This show of photographs taken from the 1930s-1960s celebrates found work by several photographers. To our knowledge, they never collaborated, and at best passed one another as Philly residents.
We met them when they used PhotoLounge for archiving and digitizing services and then agreed to donate their collections to us for safe keeping. Now they're in this show together. Some have passed, some we lost track of, and some are active and healthy and have seen this show.
This exhibition was conceived as a demonstration of the digitizing services in our lab. At first, I set out to show pictures of iconic places and people, and pictures that broadcast “vintage.”
This is our Digitizing Month, when we ask customers to consider their own analog photography memories as the holiday season is approaching. This was meant to inspire orders for digitizing services.
But my vision for the show quickly changed when I found an intimate and anonymous experimentation with the medium of photography as art in the slide trays, photo albums, and negatives. Rather than iconic and vintage, I was struck by the imperfect and nostalgic, by the overlooked, and the value of memories as art.
Within these images on the walls we see so much of what our film customers shoot today. From what we know, not one of the pictures was taken by a professional photographer, but notice how diligently each person worked at mastering the medium.
I hope this show inspires you to celebrate your own imperfect pictures, new and old, taken by you or of you, perfect or incomplete. If they're scattered across physical boxes and harddrives, on cell phones and the cloud, how do you start and what do you want to get out of them?
We took care to show the process of selecting, iterating, and experimenting within photography. Wouldn’t you say we found amazing art in these memories?