This is my Dad, Grandmother and Uncle. The location, Tampa, Florida,1938, actually Ybor City. My grandmother had a hard but happy life. She never had much, having gone through some of the tougher economics times of this country but one thing she did have, invested in, and handed down were photographs…professional ones that she had taken with her children,family and later me whenever I visited her from New York. She had a favorite studio in Tampa, where an excellent photographer exercised the perfection in his craft,you see here.
His canvas background and various chairs that appear in other photographs he took of us through the years were his only special effects, long before PhotoShop. His concentration on his view camera,lighting and his subjects all the while putting up with us and the demands of her added to the treasure chest of memories and recordings that made up her trove. Her documentation, ink, who knew?
Her importance to these sessions were equally met by her photographer and maybe that is what this post is about; the importance of time, the one we take, the one we share and the one we leave for those who couldn’t be there. Some things are worth doing, unaccountable to dollars but to the love of what one does and this shows it. Looking at this family portrait,we see a classic Black and White of its time, perfect posing ( a little stiff by today’s standard ) perfect lighting,exposure and expression, not something that he pumped out because the next 40 were in line. This was an important moment for all. You can see he took it seriously because it was important to her, his client and him, his reputation. He didn’t measure her wallet,it wasn’t that big. He weighed his reputation and it weighed much more than whatever she could given him. This was Angelo’s Studio and the approach wasn’t about immediate money buta personal worth over the course of time.
A few short years later, my dad on the left went to the Army and my uncle, the chunky one, went to the Marines, both went to war and made this image and this photographer’s skill and attention to the details much more precious to her and to those of us who will carry on.