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Bodenstaff and photography

januari 15, 2008


I started making pictures when I was about 8 years old. First with the old camera that my mother brought over from Australia.


The first camera I could call mine,  was a Kodak Brownie. I had saved for this camera using stamps that were given when developing films at our local photographer, “Foto Duiker”, at the Slotlaan in Zeist.

Later on I was allowed to sometimes use my fathers camera. It was a real  Voightländer.

For some years then I didn’t make photo’s at all, but I restarted when my daughter was born. From here we have pictures starting on her 1st day of her life.

In the old days thing were quite different of course. Then photography was something for the elite. Very few had a camera and one only had photographs made on special occasions by a photographer. These would be pictures of oneself, your  child / children or the family.

Thus we find pictures of our ancestors at a wedding, a baptism, or other religious occasions.

Very rare one would “just” go to a photographer to have a picture made of the whole family.

Quite often these pictures will say more then a 1000 words. It at the same time gives you an impression of the time of age. Also the way people would dress would be remarkable and this way you discover how your ancestors and their siblings looked like. Quite often they would wear their best clothes.

About the twenties of the last century photography became a little more accessible to the middleclass, but it would take quite some years before pictures would be made in all the families. However more people were photographed whilst working or standing in front of their shops or businesses.

Now the descendants could see how they looked like and what they would have been doing.

In the fifties photography became almost common practice and that is when pictures of school  classes became really popular

Now we have 6 year old that use their cell-phone to make pictures of themselves or each other and send them to their friends or even put them on the internet.

But the beauty of an old Daguerreotype or photograph taken from a 9 x 13 cm or 13 x 18 cm glass plate negative printed in the enchanting sepia tones stays unequalled.


Here is the oldest photograph I have received of a Bodenstaff family. It was sent to me by Eva Bodenstaff from Hamburg. It’s a picture of her great-grandfather Conrad Bodenstaff (born 27-10-1847 –  died 09-02-1908) with his wife Maria Eikholt (born 28-06-1866 – died 30-03-1942), his son Johannes Konrad Bodenstaff  (born 30-10-1888 – died 08-05-1968) and his son Wilhelmus Johannes (born 1887-  died 1925).

Now just have a good look around and see if you have an old photo album or a hidden old shoebox with ancient family pictures. And if you do find old family pictures or other kind of pictures with a Bodenstaff on it, please send me a copy! The older the better.

Lots of fun searching around, make a lot of pictures and think about me when you find a nice old family picture.



Scroll naar beneden voor de Nederlandse versie



From → Familie

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