I really like collecting old photos.
I enjoy seeing those distant moments in time that make up someone’s memories, that may represent an important point in their life. I also enjoy seeing what people were doing with photography when it was still fairly new. Casual shots are when you’re most likely to catch people goofing off and experimenting to figure out exactly what they can do.
They’re also when you’ll run into mistakes!
Like double-exposures, such as the above. Was the hatted man behind the first photo? Are those his FEET in the top of this image? Perhaps. To be fair to the photographer(s), it's likely they forgot to advance the film forward or they only did it partway, resulting in the partial double-exposure.
These casual photographs can also provide project fodder for writers and graphic designers.
Some of my favourite artists and writers are in the horror genre. They edit photographs and plunk their really creative monsters into otherwise-normal-looking scenes, or they combine bits and pieces from photos to make new monsters (if this interests you, check out Trevor Henderson and Eduardo Valdés-Hevia—their works are fantastic). Do I collect vintage photographs with that sort of artistic endeavour in mind?
I mean, uh, “I could make horror images out of these photos!” has never been the main reason for collecting vintage pictures. I just… did it because I liked doing it. Honest. I swear. But it’s okay if that’s why you do it (and if you do, for the love of everything, let me see them omg please, I'm begging you).
Anyway, take these photos and run with them. Have fun, experiment, and be sure to show me what you come up with. I'll spotlight my favourites in a future blog post.