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photoboothFrenchGrandma 1

This photo from France depicts possibly the oldest person I have yet found in a photobooth image. This sweet grandmotherly woman has a kindly look to her eyes. There is a serenity to her that I like very much.

Around her neck is a choker, on which hangs a framed photograph of a young man. I suppose it could be a young woman, but the lack of any visible adornment, such as a hat, jewellery or decorated collar, leads me to conclude that it is not. She is wearing a printed blouse and there is also what appears to be a brooch in the vee of her coat collar. She has an understated elegance that suggests to me that she was a woman of great style in her youth.

Assuming the choker is truly black, and not just a dark colour that appears black in a monochrome print, one can also assume her coat is black. Is she in mourning? I would say this photo was taken sometime in the 1930s. Is the young man a son who died in WW1? Maybe he is a long dead husband? At her advanced age, and in this era of higher mortality than today, she must have experienced death with a frequency that we cannot now imagine.

I feel that she has experienced life’s vicissitudes with magnanimity and a sense of adventure. What must she have thought about being ushered into a curtained, dark, tiny booth to be photographed by an invisible camera?

photobothFrenchGrandmotherDetail

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