21 November 2008

photobooth friday



three years ago, I was in new york with my brother. and while I was there, I bought this little photobooth frame at the 39th street fleamarket. let me tell you, I had to dig through hundreds (and hundreds) of old snapshots to find her. but she was totally worth it. these are the ones that you find at the bottom of the box-- they hide in the cracks, slip in and out of envelopes, piles, fingers. surely it would be easier to dump the box upside down and start my search there. problem is, once I see all those old snapshots, I'm as good as gone. I have to look at every single one of them. yes, I do. and yes, how very OCD of me but I'm sorry, it must be done. I only leave with a few but I have to look at every. last. one. someone needs to. story after story after story, so many stories. they are lost people who need to be seen.

this is what I think:

she was an extraordinary speller and favored the scent of wild violets and coffee.

she kept her valuables in a red shoebox beneath the bathroom sink, behind a stack of mismatched towels.

she had a goldfish named ching ching whom she talked to regularly. though only after she was sure everyone had already gone to bed.

this is what I think. but it could change at any moment. because this is how it is with found photographs. their details are wonderfully mercurial and their stories-- as wide open as the sky.

well hello, photobooth friday. hello there.

29 comments:

  1. Andrea- I think you should listen to a radio show we have here in Canada -it is called DRIVE and is on the cbc 2 radio station- a great guy called rich tefry is the host and he does the same sort of things with songwriters that you do with photos- he ( and you) evoke a flesh and blood person through a glorious trail of detail( coffee and violets-love it!)

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  2. How perfectly creative! I have a found photo of a young boy. Maybe I should dig it out and predict where he is now!

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  3. I love your capacity for story. I would like to sit down with this woman across a table with a small vase of violets, have a cup of coffee, a cigarette, and a conversation. I am sure she has stories I want to hear.

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  4. i so love this. thanks for sharing, dreaming, inspiring.
    deb

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  5. Great post. How poetic, to think about the stories behind each face.

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  6. oh yes!

    and she is full of sass and has really good fashion sense (love that blouse/dress). a role model for all of us, even with the cig.

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  7. I love found photos! And your is especially fantastic!

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  8. this is fantastic -what a great story! I feel the same passion for old photographs and loved this post!

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  9. Andrea, you stir something in me everytime I read even just one word from you. I can't stay away.

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  10. That's my grandmother!!!!!

    No it isn't. I fibbed. But I think she looks like a tough broad in the best sense of the word.

    I imagine her spending weekends on Coney Island, making her man win her stuffed animals from the fairway.

    She laughed a lot, until she got angry, and then you'd best get out of her way, because she was on a rampage until she got to spend time with Ching Ching and put on her wild violet toilet water.

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  11. Andrea- I just stumbled upon your blog and I've decided that you are the coolest chic I've ever not-met. What an incredible eye and artistic vision you have! Can't wait to read more!

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  12. i love it.

    there is (or used to be) a man at the ashby flea market in berkeley who had boxes of photographs, some old and some not so old, for 25 cents apiece. i took home a whole bunch of oldies. i miss him. and i used to spend hours looking through the entire box.

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  13. Oh, yeah...regarding my earlier comment: I don't even smoke.

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  14. i want a goldfish named ching ching.

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  15. Hi Andrea!

    I couldn't stop looking at this photograph, she is so interesting. And dare I say, really cool. Kind of the big sister that would sneak you a drag on her cigarette or help buy a first bra.

    I love, dreaming.

    Nice to meet you, my name is Christina. : )

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  16. All I have to say is..Bernardelle Breu Antiques on 11th & Everett in the pearl district. You'll find an armoire loaded with drawers and drawers of fascinating black and white photographs with untold stories, cryptic teacher-esque handwriting inscribed on some of the backs, and in need of adoption.

    BTW - I hella <3 your work. Very inspiring!

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  17. I love your back story for her.

    A few years ago at an auction sale of things brought over from France, by husband bought me the contents of a couple of drawers.

    Knives, forks, postcards and photos of one French WW1 soldier and his compatriots. I was so obsessed with the photos that I was actually able to find out a couple of names from the photos and where they died.

    I had to buy my own copy of "A Very Long Engagement." I'm inspired to look into "My" soldier's back story everytime I see it.

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  18. That is SUCH a find, and I love your idea of her. Beautiful.

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  19. so awesome. just so awesome :)

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  20. this was lovely.
    i loved your take on her and I'm sure you're exactly right.

    :]

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  21. I love found photography. Although I wish i hadn't seen your found photos links - I have work to do and now all i want to do is explore. ugh.

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