I found this single photobooth image at the bottom of a box of photos at the closing down sale of a, much loved, local antique centre. It was $1.00 but I would’ve paid much, much more for it. Vintage Australian booth photos are rarer than hen’s teeth, even more so, one that is in such good condition.

There are so many lovely details here, from the sweet beaded necklace worn by one girl, to the rose shaped pendant (or perhaps brooch?) worn by the other. There is an arm affectionately draped over a shoulder, and a hand resting gently on another. Both of the girls have their hair swept to the side, from left to right. There are some typically Australian childhood freckles!

Yet, the loveliest thing for me is the unforced smiles on this pair. Looking directly into the lens with no artificial jollity or pulling of faces, these girls are so happy and comfortable in each other’s presence. Their faces exude friendship.

I marvel at the fact this photo was taken by an automatic camera. I doubt a photographer of long year’s experience could have taken a better portrait of youth. My guess is that it was made in the late 1930s to early 1940s.

I wish I knew the girls’ names and where this photo was taken, but as with so many of my photos, its origin is likely to remain a mystery.

  1. The one on the left is a tennis player, the girl on the right is a swimmer!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love this portrait of friendship! As you note, the girls look so happy and comfortable in each other’s presence. I’ll bet they remained lifelong friends. I’d say the girl on the left is a strawberry blonde.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! I used to be one when I was even younger than this girl. It didn’t last past my seventh birthday. 😞 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. maclancy1950 said:

    Absolutely beautiful photo! The faces are so locked in to the camera. The beauty of the booth is there are no distractions from the task at hand to capture the moment with clarity and in this case, beauty and style. Lucky find!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mike said:

    Very nice indeed and combined with your insightful and articulate commentary this is a stunner.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Lovely shot- what a find. A snapshot of Australian childhood indeed… imagine if someone recognised them here in Oz? Did you share on Facebook?? Could go viral 😉 x G

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not shared beyond my Photobooth Journal page. Maybe I should try to find them that way? Great idea G! Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Hi G, I have just done a public post on my Facebook account. Fingers crossed for some results! Thanks for the idea. I’ve never tried anything like this before. 😀👍🏼

          Liked by 1 person

          • I met an author who posted on Facebook in the Brisbane Historical Society about some bank notes she found under her kitchen lino when renovating: it went viral & she ended up with thousands of supporters who helped her crowd fund a book she wrote about the whole experience! From memory, it was called ‘Under the Lino’… try & find it 👍🏿

            Liked by 1 person

            • That is so cool! I’ve had 15 shares so far, G. I will see if there is an Australian photography collector’s group on FB. I’ve not found one before, but last search was a while back.

              Liked by 1 person

  6. Wouldn’t those girls just love to see this post? Wonderful find, Katherine. Love those Aussie Freckles, and I guess if the two don’t supply enough, just look at the other little girl to the right of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Vinville said:

    Thelma & Louise – the early years! LOL…. love love the pic. Am so very happy to be getting these again ! Hugz…Vin


  8. I thought of you this summer in Paris, as I was roaming the flea markets. Old photo albums sold for a few bucks. No-one in the family remembering or caring who their ancestors were… Tsss.

    Liked by 1 person

      • It is. Which reminds me I need to put the family name on all the photo albums, dating back to the 19th century for when my grandchildren or greatgrand etc. throw them away?. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

            • I started working on my family’s but came up against many brick walls, the biggest one being a relative who simply refuses to respond to my queries about faces I cannot identify. Said relative responds to my messages on any other topic but never when asked about photos.

              Liked by 1 person

  9. A truly beautiful image, what a find Katherine! You’re right about their expressions, I hadn’t thought how unusual it is for the photobooth subjects to be serious until you mentioned it.

    Liked by 1 person

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