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The Photo Man

Aug 2, 2013

by Jeremiah Glazer

Mark Kologi — also known as “The Photo Man — has sold over 3 million photographs at the Melrose Trading Post…but he didn’t take a single one of them.

Instead, Kologi collects photographs — smiling babies, family portraits, dimly lit birthday parties, and other snippets of people’s lives — and sells them to visitors of the long-running flea market. There’s a rare beauty to this kind of commerce, and browsing through Kologi’s vast collection of photos for sale (“the tide of humanity,” as he calls it) can arouse curiosity, inspiration, and even wonder in the casual shopper. One can only wonder at the story behind each image, but that’s part of the appeal.

3 Featured Comments

  • GracefullyGirly

    Kimberlee from GracefullyGirly said 6 years ago Featured

    How wonderful that the Photo Man is saving these photos from the trash, and allowing others to share in the images. It really IS amazing to look into the eyes of someone who lived 100 years ago. I love old photos too. They are a literally snapshot in time that can show so much more than words could ever say about a time or place or person.

  • ShoppeDeziLu

    Desiree from ShoppeDeziLu said 6 years ago Featured

    I've always been drawn to old photos. Similar to a good book or movie, they transport me to another place and time. I love the facial expressions and pure emotion captured in the images. I want to know why they are sad, what made them so joyous, where they were, etc. What Mark is doing is just beautiful, and look how many people he touches through his work. I am thankful the video creators took time to give us such a wonderful tribute to this man.

  • Cheshu

    Cheryl Levi from Cheshujewelry said 6 years ago Featured

    I couldn't help tearing up while watching this video. I truly appreciate the perspective Mark has on each and every photograph he comes across, and how he is preserving history in a way by allowing a part of one's past become alive again through someone else's eyes. Each photograph possesses its own meaning and evokes a unique emotion in each individual. It was inspirational to see how much passion, respect, and appreciation Mark has for these pieces of history. Thank you for this...

155 comments

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 6 years ago

    This is absolutely incredible! I think what Mark is doing is amazing! I would love to visit his booth and be among the crowd of people who are trying to figure out the stories behind these lost memories. It's genius!

  • valeriephoto

    Valerie from valeriestitchery said 6 years ago

    I love that Mark is giving new life to these forgotten memories. It's really nice that they get to live on, to be enjoyed by those who weren't even present when the photos were taken. I too love found photos. I imagine entire life stories about the people in them.

  • jenniferannhunt

    Jennifer Hunt from JenniferAnnHunt said 6 years ago

    Wow, congrats to the photo man! I had no idea people would buy that many photos when they don't even know anyone in them. Cool idea for sure.

  • johntasto

    John Tasto from JohnsCustomPens said 6 years ago

    That's really cool! Repurposing someone's memory giving it a second life as art!

  • StitchBomb

    Andrea from StitchBomb said 6 years ago

    Fantastic! I remember watching a doco a few years ago called "Other People's Pictures" that followed a few people who spent hours and days and years searching for the particular photos they wanted to collect. It really moved me, as does this film, even though I have never looked through old photos myself. I admire Mark for his tenacity and compassion.

  • erinyznaga

    Grushenka Svyetlov from TipsyTigerVintage said 6 years ago

    I think he may be as depressed as I am.

  • lovelygifts

    Linda from lovelygifts said 6 years ago

    That is awesome!

  • admspeicher

    Adam Speicher from SpeicherBowTieCo said 6 years ago

    Facinating!

  • pinkboxstudio

    Pinkbox Studio from pinkboxstudio said 6 years ago

    FAN.TASTIC. super love this!!

  • flightsongstudio

    Holly from HollyGraefFineArt said 6 years ago

    What a moving and poignant portrait of a man who definitely found his niche and purpose. I think it's beautiful that these photographs...whoever they once belonged to...are still loved and appreciated. Thank you for sharing this.

  • territhrall

    Teresa from BroadRiverExchange said 6 years ago

    It's is utterly amazing to me, the creative mind of some people. We need to listen to inspiration when we hear it! Thanks for yours Mark!

  • BambuEarth

    Amber from BambuEarth said 6 years ago

    Wow, he's really passionate about what he does. I love how these photos get a second life, and I wonder if anyone has ever come across themselves or their family member while strolling the photo man's booth... ♥♥♥♥

  • hemingwayfun

    Kristan Hemingway from Hemingwayfun said 6 years ago

    This made my day. :)

  • KMalinka

    Natalia from KMalinkaVintage said 6 years ago

    Interesting video!

  • GracefullyGirly

    Kimberlee from GracefullyGirly said 6 years ago Featured

    How wonderful that the Photo Man is saving these photos from the trash, and allowing others to share in the images. It really IS amazing to look into the eyes of someone who lived 100 years ago. I love old photos too. They are a literally snapshot in time that can show so much more than words could ever say about a time or place or person.

  • FieldTripVintage

    Field Trip Vintage from FieldTripVintage said 6 years ago

    Thank you for sharing, I'm a professional photographer and have been collecting vintage photos for the past 10 years, I actually used to shop with this dealer when I lived in Los Angeles!

  • MustLuvVintage

    Cassie from FoundYesterdaygoods said 6 years ago

    Fantastic! Thank you for sharing this. I too love old photos...we have so many. When we buy them people are usually pretty shocked..they ask "what do you want with those?" Something about them just catches my heart...looking at a brief glimpse of someones past, a moment that was special to them. I'm so glad that there is someone out there preserving those moments and who truly cherishes them for what they are not just their monetary value! Again...thanks for sharing this!

  • debvasbinder

    Deb Vasbinder from BabyCuteBaby said 6 years ago

    This is a great article - Thank you for sharing

  • PaperAltar

    PaperAltar from PaperAltar said 6 years ago

    Mark - Thank you for sharing. Jeremiah - What an awesome film. As a collage artist - I dig through photos as a social archeologist & swim in our collective sea of imagery. At times it is ALL of those emotions you took us through in this window into your world & lovely short film . I definitely got a lump in my throat when you spoke of the re-ignition of someones creativity ... just beautiful !!

  • Motleycouture

    Motleycouture from Motleycouture said 6 years ago

    A picture says a thousand words! Great feature!

  • LookBackVintage

    LookBackVintage from LookBackVintage said 6 years ago

    What an interesting story. I always feel a little sad when I come across old photo albums or pictures that I know once belonged to someone and now are just lost memories The family is long gone and the photos are the only thing left and no longer have any meaning to anyone. Great little film that captures that feeling I think.

  • maryneil2

    MaryLiz from MayPoleDays said 6 years ago

    Historic. Preservation. Archival. Thank you, Photo Man Mark!!

  • shabbyvintagemom

    Kristen from ShabbyVintageMom said 6 years ago

    Seriously enjoyed watching that! I LOVE old photos too :)

  • sakao

    Erica xo from SakaoCo said 6 years ago

    What a precious video, I'm amazed ! Thanks so much for sharing! xo

  • pumpkiandmo

    Kathi from PumpkiAndMo said 6 years ago

    He's simply a beautiful person with such profound thoughts and personality! The world needs more people like him!

  • fabioladacosta

    Fabi C from LovGeo said 6 years ago

    Amazing soul! Love it.......Thanks for sharing.

  • MarieAnnette

    Marie from MarieAnnette said 6 years ago

    Wow! Sad, poignant, exhilarating and beautiful. I should give him my photos, I don't have kids and no one else would want them. (that sounds more depressing than it is)

  • NicittoDesign

    Nicholas Aflitto from NicittoDesign said 6 years ago

    Very interesting post!

  • NangijalaJewelry

    NangijalaJewelry from NangijalaJewelry said 6 years ago

    What a sensitive and fascinating man! Thank you for sharing this :-)

  • soleilcrochet

    Val from soleilcrochet said 6 years ago

    A heart-warming story! It's so encouraging to hear someone like Mark talking about community and sharing, and not just about "sales'!

  • coalchild

    coalchild from coalchild said 6 years ago

    kinda happy, kinda sad ! But apparently very profitable! Best of luck Photo Man!

  • barkingdogpress

    barkingdogpress from barkingdogpress said 6 years ago

    beautiful, thank you photo man.

  • annacote

    Anna Cote from ModernPrintedMatter said 6 years ago

    LOVE this. I could spend hours looking through random old photos. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • ShoeClipsOnly

    kathy johnson from ShoeClipsOnly said 6 years ago

    I too love old photos, there's something about the wonderment of how they lived their lives, who were they, what happened to them, very interesting.

  • patspottery

    Pat Parker from PatsPottery said 6 years ago

    That is the strangest thing I ever saw. My husband and I just finished our 21st photo album, and I sure hope our photos don't get put in a bin someday. I like to think they will be kept by family, but who can say.

  • maggiesraggedyinn

    Mary Robertson from MaggiesInn said 6 years ago

    This story certainly made me understand my connection to old photographs of women. I wish I could sit down and talk to him....

  • Pixie2428

    Doris C. from SewBeautifulbyDC said 6 years ago

    The video was very interesting to watch. It is wonderful that the photos can be enjoyed by others. Every photos tells a story.

  • welfarebread

    Logan Fessler from LoganFessler said 6 years ago

    Beautifully shot and such a great story. Just got some found photos myself that are needing to be framed.

  • Blinkett

    Blinkett said 6 years ago

    How touching. Almost melancholy. Love it.

  • sweetpeastudios

    Jenn from sweetpeastudios said 6 years ago

    How absolutely wonderful! I'm so glad there are people like The Photo Man in the world. There's just something so magical about found photos. You know nothing about the people in the images, and you're free to give them their own stories. I've been collecting vintage photos for years and am now using them as a jewelry medium - I love knowing that I'm helping the people in those pictures live on in some way, even if it's only in my imagined story for them!

  • encantodesign

    Nayda Jacobo from EncantoDesign said 6 years ago

    Very nice story. Thank you for sharing.

  • seasidecloth

    seasidecloth from seasidecloth said 6 years ago

    Melancholy man - he seems at once happy that he has achieved a livelihood through sharing these photos, and then weeps when he talks about it. I found it to be quite introspective. Thanks for sharing...

  • PurpleVanity

    Caitlin from PurpleVanity said 6 years ago

    This is great. I just started collecting old photographs, purchasing most on etsy. I love to imagine and make up stories about the subjects. They are little pieces of history with stories to tell and be enjoyed.

  • LennyMud

    Lenny Mud from LennyMud said 6 years ago

    What a beautiful film. I wish I could give him a hug.

  • CuffLoves

    Melissa M. from CuffLoves said 6 years ago

    Love this film!

  • TallTimberAntiques

    Katie from TallTimberAntiques said 6 years ago

    Interesting slice of life. I can relate to Mark a bit as I too have a few dozen ( not thousands ! ) old photos from estates I have purchased, and just couldn't bear to throw them away, felt like I have a responsibility to them after buying their former possessions.

  • piccadillypastimes

    Ginger and Tim from PiccadillyPastimes said 6 years ago

    Although I found the overall tone of the video depressing, it was also very interesting. I love photos - love looking through them. I think it is wonderful that he is finding a use for the old pictures instead of them ending up in the trash.

  • artdecadence

    Chrisy McConnell from ARTDECADENCE said 6 years ago

    Aahh photo man...I love you! You're seeing the reality of the human existence...the joy...the sorrow...thank you for opening your heart to us.

  • iamglad2b

    Linda Keeler said 6 years ago

    A wonderful story, Thank you, Jeremiah.

  • BarnshopAntiques

    Carol Bender from BarnshopAntiques said 6 years ago

    A wonderful perspective, very nice.

  • teostationery

    Deedee Ishii from teostationery said 6 years ago

    LOVE IT.

  • HarmonySchoolhouse

    Kathleen McKinnon from HarmonySchoolhouse said 6 years ago

    Wow! And I have so many miscellaneous photos I've collected over the years. The Photo Man just gave me a different understanding of the whole process. I just hate to see the lives of plain people go unappreciated because no one know who and what they are, or how they might feel about a certain something. Great video clip...Thank you!

  • anordicrose

    virginie lykins from anordicrose said 6 years ago

    I think I understand him in a sense, it is the celebration of humanity. We are, then we become---- we were !.... but we have been ! And it is nice to think that we will not be completely forgotten, that someone else, at another time, another place will notice us, and think about us.... even if by then we are nothing more than a nameless face on a photograph. To be judged for who our image reflects, without the prejudice of a name, or any information, for someone to pick up a photo and say ' What a weather worn face', or ' What a lovely smile'. Probably will sum us up more accurately, than our name or position in life ever will.....

  • cottonbirddesigns

    Angela Cotton from CottonBirdDesigns said 6 years ago

    Wonderful story, film thank you!

  • mattyhandmadecrafts

    Matejka Max from NattyMatty said 6 years ago

    Clever!

  • FabienneAndSoho

    Fabienne from likeBonjourBaby said 6 years ago

    mark is doing something wonderful, funny and connective. when he talks about ppl being overwhelmed now and then by old memories and maybe sorrow for not having families and there they are on the pics right in front of them, i think he may be talking a little about himself too.. so he goes out and establishes a connection with folk surrounding him. and maybe new ties.

  • GeorgieGirlLLC

    D George from GeorgieGirlLLC said 6 years ago

    Love this video, you could see the real him. Just watching made me tear up! He is in my collection of videos worth watching on Pinterest!

  • handmadebycecilia

    Cecilia Escobar from HandmadebyCecilia said 6 years ago

    You got to be patience to go through all this amazing collection. I love this story!

  • hmmills

    Helen Mills from 1820BagCo said 6 years ago

    Wow, it's great to see someone w/ such a passion. Definitely something different In our photo digital age...

  • AnnaKiper

    Anna from ParisDecorPrints said 6 years ago

    Wonderful! Nicely done film.

  • MissingHeirloom

    Elizabeth Pickett from MissingHeirloom said 6 years ago

    I always call the photographic orphans I have for sale in my shop 'Missing Ancestors'. Like Mark - I can't throw them away...

  • anakiz123

    ScarfMood Mood from ScarfMood said 6 years ago

    I love old photos too. When I look at one of them, I feel very different things ..sometimes it makes me cry .. I fully agree with Virginie Lykins about these photos.

  • ikabags

    IKA PARIS from ikabags said 6 years ago

    This is a great article , Thank you for sharing !

  • BlueMoonLights

    Alexandra Simons from BlueMoonLights said 6 years ago

    Beautiful film. Thank you for sharing your perspective and sharing all those fleeting moments!

  • chocolatesuperhero

    Alex Benjamin from QueensPopPhoto said 6 years ago

    One of the best videos I've even seen. Won't quickly forget this. Congratulations to the makers!

  • Rt9NJvintageFun

    candy donnelly from Rt9NJvintageFun said 6 years ago

    Wonderful video, and what a compelling story........ We are all connected....... what a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Keep up the great work Photo Man!

  • simpleeluxx

    Ivonne from heatherhazelcouture said 6 years ago

    Love this story ! So thought provoking : )

  • mvmayophotography

    Mary Mayo from MVMayoPhotography said 6 years ago

    I can NOT throw away photographs. To me it's like throwing away that person. We used to own warehouses and when people abandoned them and there were pictures left behind, I took the boxes home with me and searched until I found their owners. Being successful most of the time!

  • TheCuriousNickel

    Lindsey Nichols from TheCuriousNickel said 6 years ago

    What an amazing story!! And beautiful film!

  • MonniebeanFolkart

    Debra Smith from MonniebeanFolkart said 6 years ago

    Beautiful-the man and the film. Thank you.

  • recycledwares

    Nerrissa W from RecycledWares said 6 years ago

    I didn't know that there were so many people out there that liked vintage photos as much as I did. I could spend hours and days rummaging through those tubs - wish I lived closer!

  • ShoppeDeziLu

    Desiree from ShoppeDeziLu said 6 years ago Featured

    I've always been drawn to old photos. Similar to a good book or movie, they transport me to another place and time. I love the facial expressions and pure emotion captured in the images. I want to know why they are sad, what made them so joyous, where they were, etc. What Mark is doing is just beautiful, and look how many people he touches through his work. I am thankful the video creators took time to give us such a wonderful tribute to this man.

  • MissingTagVintage

    Caroline from MissingTagVintage said 6 years ago

    "I just came here to get some vintage sandals!" LOL I laughed and got teary eyed with him. What a visual, emotional, bittersweet and nostalgic experience/moments all at the same time. I would really love to visit that flea market. :)

  • debcarvalho

    Debra from VintageCharmPlace said 6 years ago

    Wonderful and insightful film. Thank you!

  • TreadleLady

    Donna Kohler from TreadleLady said 6 years ago

    That touched my heart! So many of us wish we had photos of long lost relatives that we will never see again. I know of photos of my grandparents that are lost forever because they were sold to strangers for the frames, it is sad that all I have is the faint memories. I would look through Photo Man's bins looking for a glimpse of the past. Thank you.

  • couturecafe

    Couture Cafe' from couturecafe said 6 years ago

    One of the neatest stories!! Loved watching the video and I feel the same about old photos. I was at a yard sale one day and found a picture of a family that I knew decades ago and I just couldn't leave it there! I had to buy it. Bring it home you know? It hurt me to see it there in the pile of "junk" that I'm sure would be thrown out it not sold. I get it.

  • 2LittleGypsies

    Dianne from BloomingVioletStudio said 6 years ago

    Remember that behind each photo there was a REAL PERSON taking the picture. It meant something to them to capture that moment. I love old photos, and even if I don't know what the photographer was trying to convey, or who the subject was, somehow it comes across in spirit. Lovely film. Thank you for making this film about The Photo Man. It's really special...

  • vinylclockwork

    Scott from vinylclockwork said 6 years ago

    Pretty cool story

  • cosmiksouls

    joan kelly from cosmiksouls said 6 years ago

    Awesome concept !!!

  • heartworksbylori

    Lori from DearestMine said 6 years ago

    That was so beautifully moving! LOVED every second of it!!! I also have a special love for photos and how they connect us all together because they're moments...captured in time and shared throughout the ages.

  • DivaInTheDell

    DivaInTheDell from DivaInTheDell said 6 years ago

    Touching! Thank you for taking time to share.

  • JessieArch

    Jessie Archambault from 1509Partridgeberry said 6 years ago

    I love this.

  • OliveLongstocking

    Gumtree Gallery from GumTreeGallery said 6 years ago

    fantastic x

  • riorita

    Irith Mashiah from rioritajewelry said 6 years ago

    People need to watch other people in their happy moments. The wedding or birthday photographs convey people in some of their happiest moments, this is a most original and innovative idea! Way to go!

  • riorita

    Irith Mashiah from rioritajewelry said 6 years ago

    What Jeremiah does is share the happy moments in people's lives. People love to share this.. In a way this is sharing the love. Great innovative idea!

  • peppybaby

    peppybaby from PeppyBaby said 6 years ago

    This is a great article, love so much!

  • Agasart

    Aga from AgasJourney said 6 years ago

    Great and inspiring story.

  • hotrodjohnnydesigns

    Mark Adair from HotRodJohnnyDesigns said 6 years ago

    A few months ago I found a box of love letters from the Viet Nam era. They are all written to the same gal. I have let the box sit on my kitchen table and cleaned around many times. My feelings are the same as his when I look at the box. He said it best " the waves of humanity". Thank You for helping me understand what I have.

  • IceAgeArts

    Kamilla from IceAgeArts said 6 years ago

    Very very cool :)

  • CheriesArtsnCrafts

    Cherie from CheriesArtsnCrafts said 6 years ago

    Bless you !!!

  • Celticcatphotos
  • ShopRedLeaf

    Chris from RedLeafBathandBody said 6 years ago

    The photo guy has a lot of respect for the images.

  • TheQueenOfTheNight

    Katarzyna Król from theKROL said 6 years ago

    Incredible, how much work this man has done - it reqiures literally tons of patience and kilos of passion!

  • Cheshu

    Cheryl Levi from Cheshujewelry said 6 years ago

    I couldn't help but tear up while watching this video. I truly appreciate the perspective Mark has on the meaning and nostalgia of old and/ or new photographs. What an in-depth view into the meaning behind each photograph; and the understanding into how a story of some sort can come from each and every photo he comes across. He preserves history in a way by allowing these photos to live on; whether in someone else's home or through a brief glance while someone is browsing through his bins of photos. Thank you for this...

  • TheresasGourmet

    Theresa Ryales from TheresasGourmet said 6 years ago

    Absolutely Amazing... Your heart is what this world needs more of. I was touched just watching this video and can truly relate to your passion for these amazing memories of others lives. Thank you for sharing this peace of your life!

  • Cheshu

    Cheryl Levi from Cheshujewelry said 6 years ago Featured

    I couldn't help tearing up while watching this video. I truly appreciate the perspective Mark has on each and every photograph he comes across, and how he is preserving history in a way by allowing a part of one's past become alive again through someone else's eyes. Each photograph possesses its own meaning and evokes a unique emotion in each individual. It was inspirational to see how much passion, respect, and appreciation Mark has for these pieces of history. Thank you for this...

  • maureengc27

    MG Christensen from BarstowTeaBaskets said 6 years ago

    The "Photo Man" treats his found photos with such respect. There is much more dignity in this method of keeping them, preserving them, than those methods that use them for the purpose of a greeting card that ridicules in some attempt to make someone laugh. I've always been bothered by that. This man, however, sees the value of each life in his photos.

  • SPMinistry

    Pam Allgood from GodsWordandWorld said 6 years ago

    We have a huge flea market called First Monday Trade Days in Canton, Texas. It usually takes at least two or three days to even come close to making the rounds. Often I've noticed many photos mixed in with the other "treasures" left behind from estate sales and the like. It makes me sad to know that there is no one left alive from the family who would claim these precious memories. It is good to hear that someone has found a way to find "new eyes" to appreciate them again. Thank you, Mark and thank you Jeremiah for sharing Mark's story.

  • obmarg123

    Margaret Perry from MartysFrontDoor said 6 years ago

    What a great item to collect. Finding these at junk stores you often wonder why families let them get away. Great Job !

  • sincerelyearth

    Jacqueline Roberge from JRobergeJewelry said 6 years ago

    That was truly fascinating!!!

  • BigPhilsEmporium

    Philip Lisle from BigPhilsEmporium said 6 years ago

    I appreciate the video and his vision. I too sell alot of paper and photos and I look at the faces and living conditions and wonder could I have made it back then. I am shocked though that that is his niche only. I think I have missed out on alot of sales. You go Photo Man!

  • pamela1061

    pamela1061 said 6 years ago

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. Thank you Mark for your amazing insights and caring. What a blessing that people's photo lives have passed through your hands that help remind us to not lose that sense of community and connection even with people who we have never met.

  • casadeboneca

    casa deboneca from casadeboneca said 6 years ago

    insightful l and interesting. thank you :)

  • nancyaharper

    Nancy from SkyHouseVintage said 6 years ago

    You are a kind and sensitive person. Thank you for reminding us of the human continuity we all share in the first moment we view a snapshot. Perhaps you could take a photo of people's reactions as they rummage through your photos and ask them if they'd like to buy it. Maybe not, might be a bit Dorian Gray for some. Please keep up your wonderful work! You are appreciated.

  • christineshmisteen

    CHRISTINE SHMISTEEN from TheArtOfFinerThings said 6 years ago

    This is wonderful-- I always find it a little sad when there are tables/boxes full of old photos at the antique stores that they practically can't give away.

  • 0arthouse0

    0arthouse0 from 0arthouse0 said 6 years ago

    Years ago, i rented a teeny bachelor apartment. So teeny in fact, i didn't even have a private bathroom (it was at the end of the hall, and i shared it with my male neighbor). But it did have a mantle. No real working fireplace, just a mantle. It was a strange apartment. But it was my first apartment, so it was special to me. (It was still a strange apartment though, lol). The design. The decor. Everything about it was strange. But i was fascinated by that mantle. It was crooked and i could tell from the chip marks that it had been painted over at least a half dozen times. It didn't lay flush with the wall either. There was a small space where it wasn't even attached. I lived there for one whole year. The day i moved out, i was packing and dropped a small pushpin. It bounced onto the mantle and fell into the crack between it and the wall. I grabbed a flashlight so i could find and pull it out. I didn't find the pin. Instead, i found an old Christmas card covered in cobwebs. Inside the old dusty card were two 4x6 photographs. One of them of a young well-groomed woman sitting on a 70's sofa holding the receiver of a rotary-dial phone. The other was of the same woman standing outside with another lady wearing very large round-framed eyeglasses. They were very well dressed, one in purple velour. I'm not sure why, but i immediately felt a wave of intense emotion. I was bonding! I found myself asking the questions 'who are they?', 'where are they?', 'do they know these were hiding here?', 'are they missing them?', 'are they still alive?', 'how do i give them back?', 'why do i feel so strongly about these photos?', 'do i keep them...or should i slide them back in?', 'do i tell someone about them?'... It's been 16 years and i've kept this secret. The photos are still in my possession. A part of me feels like they are now a part of my history, i don't want to let them go. I can't imagine being Mark the Photo Man. I would have a difficult time abandoning millions of stories! Touching film. Wonderful story. He seems like someone i'd love to sit down and chat with. :) I love that he does this for a living. Such passion.

  • catherineziel

    Catherine Ziel from StraightBurl said 6 years ago

    Way Cool.

  • NaturalVintage

    Amy from NaturalVintage said 6 years ago

    Very seldom do I meander away from working in my shop to take a look at the blog- sooo glad I did tonight. What a beautiful film about a beautiful man! You both touched me deeply. So odd, this strongly felt connection that can be brought up in such a short amount of time by simply viewing and listening to something created by total strangers! This is what the human experience is all about. Thank you both for touching me tonight. I needed you both, exactly when you showed up! =)

  • favormaking

    Dickson Lee from Favormaking said 6 years ago

    Very fascinating!

  • richdon1

    Rich and Dona from TheCottageMouse said 6 years ago

    I love a glimpse into the past. Old photo's are a big interest of mine. Old movies as well. Where else can new generations learn to appreciate the past besides their own memories.

  • ThreeBarDGifts

    Monica from ThreeBarDGifts said 6 years ago

    Touching story! "they're coming from their beginning and heading to their end" - we all have this in common. When I look at pictures of my family that were taken 100 or more years ago, I can't help but think that even though I may have never known them, they're the reason I'm here today. Thanks for sharing this story!

  • frighten

    mari from frighten said 6 years ago

    This is cool. As someone who uses antique and vintage photos in my work, I related to much of what he said. I think about the families of the people in the photos I use, and think they belong with them, but glad they are with me and not in the trash.

  • lonnilabello

    Lonni La Bello from LaBelloPhotography said 6 years ago

    Wow! As a lover of old photos myself, I too find a strange connection with them. I sell some of the best ones I have found in my Etsy shop. I love it when people connect with them as much as I do.

  • InMaterial

    Peggy McCallum from InMaterial said 6 years ago

    It always saddens me to go to a thrift store and find photo albums that no one - mainly family - wanted once the owner passed away. All of those special memories that were so important now tossed aside. I'm happy that there is a appreciation for these old photos.

  • mylifeinviolet

    deborah jacobs from mylifeinviolet said 6 years ago

    what a beautiful man with a beautiful point of view x

  • kiraly1

    nicole kiraly from NicksPiks said 6 years ago

    I feel a kinship to your story and craft. I've always loved my mother's and aunt's baby pictures and grandparent's photos. Now at 38 with three daughters of my own they are even more special. I have recently found very old pictures from the 30's and 50's of families unknown, but they have history and a story to tell. These families and babies once lived a life and they can live on as art in someone's home. (and can be found in NicksPiks) Thanks for your inspiring story.

  • emberair

    emberair from EmberandAir said 6 years ago

    Incredible story!

  • dehoffman

    Debbra Obertanec from DebbraObertanecArt said 6 years ago

    What a beautiful person to see humanity with such a personal perspective, an amazing man, such a gift, thank you for sharing this!

  • iloveludwig

    Astrid R. from AnAstridEndeavor said 6 years ago

    such a lovely story. So many men like him around the world who do the job of collecting up the lives of all so they will not be lost of forgotten. I loved this little film so much. "Tides of humanity", yes, sir- it all most certainly is.

  • mementosofthejourney

    chris peters from mementosofthejourney said 6 years ago

    This is me in 25 years.... hopefully sooner.

  • caraniblock1

    Cara Niblock from TheMommysLife said 6 years ago

    That's so beautiful! I love what he is doing!

  • puffybutt

    Wendy Smith said 6 years ago

    I saw it: "We eat ribs with this dude."

  • scarvesinfinity

    Le Chelle from ScarvesInfinity said 6 years ago

    Loved this story so much! Thanks for sharing it with us :)

  • Araestitchedshop

    Araestitchedshop from Araestitchedshop said 6 years ago

    How very sweet! I'm so very touched by his genuine and heartfelt passion for what he does.

  • Iammie

    iammie from iammie said 6 years ago

    Amazing!

  • gracearchives

    Leslie from GraceArchives said 6 years ago

    This story was captured beautifully.

  • Potliwrap

    Potliwrap from Potliwrap said 6 years ago

    Very nice article!

  • lowelowejewelry

    Lowe Jewelry from lowelowejewelry said 6 years ago

    Love :)

  • HumbleHeartDesigns

    Lynn Norman from HumbleHeartDesigns said 6 years ago

    God Bless this lovely man for caring so much .....wonderful story.

  • StudioGdesignGroup

    Collette Scheppman from ColletteandCompany said 6 years ago

    That was so wonderful... Here I am, at the bottom of the list, like a photo at the bottom of one of his bins.... saying something..... and probably not heard... just like so many of the voices in the past. But if I am, I want to say how much I loved that story... I loved it for its content, for the sensitivity of Mark kologi as well as the video artistry of Ben kitnick. it was beautiful... And I think that it should remind all of us artists here, to strive a little harder in our art to make it as much art as we can... dig into some of what was shown here... Do not forget what art is... it is something deep that we can really seek to pull from inside us.... It is not easy to do, with the pressure to just slop something together to sell fast... art is really art when it is connected to the heart and mind of the artist... no matter where they are on their path... amateur or professional...Did you see his eyes when he said why he did it? He is really living his life as an artist..... Thanks you Mark Kologi and Ben Kitnick for the reminder.

  • AntoinettesWhims

    Antoinette from AntoinettesWhims said 6 years ago

    I understand. I too have boxes and boxes of other peoples photos. I go to a tag sale and see the families photos for sale and try to talk them into keeping them in the family. When they insist on selling them, I adopt them.

  • gwinc

    gwinc said 6 years ago

    I thought this interview was quite interesting...My Fiance's father took aerial pics of farms and homesteads back in the late 70's early 80's, then went to those farms and homesteads to try and sell blow-ups of the pictures or if they they were really interested he would commission a painter who would transfer the image to canvas... My own grandparents had a picture that hung on their dining room wall that was an aerial shot of their property. I now have a box of photos with maps. All Central PA...

  • FeltHappiness

    Juliane Gorman from FeltHappiness said 6 years ago

    Enjoyed the emotions of this video so much that I shared it with my family....so poetic and melancholy and true. Thank you.

  • FeltHappiness

    Juliane Gorman from FeltHappiness said 6 years ago

    Also, love what Collette Scheppman said so perfectly!

  • Fiume

    Erin O'Rourke from Aruguletta said 6 years ago

    I like the parallel he draws between contemplating the people in the photos and observing the people in his booth looking at the photos. He seems to enjoy both in the same way.

  • merrirose

    Mary Martens from merrirose said 6 years ago

    i've always loved looking at old photos. we are really a photo happy family here. we take a lot of photos. we all watched the video. one son majored in photography following his self-taught dad and the other has family photos all over his walls. i love the things the photo man says, so profound. thank you for this.

  • NirvanaRoad

    Lisa from NirvanaRoad said 6 years ago

    I have a friend who collects old photo frames. She loves all the old photos that come with the frames.. and puts them up with her family photos.

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat said 6 years ago

    Old photos are a fascinating historical document & I love to look at them. You can learn a surprising amount about an era by studying someone's hair & clothes, hands & shoes. But, I can't help thinking it's just a tad creepy to want to have pictures of perfect strangers on your wall. I would feel a little like a voyeur, as if I was invading their privacy in some way by hijacking them out of the context they expected. Maybe it's just me, I'm not really keen on human-representative art at the best of times.

  • redbarnquiltco

    Mary Kay Hargrave from redbarnquiltco said 6 years ago

    Very touching look into the life of the Photo Man. My mother is dying of pancreatic cancer and one of the things I like to do with her right now is look through old pictures while she tells me the story behind them. Even though she doesn't know who some of the people are in some of them, I feel they must have a family connection at one time or they would not be in the old box. I don't think I can part with them.

  • ccwdst845

    ccwdst845 said 6 years ago

    This is greatness on every level. Can't help by wonder, with there be a "usb man" in the future. When printed photos are taken over by the digital.....hmm Such a moving piece, Thank you!

  • EnchantedBella

    Rebecca from EnchantedBella said 6 years ago

    Wonderful story. I love the beauty of photos.

  • Zalavintage

    Zane Saracene from Zalavintage said 6 years ago

    We've posted a colorized photo done by my aunt which captures a moment after WW2 and before anything else, brings a smile to my face every time I see it. It perfectly captures a moment in time of a good life, a bright future which we wanted to share because it is such a visual treat. I know where Mark finds his inspiration. Will look for Melrose Trading!!

  • Maxijoy

    Joy from MaxiJoy said 6 years ago

    It is facinating..

  • anneoncl

    Ann Eames said 6 years ago

    This video made me cry. I feel the same way about old photos. I have dumpster dove to save old photos. They are windows into past eras. They show us where we came from, and so also who we are. They are a finite resource that cannot be replaced. Thank you for sharing this story in such a beautiful medium.

  • daniellevmt

    Danielle from RiverValleyJewelry said 6 years ago

    I am always completely inspired by these videos. You need to produce more of them, Etsy. Beautifully done. I've watched it three times. I can relate. What a sweet soul!

  • fancy4u

    fancy4u from BrushAndFeather said 6 years ago

    this has to be one of the most interesting and well done pieces i've watched in so long, thank you, this was a nice treat.

  • aressa

    aressa from OriginalBridalHanger said 6 years ago

    Well done!!

  • riorita

    Irith Mashiah from rioritajewelry said 6 years ago

    I love old photos too! They capture the mood in one second in time....Love this post!

  • ditsydaisydoo

    Betty from DitsyDaisyDoo said 6 years ago

    I am always intrigued by old photos and the way of life portrayed in them. We each have such a rich heritage with the wealth being in humanity itself. Nicely done!

  • ntukiman

    Nana Tukiman said 6 years ago

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  • ntukiman

    Nana Tukiman said 6 years ago

    xxxxx<>/'\'

  • ntukiman

    Nana Tukiman said 6 years ago

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  • woodg

    Gwendolyn Stoldt from PrincessPawn said 6 years ago

    Fantastic idea! Pictures taken by those who loved them!

  • 816Laurie

    816Laurie said 6 years ago

    Thanks for creating this little film about a guy who is so kind and spiritually awakened. I believe the souls in the photos are happy to be seen. I have a hard time even throwing away a blurry photo. :)

  • korenkwan

    Koren Kwan from GarasuWonderland said 4 years ago

    lovely!

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