When a picture was important.

Today, I’m not going to post my shots. I’m going to post some pictures of the old times, when a picture was an evidence, a testimony of the events of life. Not only of the great historical events but those in the life of common people. A photograph was rare and expensive, but it was the way you could let know to your family and friends, so true, what happened to you or how you were. So, the wedding, death and communion photos were common but also those made just to let them know that you were alive. So, for a time, it was common that the photographs were printed on postcard paper to send.

TatarabuelosUndated. Postcard with family portraits. “Best wishes for your parents that God preserve many years. Their children Angeles Padilla and Antonio Santisteban. To Juan Padilla and Maria Baeza” Under the lines my father wrote that these were our (my sister and mine) great-great-grandparents.

Boda_abuelos_19151915. Wedding photo of my grandparents with annotations from the photographer. “1915. 1/2 sheet of paper as they look natural. Take care that the left hand is well seen or put another glove. -Crossed “For the February 8th” – Puerto de Sagunto. For the May 9th without delay.”

Abuela_amigas_1926April 5th of 1926. Postcard. My grandmother (the one seated to the left in the front) with her sister and some friends. Take notice of the man with the Army uniform. “To my sister, Leonor, to see how great are all of us, drinking coffee in Anica’s street and how fat I am. Your sister, Maria Contreras” (she makes to know her how fat she was as she was pregnant).

Josefa_PadillaUndated. Postcard. I guess that this woman was a cousin of my grandfather (as they share family name, remember than in Spain we use two family names) and she sent this postcard to my grandmother and sisters who lived less than 30 km away (but at that time it was really difficult for them to move such distance). “Dear friends, your friend sends you her photograph as proof of the love that professes to you and wishes you health. Best regards to your parents and you, dear friends Ana, Eleanor and Mary, receive a hug from your friend. Josefa Padilla. To my friends, Ana, Eleanor and Mary”. On the top line says “Souvenir. A kiss from that who writes you. C.C.G. Goodbye” (this probably was the one that wrote the letter).

Colegio_1024And as the end. Undated. Who doesn’t have one of these??? Photography at the college. My father is the second from the right in the front row (seated). He didn’t want to tell me the year of the image!!!!


14 thoughts on “When a picture was important.

    • Gracias!!! En este caso, adem√°s, va por mi abuela que vivi√≥ dos monarqu√≠as (la de Alfonso XIII y la actual), dos dictaduras (la de Primo de Rivera y la de Franco) y una Rep√ļblica (a II) y a pesar de ello tir√≥ p’alante, dej√≥ su hogar en Almer√≠a para irse a Valencia y sac√≥ una familia para acabar muriendo de mayor (no quiero decir de vieja) con 91 a√Īos y a√ļn apa√Ī√°ndose sola.

    • Thanks, Richard!! Well, in some way we continue the tradition (I’ve collected and scanned photos of my family and nowadays I shoot them all and send them copies). They are part of OUR history (not the kings, ministers, etc. but our fathers, grandfathers and so on).

  1. Me han encantado…Y me han recordado viejas historias…Me encanta esa candidez de nuestros familiares, esa formalidad y educaci√≥n….Es verdad que antes las fotos eran algo precioso…Ahora han perdido ese aura de melancol√≠a y de documento biogr√°fico o historiogr√°fico…Cuidalas bien!

    • Muchas gracias!!! Antes eran valiosas y creo que lo siguen siendo pero que no nos damos cuenta por la saturaci√≥n de im√°genes que sufrimos y su frivolizaci√≥n. Creemos que siempre estar√°n ah√≠ pero hoy en d√≠a son muy vol√°tiles al estar en internet o en un ordenador, no es lo mismo que el papel. Pero a todos nos gusta revolver en los cajones y encontrarnos esas fotos de cuando √©ramos ni√Īos o de aquellos que ya no est√°n. Lo √ļnico que hay que hacer es volver a valorarlas en su medida.

    • Thanks, Nia!!! All of them where relatives of mine. And, in fact, this post is in memory of my grandmother (in two of the images). She was born in the XIXth century and survived 2 kings, 2 dictatorships, 1 republic, and was able to raise a great family. Some times you think, “Those were hard times so I cannot complain!” but then I remember her and think “She fought to improve her living conditions and those of her family, so we must fight for the same!!”.

  2. very interesting set of photos, I like doing the same thing, turning photos into postcards and sending them to people or using them as book marks for people to find years later.

    • Great!!! Because internet things will be lost in the ciberspace, but a photo in paper can give you a nice surprise as you open a book or an album or a drawer and memories return.

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