Annebella Pollen's book More Than a Snapshot celebrates the history of popular photography in Britain from an unusual angle – the humble photo wallet.
For over a century, at least until the advent of digital and mobile phone photography, it was necessary to drop off a roll of film at a local shop or chemist (or even post it to them) to access your photos. You might wait a week to see your photos and when they were returned to you they were housed by the film processors in illustrated envelopes or 'photo wallets'. Annebella Pollen would argue that these wallets indicated the type of subject matter then considered suitable for snapshots: bright-eyed children, laughing couples, adorable pets and perfect landscapes, and that they also reinforced prohibitions by what they omitted.
Drawing from the author’s personal collection of photo wallets from the 1900s to the 1990s, Annebella Pollen's book outlines the birth of a new mass leisure pastime mainly marketed towards women, the growth of camera ownership after the Second World War, and behind it all, the working conditions of the people processing the films. It commemorates a time when you never knew if you had captured a treasured memory or your finger in front of the lens.
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