As a little kid I watched my aunt MaryAnn Pocapalia take 8mm movies at our family gatherings. She was always holding that Bell and Howell wind up film camera and inevitably we would see the footage at a later Spalenka celebration. Recently I learned that she had been a shutterbug since her early days of high school shooting pictures with the first Leica cameras.
I was given the opportunity to see the many photo albums she created over the years (MaryAnn is now in her nineties) and was struck by the unique compositions and moments many of these pictures captured. For instance in some shots the view would be low to the ground so the figures would loom above or to reflect a child’s viewpoint. On other occasions the frame would be tilted adding a new dimension to an otherwise ordinary situation. Many of the photos appear clandestine, as if the camera happened to be floating near a subject totally unaware of its presence.
It was fun percieving the evolution of her work through the forties and early fifties. Some of her self portraits, though not necessarily taken by herself, feel like she directed them. Landscape shots were cut and taped together so the viewer could experience a panorama of the location. Even rooms devoid of people were seen as worthy subjects for her lens. Film that was not processed properly creating chemical anomolies in the prints, or double exposures were still appreciated and placed in the albums. I loved her art spirit!
This was an interesting slice of Americana. I was impressed and realized it was time to celebrate some of MaryAnn’s vision in a book. So I spent almost a year compiling and scanning her photos then designing the edition.
You can see most of it in the PDF here- MaryAnne Pocapalia
There are 9.25 x 7.25 hardcover versions available for $60, but must be ordered with a two week turn around on shipping. Contact me for details. All photographs are copyright ©MaryAnn Pocapalia.