Found Photographs

Last year I started collecting vintage photographs again and had it in my head that I could sell downloads of the images on Etsy.

Lots of shops are doing it, they sell the images for scrapbooks, artwork, and for customers to download and put on canvas etc.  I always see the same kind of disclaimer on the listings.  “Not for resale” and “copyright remains with me”.  Now I understand that a lot of these photographs are “orphan works” ~ a term which means no-one owns the copyright.  So it’s a kind of “finders keepers” scenario and I certainly don’t want to criticise these shops.   They are popular and have a lot of sales ~ so demand is out there.   But something about it doesn’t sit right with me.

I don’t feel I can seize the copyright to the people in the photographs.  I’m lucky enough to have found them but I don’t own them.  I’m just their current caretaker.  Some of the more recent pictures I have from the 40’s and 50’s feature kids that may still be alive.  That makes me feel weird about selling their images.  Although it may seem odd that I don’t want to sell them but will happily use them in my Photoshop images ~ I can’t explain that one!

Many of the images for sale on Etsy and e-bay are so old it’s obvious the subjects are long gone and many are of models and actresses who knew the pictures would have commercial value.  However you do come across some very personal images – couples on dates, people about to go places, kids under Christmas trees, and holiday photos.  I love looking at these pictures and the websites that generously share them.  I can’t justify enjoying other peoples generosity and selling/watermarking mine.

So I will start posting some of mine from time to time and hope others get the same  enjoyment from these as I have.


Lainey x

This is my current favourite. On the back it says “with love for Grandma from Mary”


Eye of the Beholder


This is a picture I took of my little sister in the 1970’s.

It’s blurry and a bit rubbish really but it was a pivotal creative moment for me.  I think I was about 11 or 12 when I took this.  Do you remember the days of not seeing your photo’s until they came back from being developed?!

I remember being gutted at how bad this photo was.  However, it opened a whole new door for me creatively.

The photo was developed at a local corner shop and the chap who ran the shop was a keen photographer himself.  Mr Milner was his name and I believe he was also a member of a local camera club.  He was quite taken with this one.  I don’t know if he felt sorry for me looking disappointed or if it was genuine interest but he gave me an insight into what photography could achieve.  It could become art.  He loved the fact that we only saw a bit of my sisters face, the close up of her eye could represent so much.  She’s not smiling, why?  What was she thinking about and how did she make us feel?

He made me think beyond holiday snaps and I’ve carried that with me ever since.

Lainey x


I seem to love trying different ways to re-photograph things.  I suppose I’m not as techie minded as I used to be.  I like messing about with light and photographing things through other things.


This image is a photograph taken with an old photographic plate on top.  I’m using it as a study for something new.  I’m supposed to be organising my photographs…I’m very easily distracted!