Why almost they never smiled at the old photos?

Why almost they never smiled at the old photos?

Although I regard it as something usual, most people usually work out as they prepare to be immortalized in a ...

Although I regard it as something usual, most people usually work out as they prepare to be immortalized in a photo: sonreír. No matter if you had a bad day, or if the spirits are most appropriate, the trend of the moment is to smile sometimes remains in apparent hint of happiness. However, that did not happen in the old photos, those taken before the nineteenth century (or even later).

There is clearly an exception, but a large part of the images belong to this time show the same expression in those subjects within it. Some serious features, staring and a form of artificial pose were some of the attributes that people have reflected. Apart from the own stylistic differences of context, it was a way to pose very different from what is done in our day.

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But, what this is? Not that in the early nineteenth century no one had any reason to smile, is the union of technical and cultural factors so favored that particular form of posing in the old photos. As well it stated in silberstudios, there are several elements that incited those results. Let’s try to analyze each of them and see why really this attitude was taken to a snapshot.


AH Wheeler of Berlin, WI (1893)

It is true that there were cameras before the nineteenth century, but the technology of these was still too premature. Not until the appearance of wet collodion in 1851 when real breakthrough occurs in exposure time. Meanwhile, the usual process was the daguerreotype, which could take up to 30 minutes of exposure.

Therefore, it is required that the subjects appeared in they remained motionless, which was impossible when it was such a high time as we have noted above. This is one reason why sharpness of the images could not be better, because you could not help blinking or moving your body a few millimeters.

Influence of paintings

James Holland

Before the advent of photography, the person interested in a portrait should go to a painter who was in charge of shaping your figure. Although there are pictures of all kinds, the reference to the portrait used to follow common patterns. That is, normally embodied people with air of greatness and superiority, because the upper class was the sector that could afford such luxuries.

In a Initially, this will also influence the picture. The people posing for the camera as they would for a painter, showing exactly the same expression is also used when done for them. He had inherited a new system, but it had still not aware about it. It was something different to painting, and that is something that later would realize

Linked to this point we find another who used to dominate the tables. the immortality. Portrayed they looked to have an image that would endure over time and why were remembered. Although it may seem strange, this picture was to show serenity and temperance was not very fitting that the last impression that will take shew a smile from ear to ear.

The Victorian and Edwardian era


The first period, that of the Victorian era spanned from 1837 to 1901, which would begin the reign of Eduardo VII in the UK. Obviously, the context influences, and as mentioned above, the aristocrats of the time try to show their distinctive hand, to mark distances with the common people.

The position of power should be clear, and that should be clear of all possible ways. Undoubtedly, a photograph or a picture of them smiling was not something that would cause the print due on the rest.

It is the less interesting to see how it is now for us everyday, before he could come to be seen even as ridiculous. And as we have seen, the reasons go far beyond the merely technical, it is also something that is related to the culture of the time.


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Bibliography ►
Phoneia.com (June 1, 2015). Why almost they never smiled at the old photos?. Recovered from https://phoneia.com/en/why-almost-they-never-smiled-at-the-old-photos/

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