Saturday, July 9, 2016

Sepia Saturday - The Itinerant Street Photographer

For this Sepia Saturday Suggestion

Woman on the sidewalk

It's a busy city sidewalk. The itinerant street photographer snaps the passing walker, hands out a card with a number on it. The walker stops by the shop the next day to pick up the candid print. Would it be possible to make a living at this today? Probably not.

So today for Sepia Saturday, lets look at some photographs taken by a photographer out to make a buck, of people who weren't necessarily wanting a photograph at that moment.

Pair on the street
Couple by Itinerant Street Photographer
Two women

Three Women
Woman shopping
Couple on street

Itinerant Photographer
Couple on Street
Itinerant street photographer

Itinerant Photographer
Couple caught by itinerant photographer.
Itinerant photographer

Laura on the sidewalk
Woman on sidewalk
Itinerant Street photographer

Two men on the street
Pair on sidewalk
Couple at foot bridge

Man on the street
On the street
From an itinerant street photographer

Cowboy Pirate
Man and boy at Texas State Fair
For a moment

Trio on sidewalk
Three on the sidewalk
Four on walk
At night by FLASH! Catch them unaware!

Two women sidewalk
Couple on Sidewalk
Man and woman on the sidewalk

Woman on the street
Two Women on the street
Man on street

Itinerant Street Photographer
Itinerant Street Photographer
Itinerant Street Photographer

Woman on street
Itinerant Photographer
Itinerant Photographer

Sidewalk photo of Sailor
Mom and daughter
Itinerant Photographer

Itinerant Street Photographer
Itenerant photographer
Couple on the street

Itinerant photographer
Pair on street
Pair on the street

Two women by an itinerant photographer
Itinerant Photograph
Two women on sidewalk

Can't get enough?
There's more!
The Itinerant Beach Photographer

Four caught by itinerant photographer
This is a rare example in LOST GALLERY. It's four people caught by an itinerant photographer.

Now, walk on back to the Sepia Saturday home page... Just to see where it goes!
(And pick up your picture tomorrow after nine.)

The most popular photographs most popular, Family Group, An album of the most requested photographs in the Lost Gallery.

Area 51 and a Half Area 51 and a Half You are probably not authorized to see these.

Don't take my picture! Oh! You DID didn't you! completely unaware of the photographer This is a collection of photographs that disappear on the way home from the photo processing shop.

And don't miss
Cabinet Card Gallery
One Man's Treasure
Penny Tales
Square America
Tattered and Lost
Vernacular Photography
The best
sites on the web.

And for postcards try

All images are the property of Lost Gallery and the author. Permission must be granted for their use. All rights reserved.

THE KIDS Lesson one. It is always a mystery how a photograph of any of these precious children could end up lost or abandoned. Here are a few. You will probably say "Ooh..." at least once.

Dee and the Business School Dee and the Business School
The beautiful Dee. A curious story; What do you see?

Neiffel and Helvetica Typehigh

"What are they doing?"


  1. I enjoyed your gallery of walking photos. Very interesting.

  2. You've got quite a parade here! It's interesting that photos of groups with more than 4 people are rare. Do you know how much people paid for a snapshot? Assuming about 30 shots per role of film, maybe less, a street photographer need to sell a lot of prints to make any money. I liked the variety of fashions, and was reminded of the New York Times photographer, Bill Cunningham, who died a few weeks ago. He made this type of photo into an art form and a a style book of fashion.

    1. Thanks Mike Brubaker. I think most itinerant street photographers used a special format roll film in a dual lens camera. It could be held at the waist so people were less aware there was a camera pointed at them. I worked at a large hotel in downtown Wichita, KS, in 1958. A photographer worked the street near the hotel and I got caught twice. The post card size print, best I can recall was one dollar. Their film size probably varied from photographer to photographer but for reference a roll of 20 exposure 35mm film in 1958 was sixty-seven cents. (I bought a lot of it.) Print paper, chemicals film and time, they probably had less than 20 cents involved in each print which they sold for one dollar. These photographers typically ran a photo processing shop too, and that's where your candid print could be picked up the next day. I think they made money even if only half of a day's output got picked up.

      Yes, the recording of clothing fashion of the day might be the best benefit of this era of photography.

    2. I noticed that twin lens reflex point-of-view too. And just a minute ago I commented about it on Kristin's photo choice this weekend, which has a very noticeable lower frame. Perhaps because of the TLR camera's smaller format, it also limited the space for a group shot?
      A few days ago I posed outside my home for a photographer from our local arts magazine doing a feature on musicians. She took about a thousand shots on a Canon digital, all from head height using the display screen. When I suggested a shot from a crouching position she seemed amused at the novelty.

    3. The group shot probably came from a large format bellows (folding) or graphic (press style) camera or perhaps a hybrid built by the photographer. It had to be turned on the side to get a landscape instead of a portrait frame. Judging from the numbers written on the negative, it was not a small format but at least 2.5 X 4.25, film pack or 616 roll film. The camera had to be further away from the subjects too, so a quick manual refocus was probably necessary. I'd guess that candid, sidewalk, group shots not only happened less often but were just more trouble to do.

  3. This theme suddenly reminded me of the lines from the Paul Simons song, You can Call Me Al : 'A man walks down the street.... I need a photo opportunity...' I guess your collection of street photos are some of those that people never came back to pick up, but I think those street photographers would have made plenty of money back then.

    1. Thanks Jo Featherston. Yes, the photographer probably did quite well. "You can Call Me Al" is a favorite of mine. Clever lyrics. I have seen the video with Chevy Chase many times and I still laugh when he puts his drinking glass down on what he thinks is a glass tabletop.

  4. What fun to see those folks caught unawares and candid. The fashions are wonderful, as well as how many people gave a positive or negative response to seeing the camera, and even some who probably never noticed it at all.

    1. Thanks Barbara Rogers. Yes, some were quite surprised when the photographer handed them a numbered ticket and told them they could pick up their picture the next morning.

  5. What a fantastic collection! The expressions run the gamut from ticked off to tickled! I'm jealous.

    1. Thanks Tattered and Lost. Yes, examining the range of readable expressions on their faces is where the fun is for me.

    2. I always like the ones who are ticked off. That one moment when they are annoyed to be confronted by the photographer never realizing that that moment would one day end up online.

    3. You're right! And it may have just been a fleeting second when they were drawn out of their reverie into the daylight. Some look as if they have been caught scheming some nefarious plot and are not pleased about it.

  6. I like the shots where people are actually smiling , seemingly amused at being caught. Did everyone pick up their snaps I wonder? I can’t imagine some of these being in the family album, but then it was a moment in time, captured for ever.

    1. Thanks Little Nell. A little vanity shows in many of them, pleased at the bit of attention. Many people automatically smile at the sight of a camera. Most snaps on this page were found in random piles of photographs in flea markets and junk shops. The photograph of the woman in the dark dress, sixth row, left, came from an album. She had that smile in every photograph in the album. I think she was just a happy person.

  7. What an amazing diversity of people, attitudes and clothes. I especially liked the soldiers eyeing off the girl...her soldier does not look amused.

    1. Thanks Cassmob (Pauleen) Yes! There seems quite a drama going on in that one.

  8. Luckily there were the street photographers, otherwise we would miss out on many photographs of the past. So many faces, so many stories behind each face and photo. Great collection.

    1. Thanks Titania Stacheli. You are right! Here they are, not posing, but lost in their own thoughts, going about their business for the day. Back then, when cameras were not all that common, this might be a rare shot of them, without the self conscious tension of a back-yard, family snap. One could imagine that in some cases, this might be the only photograph of them at that age.

  9. Recently going through some of my great-grandmother's photos, I found one of these photos of her and her daughter (my grandmother, obviously) taken sometime in the 40's in what is likely Fort Worth, TX. (sadly, neither are still alive to give any more details. So, at this point, I only have what is written on the photo itself: "Happy days".)
    I didn't realize until then that folks actually did this sort of photography. This is a great collection of that style, for sure. And, I guess that finding one of them in a box of pics all of these years later proves that some folks actually did pick them up and hold on to them.

    1. I am so glad to hear you found your treasure and made a connection with two of your ancestors. These candid portraits give us a glimpse of their life when they were just going about living it. It's somehow more powerful than a posed photograph. And yes, many people recognized their value. I was caught by a street photographer once many years ago. I had just met the girl walking beside me. She and I now have four children, 8 grandchildren and four great grand children. Luckily, I picked up the photograph the next day and I still have that treasure today.



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