photograph showcase

Photograph Showcase: Duval Family Around the Campfire

DUVAL family, printed 28 May 1940, Bellingham, WA
l-r:  Deane Alice Duval, Hope Estelle Maffit, Francis Henry Duval, Uncle Frank.  Printed 28 May 1940 in Bellingham, Washington.


What a great shot!!


Kudos to Grandma & Grandpa Duval for this wonderfully staged and timed photo.  I have a handful of these.  Photos where I know a timer and tripod were used to capture a moment in the life of this family of four.  And while they are technically “staged”, the staging was just for the photo.  The outdoor activities were definitely real.  The Duval family spent a lot of time outside!

I love that my Grandma, on the far left, clearly wasn’t going to follow directions and looked at the camera.  She even has a bit of defiance in those fiery eyes of hers.  She was always chock full of spunk!  I miss her.

I know if Grandma saw this photo, she would call it a “weenie roast”.  I almost used that in my title, but I just couldn’t bring myself to use that phrase.  😉


The photo is not dated, but the date of printing is found on the back as seen here:

DUVAL family, printed 28 May 1940, Bellingham, WA - photo back

On 28 May 1940, my Grandma was one day shy of a month away from her 8th birthday.  Since I have a seven-year-old right now, I can say with slightly more authority than normal that I think the printing date seems like a pretty good approximate date to me.




Happy Thursday!!  Have you scanned a precious photo lately?  If you have, I hope you also shared it widely.  xoxo



12 thoughts on “Photograph Showcase: Duval Family Around the Campfire”

    1. Me too!! All of that fire inside her just couldn’t help but come out sometimes. 😉

        1. I should not be laughing at that response, but I am. I totally don’t know how to even begin to describe what kind of Grandma she was. But the only that really matters is that she is my Grandma and I love her. The whole host of surprising things about her just make her all kinds of interesting. 😉

    1. Haha! Right?! I can just hear how she would have said it too, the intonation and absolutely no regard for what anyone might think of that phrase. She was feisty!

  1. I guess they could have been camping in Washington in May of 1940, but they would have been mighty cold had they been in Utah! I’d allow time for sending the film for developing & give it an early May date. Sweet photo.

    1. Thank you, Nancy! I don’t know if they were actually camping. They just spent lots of time outside. Great-grandpa grew up in Alaska and British Columbia so the cold didn’t phase him at all.

  2. I would guess during this time period staging a photo was the best way to save film. I remember carefully choosing shots to get the most out of a roll of film. From today’s standpoint, it’s hard to believe they had to send in the film and wait for it to come back from the developer before they could view the results in the actual photos.

    1. I think you are probably spot on. But I also think that they did it to learn more about their craft. Grandpa Duval would write detailed notes about the settings he used for specific photos and sometimes, those notes were written on the photo backs. I love finding them. He was very methodical and brilliant.

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