I want other people's memories.
July 21, 2017 11:27 AM   Subscribe

I collect other people's old photographs. The vast majority of which that I have access to are from antique stores, junk shops, and sometimes estate sales, where I only see photographs from around 1965 or earlier. Where are all of the more recent photographs, and how can I get some of them?
posted by cmoj to Grab Bag (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If by "more recent" you mean 70s/80s/90s, I imagine that I am not the only person who has photos like those and as I am still alive, I'm keeping them. That's my guess, anyway.
posted by rtha at 11:41 AM on July 21, 2017 [6 favorites]

Best answer: If you will pay to have them scanned, I can get you a steamer trunk full of 60s - 00s photos from my mother's attic.

I think it's just that people who took pictures from the 60s onwards are mostly still alive and have their photos in steamer trunks in their attic. In all honesty, I think if you offered a service whereby you would scan the photos at a discount, with the understanding that you will keep the originals for yourself, I think you would have a lot of takers.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:41 AM on July 21, 2017 [4 favorites]

I found some just searching "1960s photographs" and "1970s photographs" on ebay. I'm sure a variety of similar searches would yield some good results for you.
posted by FencingGal at 11:47 AM on July 21, 2017

Mods, please delete if this is inappropriate, but I find your interest in other people's photographs fascinating, and I can't be the only one. Maybe you could explain?
posted by kitcat at 1:48 PM on July 21, 2017

Best answer: seconding kitcat's curiosity about your interest! but also, a possible answer: vendors may be showing pre-70's photos because that's what they believe people are interested in because they're "vintage." if you regularly go to the same vendors, letting them know you're looking for more recent photos can't hurt.
posted by carlypennylane at 2:06 PM on July 21, 2017

Response by poster: For the curious, I paint and draw them. Old yearbooks too. Sometimes I draw them and then use a projector to do a larger painting of the drawing. The process is all about filtering a moment in time through a lens, then through my brain, then sometimes through more iterations of lenses and my brain, then through the practicalities of a medium, then finally through a viewer's brain. Each of those filters alter the context and narrative applied to the image as well as the actual image. But the results aren't nearly as good if I use images whose context I know rather than forcing my brain come up with its own explanation for what's going on in the photographs and what kind of person people are. If any of that makes sense. My website is linked in my profile if anyone is curious about some of the results.

Also, sometimes they're just cool or good photographs or otherwise interesting. I certainly have more than I can ever paint. I have a super creepy yearbook from the "Southwestern Pentecostal Holiness College" where Oral Roberts the televangelist/con man was apparently Dean of Religious Education to a student body of maybe 50 in 1947 Oklahoma that is one of my favorites.

Thanks for the ideas, I was sorta stuck on the idea of rummaging through bins.
posted by cmoj at 2:50 PM on July 21, 2017 [7 favorites]

Film was crappier in the 1960s and MUCH crappier in the 1970s and 80s--those photographs don't hold up as well as earlier photographs.
posted by Hypatia at 5:07 PM on July 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

I've found yearbooks from ~1990s in library bookstores, which often have free racks/bins of items that will never sell. Like random yearbooks.
posted by book 'em dano at 6:46 PM on July 21, 2017

I casually collect photos from this time period. Each of the 20 or so I have I found in books at thrift stores and used book stores. It's not a fast way to go about it, but it's been consistent.
posted by eisforcool at 7:15 PM on July 21, 2017

Best answer: Most of our photos from the 80s were taken on a 110 camera - these are astonishingly grainy. I think Hypatia has something there.

I have seen boxes of slides from the 70s/80s for sale on eBay.
posted by mippy at 2:13 PM on July 23, 2017

Hypatia: Film was crappier in the 1960s and MUCH crappier in the 1970s and 80s--those photographs don't hold up as well as earlier photographs.

I just scanned in some snapshots from the 1980s -- taken on a Kodak Disc Camera or on an Olympus all-in-one pocket camera -- and they're just shitty: grainy, and weird colors. They all look like Eagles album covers.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:12 PM on July 23, 2017

Response by poster: For the record, shitty, grainy, and weird colors are often huge bonuses for me!
posted by cmoj at 9:38 AM on July 24, 2017

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