found photos // someone else’s safari

I haven’t been going to too many estate sales lately. It’s not my fault though, it seems as though they’ve been few and far between these last few months. If it weren’t for that fact I probably wouldn’t have gone to this one. Located in a very wealthy neighborhood of Cleveland, I could tell by the photos online that most of the things were probably out of my price range. I like modest mid-century homes filled to the brim with knick knacks. I’m probably most happy when I have to dig through boxes at estate sales. Put crudely, I like junk.

I walked into this house and immediately thought it was a waste of a trip to the East side. A grand piano inside a living room filled with fancy furniture that had probably never been sat on, it just wasn’t looking hopeful. I worked my way to the top floor of this massive home and started sifting though the things. I quickly found myself in a back corner bedroom filled with photos. Unless they’re really old I don’t normally go through photos at estate sales but these were all labeled so immaculately I was curious. I opened a package, saw the first photo below and was sold – I had to see more.

I ended up buying six packages of film, 24 photos in each. I just glanced at a few pictures from each before deciding which to buy so it would be a fun little surprise when I got home. Like I said, they were all labeled very precisely which works out really when a curious stranger ends up going through your photos. The photos are even labeled by which day of the week they were taken on. It appears as though in March of 1988 someone went to the Serengeti. I LOVE the photos. I don’t know what it is but they tickle my fancy. It was hard to choose which ones I wanted to share, below are some of my favorites.

african buffalo, safari, found film,

My one complaint is that there weren’t really many photos of people. I
have no idea who took the photos or if they were with anyone special. It
kind of makes me wish I had bought more of safari photos, just to see if I could see more of who went on this trip. There had to
be at least fifty packs! But that fact makes me reevaluate how I shoot. Looking back through photos of mine and Jeff’s adventure out West last year there are barely any photos of the two of us at all. I have a few photos of him but seriously, for spending a week in the car with him I don’t have nearly enough photos. Definitely going to make a bigger effort to shoot more people from here on out.

The rest of the home was just littered with photos. I overheard someone who worked for the company putting on the sale say that the person had recently been put in a nursing home so they were liquidating their things. There were multiple children still living but none wanted these things. It’s so sad to think that no one wanted the photos and that they’ve most likely already ended up in the trash. There were wedding photos, old family photos, and so much more. Seriously just boxes upon boxes.

I’m kind of regretting not buying more photos but alas I can’t save all the unwanted photos out there. I’m happy to be able to give at least a few of this person’s photos new life.

Author: Kaylah

Just a green haired gal from Cleveland, Ohio.

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  • I love this post! It's so strange but so amazing to look at someone elses photos, kind of sad to think they might never be seen by someone who knows the people who are in/took them. I always try to take photos of people, but Im not a photographer, so I just like photos as memories.

    Emma x
    Writing Essays With Wine

  • Wow, I would super giddy over this kind of discovery too! Love the photos and like you mentioned, I would also like to know who took the pictures or just more of people in the pictures. And when I go on trips I don't have as much pictures of us as a whole. Yes, to more people pics!

  • This would have to be one of the most incredible discoveries ever, having been to Africa myself, these would be so special to those people, and for me to see just the atmosphere these photos show/give Africa and a safari a few years in the past. It would have been great to grab them all!

  • How did I miss this… I'll admit, I'm so envious of this find. What wonderful photos… I really feel like they were a pretty good photographer too. I agree with what you said about photos of people. I love knowing peoples stories. It does break my heart when people don't want family things like this. So sad. I'm glad they have a nice home with you.

  • "Definitely going to make a bigger effort to shoot more people from here on out." That made me laugh out loud. These photos are awesome! I'm glad that someone wanted those photos and they didn't just get thrown out.