Family portraits in the early 1930s

(Photo (c) Beeldtype: Wilhelmina Vaal- de Ridder and Franciscus en Wilhelmina Vaal, taken in Atelier Z.D. Fraenkel, Ceintuurbaan 123, Amsterdam)

It’s fun to dress up for a vintage photo taken in an old fashioned studio. But nothing beats the real old photographs made in the studios back in the day. The look on their faces is almost solemn.
On this photo my father, Franciscus Vaal is about eight years old. Funny to see him with his bare knees and socks. In my life I have never seen him in shorts. My aunt, Wilhelmina Vaal (1928-2009), must be around two in this picture. For me it’s hard to recognize her face in this two year old girl. She changed a lot over the years. My father didn’t.

How adorable are the pompons on her coat and the gaiters covering her tiny shoes?

Hats and barets were all the fashion back then. As in this photo:

Frans en Wil Vaal holding hands while strolling on a city street
Frans and Wil holding hands, my grandparents in the background, probably in Amsterdam

My aunt smiling. She’s holding my father’s hand. She simply adored him.

In her seventies she told me that her father, my grandfather, told her to always cherish her good and cheerful heart. It was a gift, he said. I remember her as being almost always cheerful.

It’s also one of the few photographs with my grandfather on it. Here’s the other one:

Familie Frans Vaal out in nature in 1929
My grandparents and their children out for a walk in their Sunday best

It must have been on a sunday. He was a plumber and probably worked six days a week to care for his family.
It is obvious that they are all wearing their ‘Sunday best’. The proof of that is in this picture, probably taken on a regular day, with my grandmother in a simpler dress:

Wilhelmina Vaal-De Ridde with her children Frans and Wil in 1929.
The Vaal family on a stroll with their dog, 1929

This huge pram is fantastic! My father not wearing socks….. 😀 As far as I remember he hated not wearing socks…

Published by Françoise Vaal

My addiction to visuals started with cartoons on tv, comic books, and movies. I dreamt away while looking at my mother’s landscape photographs and imagined going there and capturing the landscapes for myself. For more than twenty years I was a picture editor for newspapers and magazines but my own photography had been limited to snapshots of faraway countries. My wish of dedicating myself to my own photography and art finally came true. My home base is The Netherlands.

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