Vintage photos for sale: can’t escape the creepiness factor

I was at a flea market this weekend, hoping to pick up some overlooked photo gems. This was on a Sunday, and there were far fewer vendors set up than on a typical Saturday. At any rate, I did find a Leica lens hood for $2 to fit my Industar 22 and Elmar 9cm f/4 mixed in with some old cine lenses in pretty bad shape. This is the one that clamps on and telescopes out to cover several focal lengths, heavy and solid. A good find.

At several other booths, mixed in with the “antique” bric-a-bracs were boxes of vintage photos, some that looked to be no more than 20 or 30 years old. That means the people in these photos might very well be alive still. Now most of these photos aren’t news-type commemorative  pictures. They were your typical family snaps or wives, kids, grandparents, etc.: Public within the family, yet very private in many ways.

You find these vintage photos often in antique shops and flea markets and I have to wonder who buys them and why.  You can look at them from a historical perspective — especially the old ones — and learn something about how people lived or about the history of  photography. At the same time, it seems very much like voyeurism, peeking through the curtains into someone’s private life.


One Response to “Vintage photos for sale: can’t escape the creepiness factor”

  1. I felt that way as well, when I bought a few cameras that had half a roll of film inside I considered for a moment developing the film, but then I had the same idea and threw the film away. It might be voyeurism if you were not invited to look LOL 🙂

    Have fun!
    Craig from Maine

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