This box prominently states “Class Assignment” with a January 10, 1949 date.
In light of Joel’s 1948 graduation, this is a bit of a conundrum as it implies he’s still a student.
It is hard to tell what the class assignment could be. Opening the negative box, we find a slip of paper that readsl; “Enid Arata, 5024 Fulton Street, San Francisco.”
A bit of research shows that Enid Aldwyth Arata was a College of Pacific student, married Mr. Douglas Henry Scovil on July 23, 1949 in San Francisco, and Enid graduates COP in 1951 as Enid Scovil. In 1955 we find mention of Enid again in the Pacific Review as a representative for the San Francisco Chapter of COP Alumni.
Joel is photographing in a studio that is new to him. This may have been part of the class assignment, or is it the use of the beaten up straw hat as a prop ? We’ll never know.
We get the picture. The hat is there to stay, and is probably part of the assignment.
The next images are a departure from the norm for Joel. The hat becomes literally the centerpiece of the image and is adding to the mystery.
The mystery is “implied” and it is left up to the viewer.
There’s a lot of play with light and Joel is looking for another “Hollywood Portrait”
In all the poses left from this photoshoot, Enid is emotionally fairly disconnected, there is no contact with the viewer.
Closing this blogpost with the graduation picture of Enid Scovil in 1951
We are nearing the end of the decade, and for Joel that means closing off a dozen years of photography.