when did people start smiling in photos?
Apparently, it was when camera speeds became fast enough to capture a smile, according to this GQ thread on a similar topic:
Back in the early days of photography, sitting for a portrait was not the trivial undertaking it is now. First of all, it was much more expensive than it is now, making a rather serious event of the process. Second, exposure times were measured in minutes (at least early on, early 20th century cameras still required a second or two of exposure time), and the subject had to sit quite still and avoid any movement, including chaniging facial expressions. Since a serious face is easier to hold (smiles tend to fluctuate a bit), that is the expression most people used, probably at the suggestion of the photographer. I’m sure it provided a great oppurtunity for mischief on the part of many a younger sibling.
I think smiling in pictures is also a cultural thing. I would guess that there are a few places in the world today where people still haven’t started to smile in pictures. Any ideas on this?
Btw, I personally have trouble forcing a smile for pictures and then break out laughing after the flash, but that’s just me…