………Snapshots are photographs that were taken by millions of amateur photographers on inexpensive point and shoot film cameras starting in 1888 via the Kodak # 1 camera. 100 years later, Kodak announced that 80 billion photos had been printed. That same year the first digital camera became commercially available, and analog photography’s decline began. Concurrently, people started collecting unwanted and discarded snapshots found in unclaimed storage units, flea markets, photo fairs , antique stores, and online via Ebay. Such an interest in the snapshot as a collectible eventually elevated the hobby into an art form. Exceptional snapshots have been exhibited by major museums, and can fetch high prices at auctions.
………The Snapshot Collector is a documentary short about the art of collecting this found photography. The film focuses on four players from the Snapshot scene:
– Barbara Levine is an accomplished curator who has been building her collection for over 30 years with a focus on the family album.
– A figurehead of the Snapshot scene, Stacy Waldman has made a career out of buying and selling Snapshots. She also collects images of people named Dick.
– John Phelan is a self-described addict of collecting, he spares no expense, voraciously buying more than he can handle. His collection is dark and sometimes disturbing.
– Joel Rotenberg is a dealer and collector that lives and breathes Snapshots. He also writes about the significance of Snapshot photography as an art form. He seeks images that invoke “accidental feelings” and his astounding collection is as intense and unusual as the man himself.
………These collectors scour through a seemingly endless archive of old photographs, finding the extraordinary few, reinterpreting their context, and giving them new lives and meanings. They are all looking for the art in the image.
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