found photos // someone else's safari - The Dainty Squid

found photos // someone else's safari

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

I haven't been going to too many estate sales lately. It's not my fault though, it seems as though they've been few and far between these last few months. If it weren't for that fact I probably wouldn't have gone to this one. Located in a very wealthy neighborhood of Cleveland, I could tell by the photos online that most of the things were probably out of my price range. I like modest mid-century homes filled to the brim with knick knacks. I'm probably most happy when I have to dig through boxes at estate sales. Put crudely, I like junk.

I walked into this house and immediately thought it was a waste of a trip to the East side. A grand piano inside a living room filled with fancy furniture that had probably never been sat on, it just wasn't looking hopeful. I worked my way to the top floor of this massive home and started sifting though the things. I quickly found myself in a back corner bedroom filled with photos. Unless they're really old I don't normally go through photos at estate sales but these were all labeled so immaculately I was curious. I opened a package, saw the first photo below and was sold - I had to see more.
I ended up buying six packages of film, 24 photos in each. I just glanced at a few pictures from each before deciding which to buy so it would be a fun little surprise when I got home. Like I said, they were all labeled very precisely which works out really when a curious stranger ends up going through your photos. The photos are even labeled by which day of the week they were taken on. It appears as though in March of 1988 someone went to the Serengeti. I LOVE the photos. I don't know what it is but they tickle my fancy. It was hard to choose which ones I wanted to share, below are some of my favorites.
african buffalo, safari, found film,
My one complaint is that there weren't really many photos of people. I have no idea who took the photos or if they were with anyone special. It kind of makes me wish I had bought more of safari photos, just to see if I could see more of who went on this trip. There had to be at least fifty packs! But that fact makes me reevaluate how I shoot. Looking back through photos of mine and Jeff's adventure out West last year there are barely any photos of the two of us at all. I have a few photos of him but seriously, for spending a week in the car with him I don't have nearly enough photos. Definitely going to make a bigger effort to shoot more people from here on out.

The rest of the home was just littered with photos. I overheard someone who worked for the company putting on the sale say that the person had recently been put in a nursing home so they were liquidating their things. There were multiple children still living but none wanted these things. It's so sad to think that no one wanted the photos and that they've most likely already ended up in the trash. There were wedding photos, old family photos, and so much more. Seriously just boxes upon boxes.

I'm kind of regretting not buying more photos but alas I can't save all the unwanted photos out there. I'm happy to be able to give at least a few of this person's photos new life.
xoxo

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45 thoughts

  1. This is such a neat find! I love looking through old photos ... the thought of throwing them out makes me cringe a little bit.

    And you've brought up a good point about taking pictures of people! I find that I'm often behind the lens so much that there don't end up being that many pictures of me. Something to keep in mind and hopefully change a bit!

    x Kathryn
    Through the Thicket

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  2. Why would people leave memories like these behind though :(

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  3. I love the texture of the photos. SO SO beautiful.

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  4. It's so sad when that happens to people, but you did a wonderful thing for buying some of these photos. When I was little, I used to look at the people who would appear in the background of our photos (park, theme parks, etc.) and wonder what they were like and how they lived.
    I'm also such an animal lover so I'm completely smitten with these photos you shared; thank you for making my morning.<3

    vegcourtesy.blogspot.com

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    1. It is really weird to think about all the people that appear in the background of your photos and even more than that - all the photos you appear in the background of! Theres a very real possibility a photo of you is in someone else's photo album. So weird!

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  5. Oh man, this is magic! I love that first shot under the tree the most, I think. Old found photos kill me. I feel like I'm sneaking a secret peek into old memories long forgotten.

    Circus & Bloom
    ♥♥♥

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  6. I feel nostalgic while looking at these photos. I especially love the photos of hot air balloons and giraffe.
    Thanks for sharing them with us, Kaylah! :)

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  7. So sad that their children didn't want those photos :-(
    I wish Finland had estate sales too.

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    1. There aren't estate sales there? What happens to stuff when people die, or get put in nursing homes?

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  8. Oh wow! I feel the exact same way as I was wandering through a local antique mall. There were so many old photos of families. Large family events - weddings, baptisms, graduation classes.. all just sitting so some stranger can buy them. (although, I am thankful those didn't end up just being trashed!) I am so blessed to have so many very old family photos hanging around my house.

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  9. How sad that the family didn't even want wedding photos. Though I guess these things pile up. My Dad has boxes and boxes of photos that belonged to his parents which he treasures but I know he worries about what we will do with them one day, and how long those memories will last for.

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  10. that picture of those african women is amazing!
    xoxo
    e
    emmyjake

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  11. Great Post! Just imagine someone reads your blog who knows a person on that bus though. I like imagining those sort of things.
    Always enjoy reading your blogposts and love your projects.
    Greetings from Berlin/Germany
    Jenn

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    1. That would be SO awesome!

      I have a reoccurring dream where I'm at an estate sale and find photos of my own family. It's really strange.

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  12. how sad that no-one would want these, the photos are lovely! i find it so sad when people die - or in this case are put in homes - and all there is left to show of their lives seems so meaningless to others, even their own children. that's why i own a good portion of my grandparents' things as no-one else wanted them.. better for me, i suppose! xx

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  13. It must have been some accident or something important to live those photos behind :\

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    1. I doubt it. Going to estate sales has shown me that most people aren't very sentimental.

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  14. This is unbelievably great!! I love the one of the woman and children.

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    1. I was peeking in each packet to choose which ones I wanted to buy and that photo sold me. SO awesome!

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  15. These photos are amazing! The story reminds me of the discovery of Vivian Maier's photos ... both seem to transport you to another world!

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  16. These are such a cool find! I find it fascinating to be able to look into other people's lives through what they left behind.

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  17. This is such a neat and respectful tribute to whomever took those photos! They are beautiful. I cannot imagine anyone not wanting these so that makes me a little sad :( But glad you rescued them and gave them new life!

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  18. Woah, sweet find! I also wish there were more photos of the vacationers but these are still so good! Kinda makes me wanna keep an eye out for 'newer' old photos. Hope there are more estate sales as winter winds down- I also prefer digger sales.

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  19. What an awesome score. Great images and a little mystery..just perfect

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  20. Awesome Share! I feel the same way when I go to sales and people have photographs out. I just recently bought a few cookbooks at a sale and to me it was sad to think that the family had not wanted them with their hand written notes all throughout. But I like to think that items that are at the sales are found by people that will love and cherish them and not end up in the dump.

    Emily
    eageremily.blogspot.com

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    1. Oh man. That's super sad. I can't imagine someone not wanting to keep a family cookbook!

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  21. Very cool find! I think it's sad that the family didn't want to keep these photos. I'm also awful at taking photos of people... I guess it's because I just don't find them as interesting!

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  22. These photos are awesome! It really inspires me to go find some estate sales in my area :)

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  23. Wow, these are such an amazing discovery! :) We may be the opposite when taking pictures, we have to take extra care to remember to take pictures without people on them ;) I guess what my father told me as a kid somehow struck me deeply, he once told me: how is that you are back from a trip and you're not in any of the pictures? I want to see you otherwise I would look to a travel book instead because the photos in it are way nice than yours; He was a blunt tough one ;) of course I now know that this wasn't so true neither ;)

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  24. Such an incredible discovery! I just love looking through other people's old photos and imagining the stories that might have gone along with them.

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  25. I can't believe the family didn't want these! At least there's someone like you to preserve them. Whoever took these has a really great eye.

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  26. I really love the photo of the mother babywearing and (possibly) nursing!

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  27. I love this post! It's so strange but so amazing to look at someone elses photos, kind of sad to think they might never be seen by someone who knows the people who are in/took them. I always try to take photos of people, but Im not a photographer, so I just like photos as memories.

    Emma x
    Writing Essays With Wine

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  28. Wow, I would super giddy over this kind of discovery too! Love the photos and like you mentioned, I would also like to know who took the pictures or just more of people in the pictures. And when I go on trips I don't have as much pictures of us as a whole. Yes, to more people pics!

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  29. This would have to be one of the most incredible discoveries ever, having been to Africa myself, these would be so special to those people, and for me to see just the atmosphere these photos show/give Africa and a safari a few years in the past. It would have been great to grab them all!

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  30. This is so interesting! I'd love to find something like that.

    Emma | ohflowerchild.blogspot.com

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  31. How did I miss this... I'll admit, I'm so envious of this find. What wonderful photos... I really feel like they were a pretty good photographer too. I agree with what you said about photos of people. I love knowing peoples stories. It does break my heart when people don't want family things like this. So sad. I'm glad they have a nice home with you.

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    1. They certainly had an eye for photography. These photos are gorgeous! I'm really bummed I didn't grab more of them.

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  32. I just pinned all pics from this post, love them so much!! If you ever find super old photography of travels please do share with us :)

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  33. "Definitely going to make a bigger effort to shoot more people from here on out." That made me laugh out loud. These photos are awesome! I'm glad that someone wanted those photos and they didn't just get thrown out.

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