Family Photo Day in the late 1800's

1800-Family-photo.jpg

It can often be said that we take things for granted. When it comes to our photographs, this is certainly the case.

We look at the pictures like the one below and project the ease at which we can take these now. In the late 1800's, it was a major family event to go sit for a photograph, not to mention expensive for the family. Exposure times were closer to 3 seconds so it required everyone in the picture to sit still, even the kids! This is likely one of the reasons why you don't see smiling in most of these pictures and why everyone tends to look stiff and motionless.

Nowadays, taking a picture is a easy as pointing your phone, so we devalue what this picture meant to the family at the time it was taken and what it truly means to the generations that follow. It is probable that this was the only photograph of this family together and may be the only remaining photograph of some of the subjects.

It was important to the family to capture this photo, and yet how do we honor this moment in time? How do we celebrate the legacy this picture represents? When we come to scan a family's photo & slide collections, In most cases we see a photo like this at the bottom of a box in a family's basement or closet. Rarely are they in this condition.

Take a second, close your eyes, and try to place your family in this photo. Imagine what that day was like and how important this moment was. Think about why you're getting this picture taken. Now think where you're keeping a photo just like this today. Is it safe? Is it being celebrated or shared?

This year, consider honoring your ancestors by helping to preserve this moment that was certainly a major event for your family!