03 March 2006

photobooth friday

I don't know these women. I don't have any names or dates. no stories to tell today except that this was the first vintage 'found' photobooth strip that I ever bought.

right out of high school and into my early twenties, I went a little crazy over vintage clothing, hats, jewelry. taken with the notion of old school glamour, I hung dresses, costumes and beaded cardigans all over my walls along side hats with huge roses and veils. I surrounded myself with piles of vintage jewelry, old perfume bottles and posters of ginger rogers and marilyn monroe (went through a real marilyn monroe phase in high school-- I think I even wrote an english paper about the suspicious nature surrounding her death, no lie). so it was sort of love at first sight when I happened onto this photobooth snapshot at a fleamarket in ohio. I was (am) crazy about those smiles, that fantastic feathered hat, the angles and the slight blur of motion in each shot. so alive, these women and I was fascinated by the idea that I knew nothing about them but now owned a little piece of their history. superb entertainment for a quarter, I thought. so it came home with me where I tacked it up along side all my vintage goods. couldn't exactly put my finger on why, but it made me happy.

years later and I no longer decorate my walls with vintage clothing. oh, I still have a little bit of a thing for it but I boxed up or sold most of my pieces. some of it saved for ava, some of it saved for myself. much too difficult to let go of all of it. and I still love old things (understatement of the year, ha, DECADE) and continue to surround myself with it. my tastes have dramatically shifted, though-- as well as the way I display the things I love. the tacked-up photobooth snaps-- those remain. there's something about the quality that's just so rich, so gorgeous (why can't they make photobooths like that today? we should all look so glamorous and radiant). anyway, it's one of the few constants after all these years. something about them continues to make me happy.

and I'd love to hear your thoughts on the story of these women. oh yes I would.

more photobooth friday drama and glamour:

mad organica
I'm channeling doris day
domestic adventures
meegan blue
lulu's world

(and check out this lovely photo that jenny sent my way. also: a call for entries for an upcoming photobooth exhibit in philadelphia (found on photobooth.net). and if you are so taken with vintage photobooth snapshots, take a little lookie here.)


  1. oooh.

    here's a story of letting loose.

    two irish lassies, tired of uniforms and school books. tired of proper catholic behavior.
    they put on lipstick and hats, dresses and feathers.
    they will paint the town and have photos as proof.

    i like to make up stories for these old found photos

  2. What great photos. I LOVE the feathered hat. In fact, I think the story of these photos is all about The Hat. I think the feathered hat is brand new, something the woman in the photos longed for and saved for, and finally had enough to buy. So she hopped a bus or trolley car and went downtown with her best friend and bought The Hat and then stepped into the photobooth and took photos showing it from different angles, beaming proudly all the while.

  3. God the hat - THE HAT. Love the photos so.

    I'M UP, by the by! My photo's up.

  4. I love vintage and old-timey items and I cry a little when I think of the things I sold years ago, when I decided I wasn't into that way of dressing anymore.
    Those photos are incredible!

  5. great photos! i'll have to dig up the vintage shot that i have for next week! i've got one that is a bit more recent up today though.

  6. aren't they sweet. they must be best friends out on the town.

  7. what caught me with these photos is how contemporary these women look. they could've walked out of today - for some reason their demeanors exude what i see today - you know they don't have that retro retro look. and the hats HOW I LOVE THE HATS! i want to find hats like those! and i like how happy they seem. i can see why you would want to pin these up and i'd love to see a picture of your room from the past with all the vintage dresses hanging about!

  8. I agree, probably best friends out on the town. Maybe they're slightly in love with each other, but of course they could never fully explore that. They'll go on to marry perfectly nice fellows, but will always feel a deep connection with one another. They'll meet for lunch every year or so for the rest of their lives and share pictures of their children and grandchildren and retell stories of the days when they were young and carefree.

  9. I love this! And I can't help but wonder about the sequence...Did Fran join Eleanor for the first shot, or did she jump in at the end? Either way, for the three in which Elanor is solo, Fran was most certainly watching lovingly from the sidelines.

    Thanks for making my day, Andrea! Have a great weekend!

  10. This is my first time by your blog and I must say it is wonderful. Everything is so beautiful and mesmerizing!

    Have a great day! And thank you for maken my afternoon!

  11. Can you just adopt me as your sister? ;-)

    I used to be totally into vintage clothes, too. Hats, coats, sweaters, you name it. It was all I wore, except for some basic black pieces, 1986-1990. And, erm, I still hang vintage clothing on my walls, here and there! I have an antique baby dress (well, it's for a boy, but ...) on Max's wall, and in our guest room I have a beautiful white & hand-tatted lace blouse-thingy that I got at a flea market in Rome.

    I love these photos! The woman does have a lovely smile and look about her ...

  12. i am an old letter lady, myself. my mother is the old picture woman. she's in love with a man she bought for a quarter, too. it's the horn rim glasses gor her.

  13. I am so in love with these photos...I WANT TO BE THEM!

    Awesome post Andrea!

  14. don't know their story... but it must be good! [fast friends for sure] this is the perfect way to end my friday.... this photo is priceless...

  15. LOVE that photo -- a friend of mine found a home movie reel at a thrift store from around the same time and it showed a very fashionable large family kicking around outside a fabulous house -- it was so great! Love to imagine those lives.

  16. I LOVE, LOVE that sequence of four photos, so wonderful! Thanks for sharing it, cheers, g

  17. Why did you stop decorating your walls? Did you decide, or did someone tell you it wasn't appropriate? Wearable art is also showcase art--for God's sake display it! Surround yourself with what YOU love. A friend of mine collects vintage photos--mostly tinted, and mostly stage startlets, and ALL covering her walls. She also collects vintage dance cards. Her home reeks who she is. And I love that.

  18. Did you see the movie, Capote? Because the girl in the feathered hat reminds me of Catherine Keener's character, Harper Lee, in the film.

    Wasn't the ideal of beauty so different then!? Gosh, by today's standards, these two women would be considered "dowdy", but in many ways they're so much more glamorous and classy.

  19. thanks, all-- especially to all those who came up with great back stories. loved them all, I did.

    acumamakiki-- I can relate. there are some pieces I wish I'd held onto... it's so hard to know what to hang onto and what to let go of sometimes!

    jan-- I know, they DO have such a contemporary look. and the hat is to die for. recently, I found some video footage of my bedroom in the first apartment I ever rented... wish I could post that here. clothes and hats all over the place!

    joelene-- thank you for such kind words! truly appreciated... made my day.

    julia-- oh yes, let's! be sisters, that is. and I still have the occasional piece up on our walls... a great old feather boa from the 30s and wow, do I have a thing for vintage purses. which would look great displayed, I think (just haven't gotten around to it yet). and I love to see baby clothes framed. something very special about that. would love to see that piece you brought back from the fleamarket in rome (!!!). bet it looks stunning on the wall.

    37oline-- well, old letters are certainly cool. that's for sure. and the horn-rimmed glasses in the old photos are hard to resist. I can relate to that.

    laini-- would love to see that footage! what a fantastic thrift store score.

    barb-- I think my words might have been a little misleading... I definitely still decorate my house with everything I love (those who know me and have been to my house are laughing right now because they know how much of an understatement that is, ha)... my collections have changed, that's all. I don't hang vintage clothing on the walls so much anymore because I collect so many other things...! I still love vintage clothing. (have a collection of vintage purses that is out of control). our house is definitely a reflection of who we are (me and my husband)... there are old globes and old school maps all over the place. lots of stuff from the 50s-- colors, lamps, furniture, pottery pieces, etc. lots of art work by our daughter too and the occasional odd sign, and yes-- many, many found photos... so rest assured. that part of me was never beat down or forced to leave or anything. wish you could come over for a personal tour. :)

    justin-- yes, I did see capote! although, I saw a late show of it on my birthday and (in my defense), it had been an eventful day and I had just come from a massage and a huge meal... anyway, I fell asleep! and I'm quite ashamed of this because I LURVE philip seymour hoffman (hello, he won an oscar last night). the movie seemed phenomenal (from what I saw)... but I did see enough of it to know what you're talking about and yes, I totally agree-- there's definitely a likeness to catherine keener's character harper lee. women like this have more glamour and class in their pinky toe compared with today.

  20. okay, i am reading this like - a WHOLE YEAR later than every other person who commented . . . howevahh - my favorite thing to think of when i look at these two women in the booth is: --- how incredibly ultra crazy would it be if you got a comment that said "hello, my name is annie johnson. i am 77 years old, from columbus, ohio and i now reside in lakeland, fla with my niece susan and her husband bob. susan was reading your internet stories and saw these photos. she called me to the computer as i have some photos that she thought looked similar. much to my shock - i recognized the two in your photostrip. the young lady on the right is none other than myself and the girl to my right is my cousin alice. the hats belonged to my mother. alice and i were making glamour shots for our boyfriends to take with them as they had recently been inducted into the armed forces. these strips were the mistakes we kept for ourselves. we lost alice 12 years ago and this photostrip, which is very similar to the one i still possess, must have gone out in her estate sale. susan is still reeling from the sheer coincidence. i , however, do not believe in coincidences. best regards, mrs. annie johnson"

    (wink, nudge) cool, eh?