I first learned about autochromes a few years ago when I came across a photo on Flickr and thought someone had photoshopped colors on to an antique portrait from the early 1900s. How thrilled was I to find that these colorized photos were originals! Fast forward to today, with the power of Pinterest, I am able to share with you some of my absolute favorite autochrome photos.

But first, WHAT is autochrome? In short, it is an early type of photography used by the Lumière brothers (Auguste and Louis) in France (1903 was when it was patented by them, then first marketed publicly in 1907).

***How wonderful is it by the way that their surname translate to “light” If there ever was a surname more befitting of ones occupation in life…

12 Beautiful Autochrome Moments

12 Beautiful Autochrome Moments

If you are interested in learning more about Autochrome or seeing more delightful colored antique photos… here are some links

100 Years of Autochrome (PDF file) | http://theimageworks.com/pdf/100years.pdf

What is Autochrome (more technical/science-y) | http://sechtl-vosecek.ucw.cz/en/expozice10/tabule-autochrom.html

Autochrome (Wiki French version) | http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autochrome

The Lumière Brothers | http://www.earlycinema.com/pioneers/lumiere_bio.html

12 Beautiful Autochrome Moments

12 Beautiful Autochrome Moments

This autochrome is perhaps one of my favorites ever taken by John Cimon Warburg – c. 1909. There is something so serene, magical, calming, and just all things wonderful about this photo. Whenever I see a photo and think “I wish that was a photo of ME” I know that it really speaks to me because I want to embody everything I adore about that specific moment captured in time.

12 Beautiful Autochrome Moments

12 Beautiful Autochrome Moments

12 Beautiful Autochrome Moments

This image of these three women (picking fruit I am assuming) in France makes me long for the beautiful late summer afternoons in Sauvie Island. I adore this so much.

Image credits (from top to bottom)

one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten | eleven | twelve

12 Beautiful Autochrome Moments

12 Beautiful Autochrome Moments

 

These two autochrome photos are of the same lovely woman, Bibi Lartigue in Rouzat c. 1921. I really love her ensemble and find it so refreshingly modern. I would wear this, exactly as is today.

12 Beautiful Autochrome Moments

Another autochrome that I find to be quite modern. You would almost think this is a photo from the 1970s of a bohemian flower child with her tousled curls, flowers in her hair, the floral print of her dress and that v-neckline! This autochrome photo however dates to 1910 and was taken by Paul Bergon “Woman Posing in a Garden”

12 Beautiful Autochrome Moments

 

12 Beautiful Autochrome Moments

 

This last one photography by Antonin Personnaz looks just like a painting by Monet. I am lost amongst the field of flowers, that sky, those clouds. Was it raining that day or was the lady simply shielding herself from the harsh rays of sunshine? What words were spoken the remainder of the day? Ahhh…. aren’t autochromes just wonderful?

 

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I’ll be quite honest, I’ve been stressed lately. And it’s OK. I actually don’t stress out about things that often, but recently, even for me, I’m feeling a lot on my plate.

So, naturally, I retreat into pretty beautiful things. It relaxes me. It calms me down. It allows me to make sense of chaos I can’t quite grapple right now.

A desire to minimize, clean, and organize is bubbling up within me. And Spring still seems so far away but it will be here very soon (but not soon enough!)

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Ladies, Valentine’s Day will soon be upon us if mainstream retail America have not knocked you over the head with it yet. Instead of red, pink, and white…why not try French blue, ecru, and antique ivory for Valentine’s Day evening wear?

Recently I photographed several antique and vintage lingerie and boudoir evening pieces. I’ll be adding these into the shop this week so you’ll have it in plenty of time before Valentine’s Day!

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