Ernst Lalleman

235 large format 1950ies color negatives

In my possession is a collection of 235 large format color negatives. The images are portraits of common people, taken in a studio setting. We see children, couples, families, dogs and photos of single people. The photographer is, the then highly recommended, Foto Americain at the Wagenstraat in The Hague, The Netherlands.

On the border of the negatives the date is noted: April ´59, Dec ´59 etc.

First, when looking at these people´s faces we feel very close to them.The size of the negatives is 4x6 inch, a rare format, showing a very detailed and clear image. The photos are well lit and overall technically flawless.  

We can easily imagine being there when the photograph was taken. It seems as if the portrayed people could start speaking and interacting with us anytime.

Would people being portrayed today by a professional photographer have a similar attitude? In 2012 I tested this by taking portraits with a Cambo technical camera but the results were not very clear. I assume that nowadays, 5 years later, people´s perception of being portrayed has drastically changed since we have become very aware of own image due to social media and being photographed almost daily.

We don´t know who these beautiful people in the photos are and are they still alive?

A webpage is published with the whole collection so that these Dutch people may find a lost portrait of themselves or that they can find a forgotten picture of their loved ones.

Please leave a comment if you have a suggestion how to make this project a success.


Photo from the collection “wie zijn wij”

Photo from the collection “wie zijn wij”

Photo from the collection “wie zijn wij”

Using Format