A man whose boyhood portrait had lain forgotten inside a vintage camera for around half a century has been traced after a chance find.


Images, courtesy Emma Jacks

The mystery image was among six black & white photographs unearthed by Emma Jacks, a photographer who had bought a 1950s Rex box camera at a charity shop in Southend, Essex, for £3.

The 23-year-old was surprised to find that the classic camera contained an undeveloped film, but more so when told the images had survived after taking the film to a local lab for processing.

Emma then launched an appeal for help in tracing the people featured, sending the pictures to a local news agency.

Emma told Amateur Photographer that a neighbour of the boy’s family spotted the pictures when they appeared in her local paper, the Echo.

‘I have received an email from a man who recognised his brother, mother and late father in the photographs and put me in touch with his mother Pam, who was thrilled to find out about the photos.’

She added: ‘The little boy in the photo is one of her sons and now aged 55.’

Emma said she was due to meet the mother of the boy, bringing with her the images on a CD.

Last week, the pictures ended up splashed across newspapers including Metro and the Daily Mail. They also appeared on an ITV news programme.

  • vintage camera

    It is best to know more about digital cameras if you are to take advantage of the advance technology they offer. Digital cameras are modern gadgets, no doubt.

  • Richard

    Fascinating question! Who owns the copyright in these photos? I think that without “written assignment” it is still the original photographer?

  • Graham Hawcroft

    Let this be a lesson to learn…and who says film is dead? This is just like all the digital images that sit on computers for ever more never to see the light of day. Nice story though, film is still very nostalgic and still the best.