Monday, February 4, 2013

Trick Photography

Mrs. Louise Ruby and Baby
A young lady has her photo taken without her baby.   Her name is Louise Ruby ...  Jayess (MS) and she is wearing a plaid suit with a white sweater under the jacket. 
The baby is sitting alone. -- Library captions, consolidated.
As I mentioned in yesterday's post,  John Holly Williams' children's studio portraits can be captivating.  I have noticed that  with very youngest children, the background is often black, whereas most of his other studio work features a pale, unadorned backdrop such as the one of the mother, Louise Ruby, in the photograph to the left.
Just why this difference was a lingering question in the back of my mind.

The aha moment came today when I noticed the slivers of black under the infant Ruby's sweater in the second photograph.  A closer look and the shadow revealed the outline of the mother's left hand under the baby's arm.

Evidently, Mr. Williams employed an old photographer's trick that dates back to Victorian times -- mothers would stand behind dark drapes and hold a wobbly, fidgety infant steady while the photographer worked to capture the perfect picture.  

My guess is Mr. Williams had his touch-up artist work the photo to remove all lingering evidence of a shrouded mother in the background.  

As always, if anyone knows more about Mrs. Louise Ruby and/or the name of her baby, please leave a note here or on my Facebook page.

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