Photographs can be such a personal thing, each time I come away from my local antiques centre with a couple of old pictures I feel as though I've been let in on a secret somehow - that wherever the subjects ended up I hold a moment of their history in my hands. Curiosity means I tend to start decoding before I even get them home; how old does she look? What clues do her clothes give to the decade? What does her expression say about her?
There is only so much to decipher by looking, the rest is a mystery, and that is where the beauty lies for me. I've always had an overactive imagination so I let it loose and see where it takes me; sometimes I'll invent elaborate family trees and a rich backstory other times a little summary of important points to note - prefers lemon curd to jam, likes to leave a trail of breadcrumbs for the ducks with the crust of her sandwich. Posed portraits are lovely to look at and I own quite a few but the exciting finds are images captured by accident. Rebecca caught my eye - the outtakes especially - her expressions make me think there is plenty going on beneath the surface and infinite possibilities as to her story. I found Grace, Katherine and Rebecca in the same box and I'd like to imagine they know one another - even if the decades don't quite match up!
It could be the Downton Abbey fan in me but images of life below stairs are some of my favourites, there is so much to surmise in the picture of the girls grouped around the table having tea and the coat hung on the back of the door feels spectre like - very ghost-at-the-feast. I'd love to know what you think the story is behind that scene!