I personally believe that the key to a successful collection of vintage photographs is specialization. Without it, I’d spend too much money and just end up with 1,284 random pictures. To keep things in check, I have decided to specialize in black & white photographs of women on or near ships, boats, and various sailing vessels ($3 or less, please). I particularly like it if it looks like the women are about to head off on a journey. I’m not sure why I decided to focus on such a thing, but it probably has something to do with this picture. It’s one of the first vintage photographs I ever purchased and it remains one of my favorites.
I recently went into an antiques shop down on Pioneer Square and told the proprietor what I was looking for. I apologized if it seemed like a strangely specific request, but he told me it was nothing compared to what some people collect. I didn’t ask him to explain; I just asked him where I should look. He showed me a couple books labeled “Ships”, but they were mostly full of cruise-related ephemera like old menus, tickets, and luggage stickers.
I ended up having to go through the store’s stacks of unsorted snapshots. I saw pictures of farmers, cats, dogs, drugstores, automobiles, livestock, sweethearts, mountains, swimmers, airports, newborns, corpses, forests, tree stumps, and a whole bunch of soldiers. It took me about 45 minutes, but I finally found what I was looking for. I found a picture to add to my collection. Here it is:
I’m quite happy with it. I can’t remember much from my high school photography classes, but I think the model and the photographer knew a bit about what they were doing. If it weren’t for the background man in the checkered jacket, I think this picture looks like it could’ve been featured in an old 50s magazine like Life or Look. I’m not sure what the article would’ve been about, though.
And while I’m here, I guess I should share the other pictures in my collection. Here’s what I’ve found so far (hover over the image for my notes):