Saturday, March 7, 2015

Hidden Mother

with the cover

1/9th Plate daguerreotype of a child sitting in his moms lap, without the matte that originally encircled the portrait of the child (source)

In early photographs, a subject had to sit still because of long camera exposure times. When that subject was a squirming baby or small child, they were sometimes held in a lap or reassured by an adult hand, either from a photographer's assistant, relative, nanny, or father, but primarily by the child's mother. Whether they're mothers or not, collectors call these photos 'hidden mother photographs'. Since customers wanted photographs that showed only the children, photographers had to get creative to block out the other person (source).

next episode: aztec stone


  1. That’s the first time I’ve seen the mother covered by a mount; it’s a pity as it would be a nice photo of the two of them as it stood.

  2. Interesting post. I enjoy these photographic articles on the manipulation of images.

  3. That is odd, but what an adorable little child.


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