I have been fascinated with found photographs for a long time. For 25 years, I have collected photographs found on the ground. Recently I have been drawn to more formal portraits culled from dusty cardboard boxes in thrift stores or ratty suitcases at flea markets.
There is an innate sadness connected to these photographs. Who are they?
What are their stories? How did these photographs end up unloved, not
with their families, discarded?
I decided to give them a chance to live again, to be seen again, to be
considered part of our collective whole. In order to infuse life into
the images, I asked people of the same gender and approximate age to hold
the photograph, leaving room for the viewer to connect the living to those
who have passed on.
I feel a quiet satisfaction that they got to see the sun and the stars
again, be held again, and be recognized with love and dignity.
This series was shot with a 55 year old twin lens Rolleiflex, printed
on Ilford warmtone paper and toned with sepia.
Prior to becoming a photographer, I worked for many years as the Fashion
Editor for Vogue Patterns Magazine in New York City, and then
continued on in Los Angeles as a freelance photo stylist. As a fashion
editor, I had the privilege of working with many exceptional fashion photographers,
including Horst, Mario Testino, Patrick Demarchelier, Arthur Elgort, and
After standing next to the camera for many years, I have discovered that
it is behind the camera that I find my joy and passion.
— Aline Smithson
FeaturePeople I Don’t KnowAline Smithson rephotographs anonymous found photographs
held in loving hands.View Images
People I Don’t Know
Aline Smithson rephotographs anonymous found photographs held in loving hands.View Images
People I Don’t Know
Aline Smithson rephotographs anonymous found photographs held in loving hands.
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