The composition and framing are cracking. It may have been my mother’s sister Gladys taking the photograph – using a box camera top viewer. Not the easiest viewer to use – but look at the composition. The trees, field, road edge line up perfectly, with the couple right of centre. Happy accident or did the photographer, with no training from Digital Photography magazine, just know what looked best?
The bottom photo is of my mother’s sister, Gladys, with her fiancé Kenny at Great Yarmouth. The two couples were having fun taking photographs of each other. What is the camera that Gladys is holding? It looks like a simple box camera. Photography was bringing them joy and happiness, that is what serious photographers today often miss out on. Snapshot photography was fun, but also recorded moments – the Kodak Moment sometimes.
The more that I look into it, the more that I respect snapshot photography.