Monday, September 29, 2008

Occupations For Women - Twice Told Tuesday

Twice Told Tuesday features a photography related article reprinted from
my collection of old photography books, magazines, and newspapers.

Last week in Twice Told Tuesday Shades looked at the fad of bicycling with Frances Willard. This week Shades reprints a chapter from her book on Occupations For Women describing Women and Photography.

PHOTOGRAPHY is especially adapted to a woman's artistic taste and delicate touch. Many girls practicing photography as amateurs, do their work well and it seems unaccountable why so many who reach a creditable degree of excellence in the work should be satisfied and so cease to produce better results. Why should they not continue in the art, master every detail, enter the field as professionals, and pursue the work as a business? Hundreds of women might accomplish far more in this occupation than at present.

Is it lack of energy, of courage or capital that deters them? It cannot be lack of energy, for the hours spent in the work by the ambitious, enthusiastic and painstaking amateurs prove the contrary. It should not be on account of insufficient courage, for it has been said that "the business woman is a nineteenth century production. She is honestly proud of her work, and of being a link in the great chain which keeps the business world moving." The hesitation should not be based upon the plea of "no capital," for the bright, determined girl of the present will always overcome this difficulty.

The work is not too difficult for a woman. For years it was regarded as a particularly occult and mysterious process, requiring a special gift, a knowledge of chemistry and years of professional study. During these years photography, to the woman, suggested untidy work, blackened hands, and soiled aprons. Today it is acknowledged to be a fascinating work, easily understood, requiring no superior knowledge, and demanding but a comparatively short time of study and preparation.

The introduction of electric lights, dry plates, light machinery, and dainty photographic devices renders the work more agreeable and available to women besides offering at the present day a most inviting field.

Nearly two-thirds of a photographer's patrons are women and children, and a woman photographer of pleasing manners, obliging disposition and artistic sense is most successful in securing happy results when the critical moment of posing arrives. There is but one best position, one best view of all objects. It is acknowledged that in woman the artistic sight is more perfectly developed than in man. This natural gift enables her to immediately discover the one best position--the one best view of her subject.

A woman quickly grasps the beautiful and harmonious in nature and in art. She naturally understands posing, colors in dress, and all the details that make up the artistic photographs of women and children. She will quickly tell why this line, shade or curve is more desirable. She possesses the faculty of bringing out the best in the patron who poses before her.

Many years elapsed in the history of photography before the public became assured of these neutral gifts in women--gifts so admirably adapted to this work, so favorably suited to its success. The photographers in several of our cities were assured of woman's efficiency in this work after securing her aid in their studios. It was when thus employed as assistants that women fully realized their adaptability, discovered opportunities for improvement, and resolved to pursue the work as a profession.

Julia Margaret Cameron

Mrs. Julia Cameron, of England, early realized that the ideal portrait consists in portraying a glimpse of a man's soul; not only the face but the intellect, the genius, the spirit in its completeness--these must all enter into the faithful portrait. This she aimed to accomplish and seldom has the work been more satisfactorily accomplished. She produced portraits which were an immediate inspiration to others who were striving to do sincere and truthful work. It is said: "She was of a most distinguished and fine nature, and was of unique pre-eminence in the profession of which she has made a great and noble name." Tennyson was her neighbor, and often he posed for her. The faces of Browning, Carlyle, Sir John Herschel, Charles Darwin and Tennyson were among her noblest of English portraits. In these she succeeded in portraying the loftiest aim and the utmost steadfastness which were the principles of their lives. It is this that vivifies their portraits. "When I have had these men before my camera," she once said, "my whole soul has endeavored to do its duty toward them in recording faithfully the greatness of the inner as well as the features of the outer man." This is the secret of her power and her success: "Truth in art for truth's sake." It has been said that her work merits comparison only with the best portraits from the old masters.

London to-day has the most celebrated woman photographer in the world. Miss Alice Hughes, the daughter of Edwin Hughes, the portrait painter, has earned this enviable reputation.

Her photographs are more expensive than any others produced in London, and yet she is scarcely able to attend to her orders. Her work is all done at her home in Gower street, London, and here there are no surroundings usually associated with photographic galleries, No outward sign on portal or windows suggests the atelier. Her studio is built out over the garden and from the drawing-room one descends to it by three or four steps. The secret of her success is that she makes her subjects perfectly at ease. She lets them pose themselves and makes only the changes that are absolutely necessary. Among her photographs are nearly all of our American girls who married Englishmen, from Lady Randolph Churchill to Lady Terence Blackwood.

Mrs. Emily Stokes of Boston, is an example of what a woman may accomplish in photography. When compelled by misfortune to give up her London home, she came to America to begin life among strangers. Having been associated with enthusiastic photographers in England, and believing that the position could be filled by women as well as men, she resolved to enter the field as a professional. For sixteen years she has aimed to produce the true child portrait. She has conquered difficulties, and is an enthusiastic and successful artist. "This one thing I know," she said brightly, and it would be well if many girls could say the same. "I know every detail of the work; it is the only way to success," she added, as she glanced about the room at the pictures of sweet child faces.

Since the first public exhibition of photographs in London in 1852, and especially since the Paris Exposition in 1889, photography as an art has steadily advanced, and in the recent exhibitions in European and American cities the photographs executed by many women have been an inspiration urging others to enter the field. Not only have these women exhibited portraits, but their photographs of landscapes, marine views, mineral and vegetable specimens have won for them a wide reputation.

Frances Benjamin Johnston

Some of the most beautiful photographs in the United States have been produced by Miss Johnston, of Washington. She has attained a superior degree of excellence in all her work. As a professional she ranks among the list of leading photographers in the country. The truthfulness and artistic beauty in all her photographs have earned for her a name pre-eminent among photographers. She has done much work for newspapers and magazines, giving to the public truthful pictures of much that is constantly occurring in the public life of the capital city.

Miss Beatrice Tonnesen

Miss Beatrice Tonnesen, of Chicago, has opened a studio in that city, and her photographs of women and children, especially the latter, are already noted for their beauty.

Mrs. Farnan, a California woman, has earned the reputation of accomplishing remarkable results in photography.

In February, 1896, the Youth's Companion offered prizes for the eight best amateur photographs submitted during the following six months. Over six thousand photographs were received in response to the offer. Miss Emma Farnsworth, of Albany, N. Y., submitted a most truthful scene, "When the Day's Work is Done." This was awarded the first prize, and strikingly illustrates the perfection to which a young woman has brought her art.

Others who obtained prizes were Mrs. Sarah Holm, of Wisconsin, and Miss Kate Matthews, of Kentucky.

The girl who decides to leave the army of amateurs and enter the professional arena must feel assured that she has patience, an artistic taste, determination and business ability. She must be willing to inform herself of the multitudinous operations to be performed; she must expect waste and loss, and she must be able to rise above disappointments and trials. To be successful in working a "four-by-five" outfit does not imply an equal success with an "eighteen-by-twenty-two." The ability to make a few blue-prints daily does not mean equal success in producing five hundred to one thousand a day in albumen, ilo or platinotype[.] To be able to please a few interested, intimate friends is widely different from contending with the capriciousness of disinterested strangers. To take a picture and secure a local artist to do all the work requires little ability when compared with understanding the operating, printing, mounting and finishing. Possession and production are widely different in their meaning. It is one thing to work for pleasure and one's self and quite another to work for profit and the public.

Too often a girl thinks if she buys a camera, some plates and a few chemicals she can become a photographer. In her mind all that is necessary is to expose the plate properly, develop it, print from it, tone and fix the prints, and then the art will be mastered. She forgets that few can expose a plate with perfect success, that judicious, painstaking care is necessary to develop it, and that toning requires skill. It must not be supposed that with the cheapness of material and the present comparative simplicity in applying it, the pictures require less care than formerly. The conditions of light and composition are the same as they were in the early days of photography, and the laws of lenses and theories of light must still be studied with the greatest care.

The girl who would be a photographer should consider her adaptability for the work, and, having decided to pursue the occupation, she will do well to work with some reliable firm. When once an opportunity is found in some photographic studio she must work earnestly and hard in learning the details of the work. After a short time is given she will obtain a position as assistant in the work. If she be on the alert for opportunities she will, when fitted, find the right locality and here build up a business of her own. The cost of materials, furniture, rent, wages and the fund for emergencies must then be considered. One young woman of the East fitted up a skylight for fifty dollars. The expense incurred will vary according to the taste of the young woman. Once furnished and equipped the subsequent outlay is but trivial, and if good work is furnished the profits are assured. A young woman may choose to devote herself to but one branch of the work. Should she excel she will find with determination the opportunity of assisting in some large studio. The operator and the one who poses the subject hold positions of importance and responsibility and are usually paid the highest salary. An education in photographic science is required, a knowledge of light and its effects, an artistic taste, and a knowledge of theories that constitute art in portraiture. Women who excel in these, who are professionals, will receive from fifteen to fifty dollars a week.

Especially adapted to a woman's delicate touch is the process of retouching photographic negatives. Before entering upon this branch of the work it is essential that she should draw and possess a knowledge of anatomy, especially of the face, neck and shoulders. If the work be undertaken without this knowledge, distorted, unnatural productions will be shown, and failure will result. The work also requires strong eyes, for the use of artificial light is a constant strain upon the eye. The amount paid for this work in large cities varies from ten to fifteen dollars a week.

Printing is the most interesting part of the work. Several women in the larger studios receive from twelve to eighteen dollars each week.

Girls who enter the work to mount the pictures should be alert, detect at a glance any imperfection, and must have artistic feeling.

During the past thirty years there has been a demand for the application of color to photographs, and to-day hundreds of young women are devoting themselves to supplying the demand. The technique of the work is simple. Many women earn from twelve to fifteen dollars a week by executing orders. After a short course of study they are able to earn more. A knowledge of drawing is necessary, or the artist is unable to produce form, and the work is flat or distorted; there must also be a knowledge of color, or the tints will be dry and hard.

One young lady of the East has supplied the teachers of schools with figure subjects. She has reproduced with exactness the little dramas and comedies of life. Here there are pictures of boys, their work and pastimes; school girls in their natural pleasures or duties. Kites, hoops, marbles, tops, dogs, are all so truthfully pictured that the teacher is seldom required to tell long stories for the children's amusement and instruction, for the photograph's explanation is clear, and from these the numerous stories are told or written.

Another young woman with her camera has reproduced engravings, and her copies of famous old pictures in European galleries and prized ones in America, have earned for her reputation and profit.

One woman makes a specialty of children's photographs, another confines her work to landscapes, a third takes photographs of interesting events in the city and sends them to the illustrated papers.

Everywhere in the scientific world the power of the photographic camera has been felt. Physics, Chemistry, Mechanics, Astronomy, Zoology convince one that by patience and study a woman may put her camera to a most excellent use.

Many eminent scientists are constantly preparing and publishing scientific papers. However perfect their language may be, however clearly their thoughts may be expressed, the words are often found inadequate to convey an actual visual impression. These papers, to satisfy the public and make the thoughts of more value, should be illustrated. The old illustrations of mammals, birds, reptiles and fish are frequently untrue, misshapen representations.

The young woman whose photographic work possesses merit and accuracy may in this field pursue her work to most profitable ends and to the advancement of learning. This field is full of interest to the gifted young photographer, but one in which ingenuity is demanded.

This is an age of books and book illustrations. The various processes of book illustration are annually enriched by new applications of photography. The present knowledge of the flights of birds and the motions of animals can be produced by the camera in a most accurate degree. Here the young woman may choose her work, and if she would succeed she must strive for the best and seek to do not only good work but a superior quality of work.


Willard, Frances Elizabeth. Occupations for women: a book of practical suggestions for the material advancement, the mental and physical development, and the moral and spiritual uplift of women.Cooper Union, N.Y.: The Success Co., 1897. 504.


Unknown, photographer. “[Frances Willard, portrait bust]” Glass negative. Washington, D.C. : Library of Congress, 1867. From Library of Congress: George Grantham Bain Collection, [no date recorded on caption card]. (accessed September 19, 2008).

Cameron, Julia Margaret. Self-Portrait. Date Unknown. Wikipedia.

Frances Benjamin Johnston with camera on balcony of Treasury Building, Washington, D.C., 1888. Photographer Unknown.
Reproduction number: LC-USZ62-91952 (b&w film copy neg.)

Unknown photographer. Beatrice Tonnesen. Godey's Magazine. Published by The Godey company, 1897. p. 124


Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday From The Collectors - September 26



I love telling stories with photographs. And I love creating custom heirloom books at GOOD STOCK, that are the end product of those photographic stories. As footnoteMaven has so graciously given me the opportunity to talk with you today, I thought I’d share some of the best ways I’ve found to tell family stories with photos.

I love photos – especially the old ones. But for me, old photos don’t necessarily have to be generations old – just old enough to convey a different time, a different place, a sense of nostalgia, or a memory.

There are many ways to tell a story through a photo. Sometimes it takes nothing more than the photo itself. I was recently moved to tears looking at a series of black and white images taken by a photographer of her aging mom and dad going about their daily life at home. I don’t know this photographer personally, and I certainly don’t know her parents, but I do know these photographs contained something special – an absolute magic to them. The photos alone told the story.

But sometimes, it’s a few photos mixed together in the right order, or a certain grouping of photos. Other times, the right words alongside a photograph can make all the difference.

Here are some simple techniques I love for storytelling with photos.

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Repeating Photos

The concept here is to take photos from the same event or time period at regular intervals, and simply put them next to each other – in a book, on a wall, or as a collage like this one. Here’s a simple personal example – my brother, Santa, and me.

This same idea works well with birthdays, school photos, holidays, and even family portraits. Here is an incredible family portrait project where the family has taken portraits each June 17 since 1976. ABC News aired a segment on this project which can be viewed in this video.

A more realistic approach to this concept (unless you’ve already started this once-a-year family portrait ritual!) is to just group together any portraits you can find of a relative over the years. It is so neat to watch their features, hairstyles, and attire change. Here is a series of portraits of one man, from youth to old age, which I used in a family ancestry book.

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Photo In A Photo

Last year a client showed me the first daguerreotype I’d ever seen. It wasn’t in the greatest condition, but it was striking. What was most striking, though, is that this young woman sitting for her portrait was holding another photo, which my client also had in her possession. All my client knew was that this relative must have been holding an image of a beloved. And to me it seems the white handkerchief implies she is grieving over this person.

Photo In Photo

Here’s a more modern interpretation of the photo in a photo concept. I love this photo from photographer Kate Hutchinson’s “Irish Grandmother” series, of her grandmother holding a portrait of herself. I especially love that this photo is taken in the grandmother’s home, so you get a sense of who she is today.

The modern version.

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Photos with Words

And more often than not, photos need words to tell their story properly. There’s the obvious way to do this – photo captions – but often times much more text is needed. This is the majority of the work I do with family ancestry books and memoirs. I am a huge fan of words – especially the right words, in the right amount, in the right place.

Here are some examples of photos I incorporated with words to tell a story.

This is a well-worn, beautiful photo of a woman named Anna.


And this is how we used this image in an heirloom book to tell the photo’s full story. You see, this was the photo her husband James carried in his pocket of Anna while he served in World War II. I overlaid a beautiful love letter James wrote to Anna, and included a caption at the bottom of the page explaining James had carried this photo in his pocket.

When I incorporate photos with lots of text, it is all about visual balance and proper placement of the photo within the text. Here is a page from a memoir I recently did. We did not caption the photo, because in this case the headline and subhead (Los Angeles, California/ 1940-1950) provide enough context.

The other technique I love to use is call-out text. I take a sentence or two of the text, enlarge it, and place it on top of, or alongside, a photo. This is a great way to connect the story and the photo, and also provides a quick visual first-read when there is lots of text on a page.

Here’s a page with call-out text, plus a photo caption at the bottom (though a bit hard to see at this size – the actual page is 10x10”!).

— ¤ —

Here Are Examples of My Custom Heirloom Books
Using Some Of The Techniques Described

Photographs displayed in pockets within the book.

A side pocket for documents.

Call-out text in a book.

A string of family photographs.

— ¤ —

I hope the techniques I've used in my books give you some ideas for how to tell the stories of your photos!

If you’d like to talk through any idea you have for telling your story in a custom heirloom book, please get in touch. GOOD STOCK would love to help. Thank you & happy Friday From The Collectors!

Article & Photographs
Copyright © 2008


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wandering The World

Today Shades wanders the world as we add yet another portrait photography book to the collection.

In the 1960s, Libby Hall, a former press photographer, began collecting dog photographs. Originally, it was for the same reasons many of us collect, she was saving orphan photographs from being discarded into dustbins or thrown on bonfires. Libby lives in England, hence the dustbin and bonfire reference.

She fell in love with the photographs of dogs and their people and began collecting. Now that collection is one of the most famous and distinguished in the world.

Hall has written Prince and Other Dogs 1850-1940, Prince and Other Dogs II, Postcard Dogs, and Postcard Cats.

Hall’s latest book, These Were Our Dogs, published by Bloomsbury in November 2007, contains more than 250 photographs, never before published, from her legendary collection.

With settings ranging from American mining towns to stately British homes to rural Japan, and a cast of characters including princesses, cowboys, clergymen, actresses, toddlers, and octogenarians, more than 250 antique photographs of dogs and their owners are published in this wonderful book.

Some of the portraits show the owner's sense of humor and others show the dog's. Each one is unique. My favorite portrait is an 1871 image of Queen Victoria's personal servant, John Brown, with four of her favorite canines.

This is one of those books you can look through a thousand times and still find something you missed. I also share the attitude of Ms. Hall in her introduction to the book:

I have never been concerned with 'antique' photographs as artefacts, as objects: only with the content of the image. Consequently I have been quite happy to buy pictures that have been in poor condition and to restore and repair them, something that would appal some collectors for whom the condition of the original photograph is all-important. But, while I have had no qualms about restoring a damaged image so that its content is easier to see, I have been scrupulous in not altering in any way the essence of an image."

This is a book of photographs, not a history lesson in photography or social science. What you learn, you glean from the photographs themselves. Where possible information included with the photographs was included in the book.

There are dogs in daguerreotypes, carte-de-visites, cabinet cards, card mounted photographs and snapshots. Dogs in cars, pampered dogs, working dogs, dogs alone, and dogs with their owners. Do dogs look like their owners or vice versa? Sometimes so much so you will laugh out loud.

I will share one photograph from the book. One that contains a woman wearing glasses. Of the over 250 portraits only three had a woman wearing glasses.

I loved the book and give it:

A four out of four camera rating - Recommended Buy.


Book Cover and Author Photographs Courtesy Bloomsbury.
Selected photograph copyright Libby Hall, without permission, under fair use.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Her Fad Is Bicycling

Twice Told Tuesday features a photography related article reprinted from
my collection of old photography books, magazines, and newspapers.

Two fads for 1894, bicycling and woman's suffrage. I didn't know there was a season for suffrage, no wonder it took so long.

Frances Willard, President
The World's and National W.C.T.U.

I have been asked how I came to adopt the fad of bicycling. I adopted it, first of all, in England, as a sort of medicine. It was recommended to me by Sir Benjamin Ward Richardson, probably the best known hygienist in England. He recommended the bicycle to me for my health. Lady Somerset presented it to me. She bought a tricycle, and together we used to ride about the grounds of her estate.

I think if one has a fad, a recreating fad, one should adopt the fad which gives most health. Bowling for women is good in a measure, but it develops one arm while it leaves the other weak, and is, besides, a form of recreation too often carried on indoors in an overheated room. But for filling the lungs with good, pure air, clearing the mind, and bracing the nerves, bicycling is the best. I call bicycling walking six inches above the ground.

My two guiding mottoes in learning were "I will not fail," and "It's dogged as does it." With the aid of these, together with the help of three young women assistants, I learned to ride in thirty hours. I went first with three assistants, then with two, then one, then without any, though they usually accompanied me even after I learned. I have brought my wheel from England with me, and shall probably ride out at my home in Evanston.

I learn that the two reigning fads in New York just now are woman suffrage and bicycling. Now woman suffrage is all right in season; but in the warm months let the girls take up the bicycling fad in earnest. I like to see as many girls riding as men; and on all the wheels ridden by both men and women I'd like to see the white ribbon floating.


Please note that in the photograph of Willard she wears the white ribbon of the WCTU.

Frances Willard - Elected president of the United States Woman's Christian Temperance Union in 1879, a position which she held for life. Willard died of influenza February 17, 1898, in the Empire Hotel, New York City, New York. She is buried in the Rose Hill Cemetery, Chicago.

white ribbon floating - The White Ribbon has been the badge of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union since its founding in 1873. The WCTU is the oldest continuing non-sectarian womens organization worldwide. The white ribbon bow was selected to symbolize purity.


Kent, Antoinette Cowles. "Frances E. Willard." Sketches of Wisconsin pioneer women. Fort Atkinson, Wis. : Hoard & Sons, [1924?].

Willard, Frances
, "Her Fad Is Bicycling." Demorest's Family Magazine, September 1894, 146-148.


Unknown, photographer. “[Frances Willard, portrait bust
]” Glass negative. Washington, D.C. : Library of Congress, 1867. From Library of Congress: George Grantham Bain Collection, [no date recorded on caption card]. (accessed September 19, 2008).


Unknown, "Tricycle Advertisement" Demorest's Family Magazine, September 1894.

Unknown, "Columbia Bicycle Advertisement" Demorest's Family Magazine, September 1894.


Monday, September 22, 2008

September 26 - And The Guest Author Is . . .


I am crazy about GOOD STOCK, Kim O'Neill Screen's custom heirloom book design and binding company. The name GOOD STOCK comes from her grandfather's expression "we come from good stock." The personalized books she designs tell a family's story through photographs, letters, newspaper clippings, memoirs, historical documents, and family trees. All the things we as family historians cherish. Kim organizes the information, designs a beautiful book, prints and hand binds a one-of-a-kind family treasure.

Shades is very fortunate to have Kim talk to us about her creations in the September 26 Friday From The Collectors.

About herself Kim says:

Several times I’ve been told I’m surprisingly young to care about family history. I’m 35 years old. Generally, these comments come from contemporaries of my mother or my grandmother, and for a while I believed that yes, maybe I was a little bit unusual for choosing this line of work at my age.

But lo and behold, to my absolute wonder and excitement, . . . I’ve heard from four like-minded women of my age . . . And let me tell you, these ladies are tackling their family book projects with downright gusto…traveling to family farms, sitting down with last remaining relatives, visiting historical organizations, collaborating with mothers and grandmothers, poring through old letters and memorabilia, researching family trees. And lucky me, I get to turn all their findings into beautiful books.

For me, it is mind-blowingly wonderful and inspiring. And yes, such a relief not being so surprisingly young after all."

When you see Kim's work you will realize age has nothing to do with it, it's all about talent and love of family. This is Kim's journey:

My path to Good Stock was anything but direct. I can now say with confidence that I’m a designer and storyteller, but that wasn’t always the case. It took me a very long time to “find” my creativity, so to speak.

A Seattle native, I attended the University of Washington and – not knowing what I wanted to do in life – majored in Spanish, which was a great excuse to travel and experience other countries. My first job out of college was working for a ski trade show, but my career really began at the Sports and Events Council of Seattle/King County, a program of the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce. I worked primarily doing event planning work and loved it. But I was ready for a change of scenery, and in 2000 I moved to Los Angeles to serve as Director of Product & Brand Marketing for Ticketmaster, where I led the research and marketing of new technologies. Moving away from home turned out to be the best decision I could have made.

From the time I got to LA, I began studying art and design at every community college, university extension program, and art college I could find. In 2003 I finally responded to a growing itch to do something independent and more creative. I quit my corporate job and enrolled at Art Center College of Design, one of the top design schools in the country. At about the same time, I began consulting in design management on behalf of Barry Diller of IAC/InterActiveCorp, which lasted for two years – just the time I needed to develop my business. I finally launched Good Stock in late 2005.

Good Stock was inspired by my grandfather, Donald W. Close, who loved reminding us we came from good stock. The original Good Stock tale was written with the help of my mother, a talented kindergarten teacher, for the littlest members of our family. I started offering this original tale and got a great response. But to my surprise, I also got a number of requests for more customized books – with photos, detailed family trees, different sizes and binding options, etc. And to make a long story short, that’s how I started making custom books.

I now design and publish custom coffee table books that tell people’s stories – their family ancestry, their life story, their child’s story, their wedding story. I literally take people’s boxes of “stuff” – family photos, memorabilia, family tree – and turn them into a beautiful story book. I also make what I call “milestone books” – a book to honor a special family member who is celebrating a milestone event like a birthday, anniversary, or retirement.

Since old family photos are such a big part of what I do, I look forward to sharing later this week a bit about the magic of photos for bringing a story to life.

Join us 26 September when Friday From The Collectors features Kim O'Neill Screen and GOOD STOCK.



Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday From The Collectors - September 19



A rare visit from my grandparents, April 1966

While I was growing up in what was then Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), I was often envious of my friends with their large networks of grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. My parents had both emigrated from the countries of their birth – England and the Netherlands – before they were married and I hardly knew my grandparents. By the time I left home, I could count on one hand the number of times that I’d met members of my family outside the immediate circle of parents and siblings. The photograph above shows one of those rare occasions in April 1966, after my grandparents had made the adventurous journey by train and ship from the English Midlands to the Eastern Highlands of Rhodesia. A decade ago, events unfolding in the country of my birth precipitated a further scattering of family members, something my father resignedly referred to as La Diaspora Continua, and I emigrated with my wife and children to New Zealand.

Perhaps it was a lack of contact with extended family that precipitated my fascination with my Dad’s large accumulation of family photographs. He inherited the collection, along with a hefty archive of family papers, from his parents. Much of the older material had originated from his great-uncle Hallam Payne (1870-1960), who had been the family archivist, although the existence of several items from the early 1800s points to an earlier origin for the hoarding gene. With my Dad’s encouragement, I drew my first rudimentary family tree when I was nine or ten years old. Nevertheless, it was only fifteen years ago, with my purchase of an early version of FTM, and an introduction to the internet, that my interest was piqued.

Like many readers of this blog, I’m sure, I've since become a family history addict. Building on the archives passed down by family members, I’ve spent an enormous amount of my spare time researching and building up the framework of ancestors and cousins, boring and confounding family members and friends alike with my tales of discovery. I still do make the occasional breakthrough, resulting in the adding of an extra generation or two, or the discovery of a new umpteenth cousin.

Along the way I have developed an even greater interest in the vast body of material which envelopes the bare bones of the family tree. I find that I have an intense need to discover ever more and more details of the life of a particular ancestor – anything that might embellish the character that my mind builds up around the bare essentials of a name, two or three dates, and a position in the tree. That’s why I tend to use the term family history instead of genealogy to describe my passion. It is ironic therefore that, despite being bored to distraction by history in my school years, I am now most intrigued by the historical aspects of my research. So much so, in fact, that I have some considerable trouble keeping myself from getting “too distracted.”

Charles Vincent Payne (1868-1941)
St Andrew's Middle Class School
Litchurch, Derby

I don’t really have much fascination with how major historical events in history might have influenced my family. Perhaps I have a little more interest in how a particular ancestor might have played a role in some local incident. I find myself more absorbed with building up a timeline of events that are likely to have shaped peoples lives, and hoping that this exercise will reveal something of their characters. In the course of this quest, I’m always hunting for new tools that might have the potential to open further avenues of research. However, I repeatedly find myself returning to the family photograph collection for clues and inspiration.

Postcard Photograph
Payne Family Off-Licence & Grocery Shop
New Normanton, Derby
c. 1908-1909

I would even go so far as to say that photographic portraits, both formal and informal, now form the fundamental framework of my attempts to unravel the life stories of these people who I never met, either because they lived so far away, or because they died long before I was born. Once the photos are assembled into chronological order, I am often able to gain an impression of what the person looked like and, if there are enough in the sequence, how they changed through the course of their life. While it helps me to build a concept of that person, I find that a detailed examination of the photographs can often reveal far more. Apart from a simple observation of the identity of the subject, other factors such as photograph type and style, studio name and location, inscriptions, clothing, studio backdrops and accessories used, other backgrounds, such as buildings, may also be usefully analysed. I will admit to setting less store on things like family likenesses, and expressions on the subjects’ faces, but they can be useful in certain circumstances.

My GG-Grandparents
Henry Payne (1842-1907)
Henrietta Payne nee Benfield (1843-1917)
A rather nice portrait, expertly colourised
by a kind Photo-Sleuth reader - just one of many examples of the
collaboration and co-operation which I have experienced.

Often, when I approach portraits from my family collection from a fresh point of view, I make exciting new discoveries. In my series of articles on Photo-Sleuth, I like to share these findings with fellow family and local history enthusiasts, and hope that they will prove to be of some use to others in their own research. It is, of course, a collaborative process, and I continue to learn a great deal from such exposure. I have presented my own analyses of some of the old family photos that researchers have kindly sent me from all over the world, and I value enormously the numerous and varying contributions that I receive.

It is to my own ancestors that I return perennially, building up a more detailed picture in my mind of who they were, how they lived, and why they chose to make certain decisions and changes in their lives. It is also important to me how those decisions and changes – in particular the successive emigrations, from village to village, county to county, country to country, and continent to continent – shaped the individuals and families that eventually produced me. The family photograph collection chronicles and illustrates many moments within that process of movement of my family through the Diaspora. What remains is for me, and others who follow, to document, describe and interpret, joining the lines between those moments to relate the stories of our tīpuna.

Post Script

In the spirit of collaboration referred to previously, I wondered if Shades of the Departed readers would like to offer some comments on the photograph that I’ve used to illustrate this article, "A rare visit from my grandparents." I’ve provided a few clues, which keen sleuths are welcome to use to delve a bit deeper, using whatever means they might have at their disposal. However, I’d also be interested in any general observations that you might have, so please feel free to leave comments or contact me privately by email. I will reveal more of the story behind the picture, together with a full analysis of the contributions, in a future article on Photo-Sleuth.

Article & Photographs
Copyright © 2008


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Life Of A Camera - Twice Told Tuesday

Twice Told Tuesday features a photography related article reprinted from
my collection of old photography books, magazines, and newspapers.

This may have been the beginning of the use of story and entertainment in a commercial setting. Of one thing I'm certain. Don't let your camera sit around, use it, or it just might talk about you.

An Episode In

I am a camera belonging to an old and well respected family, charming to look at (or so people say), and with a heart just burning for adventure.

My first recollection of life was of lying in a glass case with several of my other brothers and sisters. And I was longing to commence my career! I nearly fell down with excitement when, one day, the dealer opened the glass case and gently lifted me out.

"This is the very camera for a beginner, sir," he said. "Thoroughly reliable; yet simplicity itself." I next became conscious of a pair of brown hands that held me so safely that I felt sure I should never fall or do anything wrong. I waited scarcely daring to breathe, in anxiety to hear his answer.

"I'll take it," he said quickly, in a pleased tone.

I could not do justice to the halcyon days that followed; I was so happy, and busy too. My new master took me far away with him, and we took lots of pictures which he decided to develop at home; and then with a suddenness I could scarcely credit, all was changed. Life to me became utterly sad.

On our return home I was put to rest after my long journey in the corner f a cosy study. Two days I remained there, then - it hurts me to write it - one morning a whirlwind seemed to enter the room. I was again seized by the brown hands, alas! no longer gentle; and thrust up into ignominious obscurity on the top of the bookcase.

Then the whirlwind uttered a sharp hard word, sounded very angry, and vanished, leaving me in a state of mind indescribable. What had I done? I had worked willingly and conscientiously, but neveretheless I realized that for some unaccountable reason I had proved a failure. How the word dinned itself into my ears through all the weary months that followed! My master, no longer a whirlwind, came into the room frequently, but never so much as glanced in my direction until - but here am I running ahead of my story.

One evening he returned with a friend, and sitting down, they talked before the fire. Clouds of tobacco smoke obscured their faces, but presently I saw the newcomer produce some photographs from his pocket.

"Rather jolly, what?" he queried; "I wonder you don't take photos old chap."

My master moved in a way characteristic of him when irritated.

"I did try once." he confessed curtly. "I bought a camera when I went on that trip to Cornwall; but nearly all the photos were failures."

"Failures?" his friend seemed surprised. "If you still have the camera handy you might show it to me."

I was lifted down, and both looked at me well, their heads together.

"Jolly little camera, I can't understand it," said the friend at last, and then he put that momentous question that altered the whole tenor of my life; "What plates do you use?

Ah! little had I thought that the brains of a Soloman lay behind the smiling features of that friend.

My master mentioned some name I did not catch.

"That's it!" said his friend exultingly, "you should have used Imperials. They are the ideal plates to use at any stage of the hobby; absolutely reliable, and suitable for all climates. Don't blame your camera, old man, but just you go and invest in some Imperial plates at once, and begin again! You will then find that all will be well."

"I will," agreed my master, and he did. And that is rightly the beginning of my history. Oh! the times we have had together, and the adventures! They would fill a book. Thousands of miles we've travelled together, content in each other's company, and the jolly pictures we've brought home! Ever since that day, Brown Hands, Imperials, and I have been inseparable companions on every jaunt and journey.


Unknown, "The Life Of A Camera" The Amateur Photographer & Photography, June 5, 1916, vii.


Monday, September 15, 2008

September 19 - And The Guest Author Is . . .


Shades is so pleased to have Brett Payne of the Photo-Sleuth Blog as the Guest Author for Friday From The Collectors 19 September. His blog is fan-tastic and a must see for all Shades readers. Personally I could spend, have spent, hours reading his articles. You know what they say, "Ask a busy person," so Shades asked and Brett answered. His intriguing biography follows:

I was born and grew up in the Eastern Districts of Zimbabwe, where my father worked on a horticultural research station, and where my parents had emigrated from England and the Netherlands. I trained as a geologist and worked in the field of mineral exploration for 15 years in Zimbabwe. After emigrating to New Zealand with my wife Gill and four daughters almost ten years ago, she drew the short straw and went out to work, while I became a full time, stay-at-home dad.

Although it's been quite a different life for me, I've grown to enjoy it, and to relish the opportunity it gives me to pursue my family historical interests. However, as the girls get older, I'm preparing to enter back into the formal work force by enrolling in a year-long post-graduate diploma in GIS (geographic information systems) next year. We have settled very comfortably on a small country or lifestyle block on the north-east coast of the North Island, overlooking the city of Tauranga and the beautiful Bay of Plenty.

Although I’ve been actively researching my family history for the last fifteen years, it’s only since about 2000 that I’ve had a web presence. My initial efforts were devoted to South Derbyshire, in the English Midlands, where many of my father’s ancestors originated, and where my Payne family farmed as far back as the late 1600s. Using microfilms at my local Family History Centre, I published my own transcripts of census records and parish registers, as well as donated material, on my Rootsweb-based South Derbyshire Genealogy Pages.

Research into the life of my paternal grandfather, and his experiences in the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the Great War, led to one of many diversions, and a new series of Rootsweb pages devoted to the Canadian Machine Gun Corps. My first experiment in blogging resulted in the sadly incomplete Grandpa’s War, which I hope to return to when I find some more spare time! I have also previously participated in several collaborative transcription and indexing projects, including FreeCEN and AutomatedGenealogy, and am currently a moderator on and some time contributer to the CEF Study Group.

My adventures in PhotoHistory on the web started with my publication of an index to studio photographers in the county of Derbyshire, England in 2002. I compiled it initially as an aid to family historians for dating their old photograph collections, and that has remained the primary purpose. Due to an extraordinary response from readers all over the world, with contributions of images and information, it subsequently grew into a still growing database of Derbyshire Photographers, containing biographical and professional profiles, portfolios of each studio’s work, as well more general articles about the development of photography in Derbyshire.

As far as I am aware, mine and the web sites Brighton Photographers & Sussex PhotoHistory of David Simkin (to whom I owe an enormous debt of gratitude for his help and inspiration in the early days) are the most detailed studies of photographers from a particular area that have been published on the net to date. However, I very much look forward to seeing more in the future.

My latest blog, Photo-Sleuth, has developed more as a self-indulgence than a planned project. It comprises an irregular series of articles with the more general subject of old photographs, photographers, and their subjects, and I hope that it is both educational and entertaining.

Join Shades 19 September for Friday From The Collectors when we are treated to the collecting passion and outstanding work of Brett Payne.

See You Then!


Friday, September 12, 2008

5th Edition - Smile For The Camera

Before we start the Carnival please send your thoughts and prayers to all our blogging friends and their families who were in the path of Hurricane Ike, several of whom are listed here. We hope you and your loved ones are safe.



Smile For The Camera ~ A Carnival of Images

Hair, more hair, less hair, polished domes, hats and headgear; what an edition this was! Everyone outdid themselves posting some of the most glorious crowns I've had the pleasure to view. The sublime to the ridiculous; they're all here to Smile For The Camera.

So, open the cover and browse the 5th Edition of Smile For The Camera's album of Crowning Glory. Enjoy!

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Janice the author of Attala County Memories posts a lovely photograph of her parents holding her as a baby in James and Eileen Netherland Branch Celebrate 63 Years Together. Love that baby's headcover. Janice can now be read at the magnoliamenories blog at the

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Brenda K. Wolfram Moore presents Remembering Nona, by posting a photograph of her sister 'hamming' it up for the camera with her Rita Hayworth Hair, posted at Remembering Nona. I think I'd rather have Rita Hayworth Hair than Betty Davis Eyes.

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Tina Sansone presents Michael with his Hats & Crazy Hair posted at Gtownma's Genealogy. Tina's son Michael displays the stages of "what's on my head," the evolution of a three year old to a proud graduate.

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Linda Robbins author of the HollingsworthRobbinsFamilyTree displays a photograph of very long, red Crowning Glory hair blowing in the wind in 5th Edition Smile For The Camera - A Carnival Of Images. A great photograph Linda, and we all know what you're talking about!

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Maneesh lives in Bangalore and writes at He tells us that India is a great country, a traveler's paradise, and proves it by posting some beautiful photographs of Crowning Glory in Lalbagh Botanical Garden, Bangalore: Part 1: Ancient Watch Tower and Organic Cultivation.

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The author of The Research Journal, Melody Lassalle, has some real desperados hanging out in her family tree and it shows in their head gear. Mosey on over to Get a Load of The Guys in the Hats for a "Crowning Glory" family photo.

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Bob Franks the author of Itawamba History Review tempts fate by exposing Miss Daisy Riley with her hair down. Bob, I suggest you sleep with one eye open because I'll bet Miss Daisy has her eyes on you. P. S. I'm sure we'd all enjoy reading those clever clues she left to expose her age.
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Jessica Oswalt discusses Such Lovely Hairstyles, But Who Are They? posted at Jessica's Genejournal. Nine lovely little girls with many different crowning glories and a mystery as to who they are. Can you help?

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Oh Sasha! The moment I received your submission I knew what was coming, from your very descriptive title - Letting His Freak Flag Fly. So, I'll steal none of Sasha Mitchell's thunder and direct you to her post at Memory Lane.

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Julie Cahill Tarr wasn't looking for a Smile post when this photograph caught her attention. One look and you'll know this glamour shot would never be satisfied to remain in a stack of old photographs. So Julie shares her find with the world at GenBlog - 5th Edition Smile For The Camera - A Carnival Of Images posted at GenBlog.

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Sue Edminster's photograph of, It's a bowler.... no, it's a derby....., posted at Echo Hill Ancestors Weblog leads to a wonderful history lesson for those of us who don't know the difference. Great job, Sue!

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Terry Thornton puzzles us with A Bogo Helmet: The 55th COG and the 5th I Smile for the Camera posted at Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi. French or Spanish? Historical or Theatrical? Let me weigh in on the controversy. I believe this is a battle helmet worn by either French or Spanish pygmies who were lacking in military prowess (note the numerous dents in the helmet) and as such are now extinct. You decide.

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Carol's photograph, Smile For The Camera - Crowning Glory, is one of the most quietly elegant studio portraits I've seen. She asks, "That’s some fancy hat Myra is wearing, isn’t it?" It is, and the fact it was taken in Missouri warms the footnoteMaven's Missouri heart. iPentimento is where Carol hangs her fancy hat.

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Diary From England's author Naomi Stevens shows us her Great-Grandparents - The Epitome Of Style & Elegance. Take a look at this 100 year old tin type and see if you don't think Naomi's Grandfather looks a lot like Kevin Bacon. I do!

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Lorine McGinnis Schulze, the consummate photograph collector, shares a family photo of four very talented young women and their beautiful "Crowning Glories" at Olive Tree Genealogy. Hats to die for!

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Brett Payne, author of the fantastic Photo-Sleuth blog, treats us to The Fauntleroy Suit - An Example From London In The Early 1900s. The things the Victorians did to their children in the name of fashion. So much Crowning, so much Glory.

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Pam Taylor has a very unique and interesting photograph displayed at Smile for the camera- Crowning Glory on her Taylorstales-Genealogy blog. This looks like a wedding photograph with the bride wearing the wedding ring on her right hand. I'll bet there's someone out there who can give Pam an expert opinion as to the occasion for the photograph.

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I love Sheri Fenley and her sense of humor; and this submission to Smile is so, well, Sheri. Please visit the Monsignor's chapeau or the "Saint of the Week" hat in Crowning Glory posted at The Educated Genealogist. If this doesn't make you Smile, nothing will.

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Lori Thornton introduces us to Great Great Grandma Nancy posted at Smoky Mountain Family Historian. While the centerpiece of this photograph is the great hat she's wearing, why is it that Great Great Grandma Nancy is drawing our attention to her neck? Could it be her jewelry?

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Janet Iles writes about Crowning Glory - Two young women with flowery hats posted at Janet the researcher. An orphan photograph in the sense that Janet doesn't believe those pictured are members of her family, but they are identified. Two lovely young women whose hats might present a problem in the wind.

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Lidian, of the incomparable The Virtual Dime Museum, delights us with a "Crowning Glory" in The Bearded Chromotype. We wonder if the Reverend was subjected to a bird nesting problem should he stand still too long.

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Miriam Robbins Midkiff introduces us to Trijntje Gerrits (DOLSTRA) VALK (1826 - 1912) posted at AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestors. Miriam tells us, "This article features a photograph (and biography) of my 3rd-great-grandmother, Trijntje Gerrits (DOLSTRA) VALK, wearing a traditional cap from her village of Marrum, Ferwerderadeel, Friesland, the Netherlands. The style of Dutch traditional costumes, including both men's and women's dress, cap, and shoes, varied from village to village. It is the only photograph I have of an ancestor from the Netherlands wearing traditional clothing."

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Colleen McHugh takes us Stylin'! at Orations of OMcHodoy. "I could have posted pictures forever," Colleen tells us. Those she has posted comprise a stunning collection of hair and hat dos and don'ts. The last photograph is my favorite though.

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Life At The Home20, authored by Laura Womack, shows us that everything old is new again in her article Crowning Glories circa 1898. She also offers a hairdresser's expertise to explain those poofy buns. Great photos!

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Msteri, of Heritage Happens (and doesn't it just), pens an Ode to Dagny's Hat. Look out all you genea-poets, Mysteri is a real contender in this category. "The only picture I own of Dagny in a hat - I treasure this and really think that" - you'll have to visit her blog for the rest of the poem and the terrific photograph of Dagny's Hat.

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Linda Stienstra presents Our Family?s Crowning Glory! posted at From Axer to Ziegler. Hats and Hair! Our family tries! Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we don't. You decide which of us don't. . . . Linda, loved them all! Oh, and love your name, By the way!

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Amy Coffin presents Hat Dude: Smile for the Camera posted at We Tree. Amy says, "Introducing a gent I call "Hat Dude." He wears quite a crown, but I need more information as to why it is so glorious. Is there an early 20th-century German-fashion expert out there?" Maybe it's hat Dudette, hard to tell.

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Thomas MacEntee decided to let you all in on his Hair's Tortured Past, in pictures no less, at Destination: Austin Family. Thomas, tortured, past, present, hair - need we say more? This is the Thomas we all know and love.

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Richard Cheek presents Smile for the Camera: Crowning Glory posted at The Cheek That Doth Not Fade. Richard tells us, "I just couldn't do a single picture with all of these to choose from, but I did save the very best for last." Yes, indeed he did!

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Ruth Stephens of Bluebonnet Country Genealogy made Her crowning glory? a hats only article. They were all glorious and I couldn't pick a favorite, but I am leaning toward "Three Little Maids Are We." Which photograph would you select?

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Wendy Littrell author of All My Branches Genealogy, wrote What Were We Thinking? Wendy said, "Here are several photographs (including an embarrassing one of me!) that show off some of my family's crowing glories - from flowery bathing caps to big old bows!" A lovely family album.

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Nikki-ann, author and photographer of Notes of Life, decided to share a picture of her big brother AJ, Crowning Glory - AJ's Hair!, just don’t tell him. Nikki-ann had also recently done a follow-up Show and Tell post about Alfred's Top Hat and the photograph is just too good not to include in this Carnival.

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Chery Kinnick, Nordic Blue, presents Crowning Glory, or Not. All are Johnsons, tried and true. . . and have a common female Norwegian-American ancestor to thank for their shining glories (domes). We've missed you Chery, so glad you're back blogging.

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Lisa authors When feathers were in: A tip of the hat to Hungarian dancers posted at 100 Years in America. "For this edition of the carnival I couldn't help but share the traditional hats sported by my great-grandfather's Hungarian dance troupe. It looks like feathers were in. . ." Great photos! The only ones not dancing might be the birds.

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Donna Pointkouski presents Smile for the Camera: Crowning Glory posted at What's Past is Prologue. Let me just say, "Calling Dr. DNA! Calling Dr. DNA! Emergency! Emergency! Come right away!"

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Denise Levenick author of the The Family Curator posts Arline and Christian Smile for the Camera uniting generations in a look at hats worn nearly 100 years apart by Arline Allen Kinsel and her grandson Christian. I too think Arline would have loved her spirited grandson, Christian, the fiery-headed Californian who obviously likes hats as much as she did.

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Janet Hovorka, everyone's favorite Chart Chick, presents the most beautiful Crowning Glory--5th Carnival of Images. Moms know best, except when you're a four year old fashion maven. Some women just have a sense of self from a very early age, and Janet was one of them.

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Becky Wiseman has some of the most unique photographs I've ever seen and she demonstrates that fact again in The Hover Children :: All Dressed Up posted at kinexxions. Three children, three hats, one fantastic photograph!

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Miss Jocelyn as "Jo" Cool posted at A Pondering Heart. Miss Jocelyn as we haven't seen her before in her very "Cool" Crowning Glory.

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Sue Tolbert submitted Crowning Glory -Smiling for the Camera posted at Nana's Diggins. Sue proved to be a winner for her photographer father, Wednesday July 25, 1951, but I'm sure he thought he was a winner with or without the $5.00.

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Sheri Bush (my BFF) at TwigTalk knows a good photograph when she sees one. In Glorious Hats! - Crowning Glory she introduces us to some orphaned photographs of beautiful women wearing hats. You're right Sheri, they don't deserve to be forgotten.

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Jasia, Creative Gene, has done it. She has pushed the footnoteMaven to the very brink of "photograph envy" in her post Edwardian Women in White Dresses and Their Crowning Glory. Beautiful women, white dresses, fashionable hats, the Birthday Club has some real competition!

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Jessica Snyder of AKA Nancy Drew attends her first Smile Carnival with a photo of her grandmother, Lillian Deau Draeger, taken when she was a young woman around 1914. Jessica says, "I love the chapeau – very flapper-ish!" Take a moment to stop by AKA Nancy Drew and welcome Jessica. Life may be challenging Jessica again, she lives and works in Houston, Texas.

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From a fez, to a gorgeous head of silver hair, to an elegant lady's hat, to the symbol of education, John Newmark has them all in photographs. He posts them in all their glory as we travel the Carnival at Home is Where You Hang Your Hat on his blog TransylvanianDutch. Excellent crowns all!

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Dru Pair presents Grandma Emma's Family Hat Traditon posted at Find Your Folks. Learn about the hat tradition of her maternal grandmother Emma. A beautiful host of crowning glories and a beautiful explanation written by Dru. Another time and place. How I love Tradition!

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Elizabeth O'Neal, of Little Bytes of Life posts a Crowning Glory: The Long and the Curled of It; a photograph of the day when a woman's hair truly was her "Crowning Glory." I'll wager she brushed it one hundred strokes every night before she went to bed. Elizabeth has also included a poem she heard as a child and not, she says, because she was horrid.

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M. Diane Rogers, at CanadaGenealogy, or, 'Jane's Your Aunt,' introduces us to Na's Hat - Smile for the Camera. Whatever happened to women's hats? Something that was a part of our ancestors' everyday life. I don't know, but they've all come to the Carnival.

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Craig Manson of GeneaBlogie has a photograph that is a Crowning Glory Indeed!. A photograph I covet, because it's the only woman wearing glasses I don't own. Glorious!

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A beautiful photograph of three little children, Three in Hats; siblings caught in a moment in time. Stephen J. Danko, Steve's Genealogy Blog, always posts the perfect photo with the perfect observations for Smile. What's his secret?

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Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings has two posts for Smile. The first is the best head of hair in my photo collection. Ada Woodward is a thirteen year old with beautiful hair. You can tell from the photograph she's very proud of her "crowning glory." His second submission is the the three Seaver boys, love the dos. Flat top, crew cut; you guys are stylin'.

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And closing the cover on this Smile Album is Burton Holmes And His Pith Helmet. Men in hats, village people, displayed at footnoteMaven. As always, my ancestors and Burton Holmes are here to Smile For The Camera!

Thank You All!

Thank you to everyone who participated in this fantastic 5th Edition of Smile For The Camera and welcome to all the first-time contributors. (52 participants with 54 truly unique contributions!) It is evident from each and every article that a great deal of time, effort, love and even some fun and good humor went into each photographic contribution. As Randy would say, please take a moment to stop and comment and show your appreciation!

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Now The Call For Submissions!


Guest Hosting - Smile For The Camera
10 October 2008

As you know, during the Genea-Blogger Games, Smile For The Camera was looking for a guest host for the 10 October Smile. That winner is Becky Wiseman of kinexxions. Becky said, "I'm a big fan of yours and am blown away with how you get so much information from little clues in your photographs and the amount of time you spend researching those photographs."

Becky was one of the inspirations for Shades, so I could not be more pleased that she will be the 10 October host for the Smile Carnival. And thank you, Becky, for the kind words.

Becky's word prompt for the 6th Edition of Smile For The Camera is Funny Bone. Show us that picture that never fails to bring a smile to your face! An amusing incident, a funny face, an unusual situation. Share!

Choose a photograph of an ancestor, relative, yourself, or an orphan photograph that tickles your Funny Bone and bring it to the carnival. Admission is free with every photograph!

Your submission may include as many or as few words as you feel are necessary to describe your treasured photograph. Those words may be in the form of an expressive comment, a quote, a journal entry, a poem (your own or a favorite), a scrapbook page, or a heartfelt article. The choice is yours!
Deadline for submission is midnight (PT)
10 October, 2008.


There are two options:

1. Send an email to the host, Becky Wiseman. Include the title and permalink URL of the post you are submitting, and the name of your blog. Put 'Smile For The Camera' clearly in the title of your email!

2. Use the handy submission form provided by Blog Carnival, or select the Bumper Sticker in the upper right hand corner.

See you at the Carnival!