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Christmas Wedding: 1954

Christmas Wedding: 1954

December 12, 1954. A quartet of poinsettia-brandishing bridesmaids share a moment of post-ceremony frivolity at my cousin's wedding reception, held at some ritzy country club on the San Francisco peninsula. I was eight at the time and still have some hazy memory of being in awe of this opulent venue, at the time the fanciest place I'd ever been in. More recently, I was taken aback to read in an article in The San Francisco Chronicle that the use of poinsettias in Christmas decor was now looked down upon by many as, if not merely old school, downright passé. Shows you how much I've been paying attention. My brother shot this 120 620 Kodacolor, taking advantage of the professional photographer's electronic flash by opening the shutter of my sister's Kodak Duaflex moments before the flash fired, thus explaining the candle streak at the right. View full size.

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My first Christmas

I was two and half months old when this was taken. I always get a kick out of seeing things from that year. I don't care who says that Poinsettias are passe, I think they are lovely, and these bridesmaid look lovely carrying them, too!

One year and twelve days later

My parents were married on Christmas Eve, 1955, a date which I am given to understand was dictated by my grandmother. I don't know whether poinsettias were part of the decor. It certainly made remembering their anniversary a piece of cake.

Old School

Back in the day, when it was okay for bridesmaids' dresses to be pretty.

My parents' wedding was just about the same time

My mother's comment on this photo:
> Been there done that--only with red dresses & white flowers AND 6 " of snow.


It is a marvelous photo and extremely "well shot," but I'd love to know what was so funny for that young lady. It's obviously close to the funniest thing she's ever heard. Thanks, Tterrace.

Poinsettias are a no-no? Passe?

I know why - they don't cost $5,000 and nowadays weddings are supposed to break the bank! I think they look very sharp with the white dresses!!! Great pic, terrace and Dave.

Poinsettias & Red Lipstick!

Poinsettias and Red Lipstick -- perfect! To think this photo is almost 60 years old and these pretty young ladies are now pushing their 80s. Things change, but Poinsettias and Red Lipstick are always in style!

120/620 film

Thanks to Dutch and OTY for educating me about the 120/620 film situation. Since they're the same film on different spindles, once they're out of the camera there's no telling them apart. All I have are the negatives, and I never explored the Duaflex specs sufficiently. I'm sure what my brother was using was the 620 version. I've amended my caption.

Film by Kodak - the king

tterrace said his brother shot this on 120 film. Unless I'm mistaken, that means his brother took a roll of 120 film and hand rolled it onto the 620 spool in the Duaflex. And he had to do it by feel in complete darkness because exposing the film to the slightest light would have ruined it. Great twin lens reflex camera. I think mine was a Duaflex II I used in the late 50s or early 60s. It's still around the house somewhere. So many changes in photography since WWII.


Without the poinsettias, this wouldn't have been much of a picture.

Kodak Duaflex

I received that camera as a gift in 1953 and found it to be a user-friendly, easy to operate, convenient, inexpensive and exemplary camera for the common photographer who just wanted to snap photos without worrying about light meters, exposure times, etc. It used readily available 620 b & w film and every picture I took with it came out surprisingly sharp and detailed. Had a large viewfinder (about 2" x 2") and flash attachment for indoors and I still have all of it, including the two boxes and directions for both pieces. I really liked the results I got with it and was sorry to see it become obsolete. My cousin who gave it to me is almost 90 and is very pleased to see I still treasure it.

I like the color.

That is a lovely photo. And good thinking on your brother's part to piggyback on the flash.

What a nice touch!

Their poinsettias are beautiful, although the lightning bolt on the right side is a bit creepy.

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