40 Intimate Photos of Family Portraits in the Mid-19th Century

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The relatively low cost of the daguerreotype in the middle of the 19th century and the reduced sitting time for the subject, though still much longer than now, led to a general rise in the popularity of portrait photography over painted portraiture.

The style of these early works reflected the technical challenges associated with long exposure times and the painterly aesthetic of the time.

Subjects were generally seated against plain backgrounds, lit with the soft light of an overhead window, and whatever else could be reflected with mirrors.

Here below is a set of intimate photos that captured family portraits from between the 1840s and 1860s.

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