These heartwarming shots show a Victorian couple who cannot help but laugh when getting their picture taken. The man with a mustache and who appears to be his wife take a serious photograph before making each other laugh. The woman hides her face in his coat in the last shot.
Wow, these images proof that Victorians weren’t as serious as we thought, as Mark Twain once said, “A photograph is a most important document, and there is nothing more damning to go down to posterity than a silly, foolish smile caught and fixed forever. “
The reason people didn’t smile for early pictures is that people related to photography as they would a painting, and if you were only going to be photographed a few times in your life, it was a serious occasion. You dressed in your best and you struck a dignified pose, as though you were being immortalized on a canvas.
Another reason that exposure times were several minutes at the very birth of photography, but by the 1850s times were down to a few seconds, and by the turn of the 20th century were as they are now, a fraction of a second.
Once photography becomes cheap and common with the introduction of Kodak candids by the turn of the century, people begin to smile and grin and fool around if it isn’t an important event.