Contrary to today’s photos with lots of smiles, we see that people were almost never smiling in the old times when the photo was new. So why?
When we look at old photographs, we often see people looking with a dull expression. In other words, people did not smile while taking photos. But now the opposite is true, everyone is smiling while taking pictures. There are very interesting reasons for this.
In old photographic technology, exposure was taking a long time. So, it would be uncomfortable for people to smile constantly.
Taking photos was very expensive. Those who could have had this chance only once in their lives. so, they wanted to immortalize this moment seriously and solemnly.
Since the art of photography was influenced by the art of painting, it was a frozen presentation of a person. In addition, post-mortem photography was common at that time and people were conditioned to pose dead. Dead photography was once common. During the long exposure, the dead were completely immobile because they were clear, and the right people were slightly blurred because they were moving a little.
Unlike its present meaning, smiling in the past centuries was a sign of poverty, madness, simplicity, and drunkenness. In fact, a funny person, Mark Twain, took a serious facial expression in his photographs, and in a letter he wrote to Sacramento Daily Union, the photo conveyed that it was an important document and that he did not want to remain steady with a silly smile forever.
Today, smile is matched with happiness and prosperity. In addition, photography is very cheap and widespread, people can record it without any hesitation.