snaps on the street

A visit to Sydney c 1938

This street photograph reflects another time when dressing up for a visit to the big smoke was essential. My best guess as to the year this family photo was taken is 1938.  If that’s right, the child (turning 80 in a few weeks time) is 5 years old.  She may have been younger than that, especially if the ticket inspector was working on their train as they travelled from country New South Wales to Sydney.

In April 1941, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on a licensing plan for photographers on city streets.

The City Council will shortly consider proposals for the licensing of street photographers and also a request from the Professional Photographers’ Association of New South Wales that the taking of photographs in Sydney streets be prohibited.  The Town Clerk, Mr Hendy has prepared for the City Council a memorandum setting out the case for each of the opposing interests without making any recommendation to the council.

Mr. Hendy states that street photography first came officially under the notice of the City Council in 1928, and since then has progressed to such an extent that it can now be regarded as unauthorised street trading. In fairness to the operators, he says that little street littering now takes place. This was formerly the main objection, as cards handed to pedestrians were generally flung on to the streets.

Since 1928 there have been 2,272 prosecutions of street photographers for breaches of the City Council regulations. Mr. Hendy says that fines have failed to stop street photography, despite the fact that some offenders have been put in gaol for not paying penalties. [……]

Read more here: Sydney Morning Herald (15 April 1941)

Girl's unusual job - street photographer  In 1945, Miss Yvonne Terry was still able to work as a street photographer at Circular Quay.  The West Australian – 4 December 1945.

The photographer who snapped my family members on the street was obviously of good character as the picture ended up in the possession of the subjects.  Not so for another as quipped in Column 8 on 2 October 1950.

Column 8 1950 street photographer


2 Comments on “snaps on the street”

  1. pellethepoet says:

    Great post Lynn. You’ve made me wonder whether this photo of my grandfather’s cousin
    Portrait of Cecil O'Donnell (1940s)
    might have been taken by a street photographer? …


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