A special day with Aline Smithson (9:00 AM)

People I don't know

I continue to be fascinated with found photographs. For 25 years,
I have collected photographs found on the ground.
Recently I have been drawn to more formal portraits culled from
dusty cardboard boxes in thrift stores or ratty suitcases at flea markets
There in an innate sadness connected to these photographs.
Who are they? What are their stories?
How did these photographs end up unloved, not with their families, discarded?

I decided to give them a chance to live again, to be seen again, to be considered part of our collective whole. In order to infuse life into the images, I asked people of the same gender and approximate age to hold the photograph, leaving room for the viewer to connect the living to those who have passed on. I feel a quiet satisfaction that they got to see the sun and the stars again, be held again, and be recognized with love and dignity.

This series was shot with a 55 year old twin lens Rolleiflex, printed on Ilford warmtone paper and toned with sepia.

All pictures, (C) Aline Smithson