Over the weekend, Clayton and I visited one of our favourite local flea markets.... He was sniffing out rare vinyl, and I was looking for pretty much whatever. The thrill of discovery was mostly what I was after.
You many know by now, that I collect many different things, and one of my favourite collections is the old photos that I've picked up from here and there. So you could imagine my delight when I came upon a whole basket of old photos... really old photos. I sifted through hundreds and picked out the very best. I mostly look for photos with interesting composition and in this case best outfits. These photos were a fun study in how people used to dress. I love what all of these outfits say about each person, and I try to imagine the colours and textures.
Then I wonder who are these people? Are they all related? I scan their faces and come up with a story. Brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles. I decide for myself who is who.... Then I wonder where are they from? I analyse the landscape. Friends by the lake. They must be in Ontario cottage country. So that's what it used to look like, and that's what you used to wear to the cottage!
I've never tried to explain my interest in old photos, but after I brought these home and studied them for a while, it became clear to me, photos of people you don't know are mysterious and interesting and allow your imagination take hold. They are a story encapsulated in a single small piece of tattered paper. They are a reflection of life as it used to be and how it is now, and maybe even what it will be like when we are gone. What inferences will someone make of a photo of me in 90 years? What do my clothes and surroundings tell about my life? Have you ever thought this?
What do you think? do photos of strangers intrigue you, or do they give you haunting feelings?