Jon Crispin's Notebook

Willard Suitcases / Joseph A #3


It took a while, but I finally finished editing Joseph’s two trunks.  Peg and I worked on them on two different days, three weeks apart and the photos did not end up in a logical sequence.  It took me a while to organize them for the suitcases site.


Setting up and shooting cases containing lots of clothes presented challenges.  We always strove to make the arrangements look natural, but I in particular dreaded the days where all we had to work with was clothing.


Another shout out to Peggy Ross here.  The museum had individually conserved each item and assigned it a unique catalogue number.  In instances of larger collections like Joseph’s, the items were stored not in the cases themselves, but in archival museum boxes.  Peg was instrumental in helping with the setup by unwrapping each piece and making notes about the box from which the items came, then helping me lay them out.


I would then make a number of wide shots, and finally move in for the details.  Once the arrangement was in place, I rarely if ever moved the objects around.  I’m not sure why, but it was important to me to maintain the integrity of the original setup.  Once I finished shooting, Peg would rewrap each item in the original conservation material and return it back into the museum storage boxes.  In retrospect it is not surprising that it took  us over five years to shoot all the cases, and that it is taking me another two years to edit everything.  I am making great progress though.

I would also mention that the clothing photographs are now among my favorites.

Thanks for following.  If you want to see all of the photos from Joseph’s cases, click this link.  Don’t forget to click on the “view all” button.  The default setting only shows the first 25 images.


3 Responses

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  1. Doris said, on 19/07/2017 at 11:54 am


  2. Ani said, on 25/07/2017 at 1:50 am

    The sadness always comes through so painfully in photos. Yet do such a great job of capturing it in a respectful way, point out the bits of contrast, like the green piped trim on the western shirt.

    • joncrispin said, on 28/07/2017 at 12:03 pm

      Ani, thanks so much for your comment. I sometimes feel like I am working in a bit of a vacuum as I don’t get a ton of comments, so it means a lot to me to hear from folks who are affected by the photographs. / For me there is certainly an element of sadness, as well as a complex variety of other emotions, which I guess is why the works is compelling to such a wide variety of interests. I about to move into editing the last year of shooting (2015) and hope to have finished by the end of the year. Then I can really focus on publishers and museums. Cheers, and thanks again. Jon

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