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Strange Vintage Photos Of Children With Hidden Mothers



The old timey photos in this series all have one eerie quality in common-the mother's identity has been concealed. Whether with shroud, or by simply scraping the face away, erasing their identity seems like an odd thing to do when they're posed for a picture with their children.

Maybe they were having a bad hair day, or woke up on the wrong side of the bed, but isn't wearing a shroud over your head at a photo shoot an extreme reaction to not looking your best? If anybody has any insight into this strange trend in portraiture, please share! Otherwise, enjoy taking a look back at when people were really weird about having their picture taken.

Link --via Flavorwire

The main reason the 'hidden mother' portraits of children appear is that this was really the only way of keeping very young children still, facing the right way and basically co-operative whilst a photograph was being taken.

In some cases, the photograph is only meant to be of the children and so the mother is hidden or her face is not shown. However, in a large number of these cases (especially the ones where the face has been blacked out or scratched through) the women are most likely not the mothers. They are the nannies or governesses of the children, not people the family would necessarily want to appear in their photographs.
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Long exposure times. If you wanted a photograph of your child but not yourself you had to disguise yourself as a blanket to hold your wriggling baby still long enough.
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Is it possibly something as simple as cost in some of these pictures? The more people in the photograph, the higher the price charged by the photographer?
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In some of these situations the intention was for the child's face to be centered in a locket or in an otherwise masked/matted frame. The child's holder's hood and clothing become the background of the photo. I don't believe we were ever intended to see the photos as whole compositions.
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