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Can you even imagine our ancestors during this “selfie” picture taking era? When you look at pictures of our great-great-grandparents back in the day, nobody smiled…so life was either a buzz kill back then, or they just REALLY hated having their picture taken. By the expressions on their faces, I really don’t think they would’ve taken to selfies. Or did the photographers say, “Hold still and show no emotion whatsoever?” In the really “olden” days when people sat for hours for one picture, I can see where the annoyed faces originated, and holding a cheesy smile for that long wasn’t happening. I’m sure developing film was expensive back then too, so maybe that’s why there’s very little photographic evidence people even existed then. They had their token childhood picture, and then there’s no photos until they got married. Sometimes there was one of the whole family when the kids were little, just to prove they actually had a family. Here in the Northeast, the only pictures you had of the men in your family in their twenties was with a bunch of other family members or friends after a successful hunt. It was a proud day that had to be immortalized. They even shut down the schools for opening day of hunting season, it’s that important. That was back before Instacart, so if your family wanted to eat that year, you better learn how to hunt well, and then wipe the smile off your face and pose with your posse. Even back in the 60’s or early 70’s, sometimes the only pictures of kids in their teens or pre-teens were once every five years or more at a family reunion with all the cousins. Families were huge too, so it took the family genealogist to figure out who was who…especially with everyone looking alike. Thank heavens for school pictures, or we would never have known how awkward we looked through the years. Nowadays, you can pick your child’s school picture package and background. Back then, they gave you a black comb, a hard chair to sit on, a grey background, and two seconds to smile before you had to get back to class before you got sent to the dreaded office. The comb was because picture hour was always after a windy recess or gym class. There was no re-take option either, your mug shot was once and done…and printed in the yearbook for all to see. There was a block of time too when families got “professional” shots done, where they dressed the kids in their Sunday best, loaded them all in the station wagon with no seat belts and drove to Sears. I wonder what our ancestors would’ve taken pictures of if they had the option? I just can’t picture great-grandma’s in aprons with their pies making duck lip faces in the bathroom mirror sporting a bunny ear filter, do you?

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