Not One Of Us

So far on this blog I have not revealed the actual dimensions of any of the photos I have posted. I suppose I have assumed that either it was irrelevant, or that people generally know how big a photobooth photo is.  There is actually a considerable variation in sizes. Different types of booths produced different finishes, dimensions and formats of strips.

This pic, measuring 37 x 50 mm, is by no means the smallest type of booth photo around but it is small enough to lose a lot of the details of its condition without the magnification a good scan provides. Until scanned, this image looked to have a very minor mark across it but as you can see, what is minor in the original, is major in the blown-up version. I toyed with the idea of using a gel rubber to try to gently remove what appears to be a pencil line, but decided against it for fear of ruining the image.

From the costume and jewellery the sitter is wearing I would say this photo was taken in the early 1930s. The style of clothing is very similar to that worn by my Grandma in the same era. In fact this lady’s robust size is also reminiscent of my granny, who was a cuddly lady her whole life. The sitter also has a softness of feature and air of patience and kindness about her that I find very appealing. So having formed a strongly positive opinion of this woman, it was with some horror I read the note on the back of the image – “this is no relation of ours, thank god”. I take personal offence at this disparaging remark and wish to redeem the reputation of this lovely woman by saying I would be very pleased to be related to her. I thank god I am not related to the writer of that mean-spirited little note.

  1. Oh, wow, I had the same reaction that you did. Charmed by this warm, smiling face, my heart sank as I read the back. My hope is that the person writing on the back actually knew the woman pictured on the front, and that she was a miserably nasty, unpleasant woman who just happened to know how to smile nicely for the camera, not that the comment was based on her looks, so the comment isn’t too rude after all. But that may be too much to hope for.


    • Hi Matt
      Yep, once again difficult to know. I assumed that the writer didn’t know the lady. So many mysteries. I love the supposition! Katherine


  2. I have to admit, I laughed out loud when I read the comment on the back of the photo, but more out of surprise (I think!). Perhaps she knew something about the woman in the photo that we don’t know? I wonder about the other people the commenter is thinking of when she wrote the word “ours” — because every family has it’s outcasts — and I wonder how those people would feel about the comment. “Speak for yourself” is what first popped into my head.


    • I found it amusing and horrifying at the same time. I adore finding comments like these as they are frequently left out of item descriptions in online sales. Funny the things that make an anonymous photo so much more precious.

      Liked by 1 person

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