Stolen Images

Over the years I have collected a small number of original vintage photographs. Only those that depart from the conventions of rigid, formal portraiture are selected. In the hands of amateur photographers – often by accident, and long out of copyright – genuine moments of life have been preserved that dignify these long-departed people with a kind of immortality. For me, this process is the heart and soul of photography as an art, craft and social document.

If your relatives are pictured here, please let me know: I would be happy to send you the original image.

I also offer a personalised video biography service that recreates the lifetime of a loved one. Precious source material is digitised, restored and arranged chronologically to tell their story, accompanied by ‘their’ music. Although such documents are screened at weddings, anniversaries and funerals, in the case of a departed relative of friend, it remains a comforting remembrancer that can be summoned at will.

That’s the power of photography: images are worthless at the point of capture but, as time flies on, the moment becomes increasingly distant – unrepeatable, accumulating in value. A telling picture should be kept forever. When I see them discarded at boot sales, or cast out by relatives looting houses for more tangible valuables, I often have to save them. They have no purpose or commercial value, beyond being living memorials – like art, beautiful and useless beyond its own form, but nonetheless precious.

And if the images whisper to you ‘carpe diem . . .’ maybe you’ve watched too many Peter Weir movies.