When I started this blog four years ago, I decided to post only photos taken before 1940. It was an arbitrary line to draw, but I wanted to draw one somewhere, and a century seemed like a good place to do it (1839-1939). For one thing, sitters in photos taken after 1940 are more likely to be alive, which raises issues of privacy.
Judging by the hairstyles of the women above, this studio portrait was probably taken in the 1940s. I decided to make an exception of it because it’s such a wonderful image of three friends. Their fashions, facial expressions and body language all hint at their personalities. Could they still be alive today? If the photo was taken in 1946 (a guess), and they were twenty years old at the time, then they would have been born in 1926 and would be about 95 today. It’s certainly possible.
In the lower left corner of the image is an inscription:
To Randy, Love Dolores
On the back, Dolores also wrote her name and address. I can’t quite make out her surname:
Miss Dolores Greyanio [?]
168 Kubi, San Andres
Sub.Dv. Manila P.I.
The portrait was made at Elma Studio, which I haven’t found any record of:
I imagine these young women coming to Manila to work or study, and maybe living in a dorm, where they met and became friends. Who was Randy? The photo was for sale in Pennsylvania, so he may have been an American. All we might infer is that he valued the photo enough to keep it, possibly for the rest of his life.