If You Thought Your Baby Photos Were Awkward, Be Grateful You Didn’t Do This.
We know that photo trends can come and go. The selfie endures, but the bathroom selfie is generally considered bad form. Before this, a slew of MySpace-related techniques existed that, in retrospect, were part of a shameful time.
One of the stranger photo trends happened back in the early days of photography. It wasn’t as morbid as the post-mortem photography that was all the rage in the 19th century, but it still looks really creepy. It was also unintentionally hilarious.
During this time, the photography process was slow, taking several minutes for an image to develop. That’s why so many Victorian-era portraits look so stiff and people aren’t usually smiling. Besides having the formal connotations of a classic portrait, it would also hurt your face to hold a big “cheese” smile for upwards of five minutes.
Adults could keep still, but young children…not so much. Smaller children had to be kept from fidgeting during the long exposure times, and who better to keep everyone calm than mom? Moms, however, wanted the photo’s focus to be on the kids, and so they would stay hidden. Kind of. They would drape a sheet over themselves, resulting in awkward-looking, if not a little creepy photos.
In an effort to make themselves less visible, the shrouded moms end up dominating the scene with their bizarre ghost look. So the next time you find that awkward family photo, remember that things could be way worse. Alternatively, if you’re not feeling photogenic one day, grab a bed sheet and revive this old tradition.