“I look at a photo and I know someone is probably dead and that one day I'll be dead too.There must be some secret of time held in these images.Everyone except the man in the back row, second from the right.
We sat at his dining room table studying a standard studio portrait—a group of 12 taken in Łódź, Poland circa 1935.
Only, we knew—as the sitters never could have—that in 10 years, everyone in the photo would be dead.
According to census records, he became a salesman, though what he sold is not mentioned.
In 1925, he married a woman named Isabelle who won prizes for her gardening.
It feels like someone is whispering to me across the decades.
Sometimes, it almost feels like I can whisper back.”* * *The origins of snapshot collecting are unclear, however, as a collector myself, judging by price increases of old photographs at flea markets and online, the phenomenon is growing rapidly.I can’t help thinking that if I just study them hard enough, I'll finally be able to understand it.”Several years ago at the New York Hell’s Kitchen flea market, Noel Buscemi, a snapshot vendor who has since passed away himself, made a similar remark to me.“Pretty much everyone in these pictures is dead,” he commented, “along with everyone who ever cared about them.” He waved a hand over his wares, strewn haphazardly in boxes like mounds of autumn leaves. Whatever they had once meant to their former owners had vanished.The 70-year-old has published several books of found photographs, displaying them in pairs intended to evoke specific connections between disparate subjects: a prisoner and a baby, kids with toy guns and a wounded soldier, a woman in a hijab, and a woman in a catcher’s mask.Among these, as among all snapshots, there is a broader connection too.Maher Ahmad, an art director, owns four out of a set of 20 meticulously compiled family scrapbooks entitled We sat in Ahmad’s library in the Hollywood Hills as he carefully turned the pages.“July 20th 1906, Francis celebrated his third birthday by having a little party.