Friday, February 27, 2009

Vintage Family Photos #3 - the Allen Family

So, tonight at midnight is the deadline for entering the engagement session giveaway contest! I forget, every time I run a contests, how terribly hard it is to choose a winner. Who am I to pick one idea out of so many rad ones?! I'm not totally sure I'm going to decide, and I am so grateful to everyone that sent me such fantastic ideas. In any case, I have the weekend to choose the idea I most want to photograph, and I will be emailing everyone on Monday (though you won't know who won until we shoot the photos and get them up on the blog!).

Anyway, to help us all with the suspense of the big decision, I figured it was time for another installment of "Vintage Family Photos". This one, of my mother's family, the Allens!

I find many things interesting about these first few photos. Both of my grandfathers were great amateur hobbyist photographer. On my mother's side, my grandpa "Howdy" (short for Howard, as in Charles Howard Allen - mom, why did so many Allens end up going by their middle names?), was a realtor, a painter, a sculptor, a hunter, and an avid photographer, too. I have many rolls of photos that he shot between the 1940s and 70s... from photos of his family, of duck hunts, of the Bohemian Grove, and of manly things like airplanes and cars. These are some of my very favorite of his shots though: his four children, dressed up for, presumably, a Christmas card shoot.

You can see the bossiness of his posing (the whole "look admiringly up at your older brothers" thing isn't exactly the most natural pose in the world!), and the strictness of 1950s matching outfits for the little girls; but I also see some lovely composition both indoors and out. By all accounts, this was not a super sturdy man working with the most advanced of camera gear (my mom does a great impression of him kind of bobbing around and fidgeting with his old Brownie camera), but I think he got great results! Just another example of how it's not the gear, it's what you do with the gear.

On a more superficial note, I like seeing my mom and aunt and uncles way back in the olden days. I like laughing at how ridiculously tan Peter is; how young uncle Wheat (yes, Wheatley) is; how cute mom and Susie are, even (or especially?) matching. I like seeing the happy hunting dog (what breed is that?) that was one the precursors for the Jenny-doggie that I knew in the 1980s. I love how the black and white film and the square format creates such a unique, vintage feel for the images. I like thinking that I got my photographic interest from the grandfathers I knew but wish I could've known better.

And, best of all - I LOVE the adorable, Stinson Beach-inspired outfits of this mid-1960s image! :)

Happy weekend!


justducky said...

Look who's got the shorts on! I was probably headed to the end with the dogs...well, maybe not with Blue.

That bloodhound would follow his nose to the end of the spit, across the channel, up the beach, up the hill, mile after mile, until we got a call from Point Reyes...a true sleuth, that dog.

So while someone was trying to find blue, I was looking for fossilized sandollars with Jenny.

plankface said...

So cute! They're like a Californian Von Trapp family.