I stopped by a local thrift store to see if I could find some props for photographing still life. I'm not a great treasure shopper as it usually involves careful observation and often digging to find that special something. Typically I'm a surface shopper and if I don't see 'it' right away I'm outta there.
This time was different. My mission was to purposefully scour and slowly take in all the details. I found some sweet little white ceramic containers and a couple of softly aged white woven cotton towels. Among a stack of worn out cameras I spied an amazing, yet very dusty and neglected vintage Brownie camera. It had seen better days but I could see potential for a still life photograph.
The camera is a No. 2 Folding Autograpic Brownie made by Eastman Kodak. From the serial number I discovered it's from the early to mid 1920's. They stopped making this model camera in 1926. It took me about an hour of careful cleaning as it had layers of dust and grime covering it and some pieces were fragile and flaking.
From YouTube I found out details such as where the film was loaded and how to adjust the aperture and shutter speed. There is a flap on the back that opens so you could write on the photograph, thus the name Autographic Brownie. The stylus used to 'sign' the photos is typically missing but mine is rusted to the holder. Bonus!
Today I photographed a still life with the Brownie as the star. The blurred photograph in the background includes my mom (second from the right) who was born in 1919 and her older sister (second from the left) taken in the early 20's. They are pictured with their cousins. The pen, doily and old book were my mother's. The wash table they are sitting on belonged to my husband's grandmother.
This still life makes me feel nostalgic and reminds me how much I miss having my mother to talk to. She would have loved this.