Working with Vernacular Images

2012 photo of model Anastasia Arteyeva that utilized textures I scanned from inherited family photos.

In the last year of cleaning out my mother’s house I’ve found a great deal of vintage photos/ slides/ albums/ paper materials from a deceased great aunt.   Authentic vintage imagery that’s any good is something one has to hunt around for at flea markets, so to have a pile of it drop into my lap is a bit of making lemons from lemonade.

inherited family photo
inherited photo

Below are a few examples of what one can do with old photos and papers:

  1. Scan textures or other design elements.  There is a big market for textures not just by photographers but graphic designers, illustrators, and mixed media artists.
  2. Recontextualize the stories within the photos.
  3. Use them as sources of inspiration- this hairstyle, these types of fashion, get an idea and recreate it in real life.  Mark Klett revisits the location of old photos and photographs them as they are today, seamlessly blending in the old images with the new.
  4.  Mixed media creations.  Draw yourself into an old photo, cut them up and make interesting collages like Tomek Dakiniewicz.
Crow Girls
turning racist postcards into political art

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I'm a multimedia artist in Phoenix, AZ. Main Site - Instagram @primordialcreative + twitter @dbmillerphoto

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