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Unusual Pose in Wedding Photos

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  • photoshadows
    I found what I thought was an isolated incident of an unusual wedding portrait pose for my great-grandmother--Florence (Murphy) Willson--who married Around
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 15, 2007
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      I found what I thought was an isolated incident of an unusual
      wedding portrait pose for my great-grandmother--Florence (Murphy)
      Willson--who married Around 1910/1911 in Seattle, Washington. The
      marriage period is VERY close to the birth of my grandfather, but
      since I don't have a specific date, I can't be certain about any
      illegitimacy issues. But back to the pose....

      I later heard from my aunt that another woman of that generation had
      a wedding photo of a similar pose and I don't think there are any
      questions about the legitimacy of my grandmother.

      The pose is taken from behind with the woman showing about 2/3 of
      the back of the gown and a profile of her face. There's nothing
      terribly extravagant about the back of her gown, though it does have
      a "train" of sorts. It's not long enough to drag on the ground, just
      an extra gather of fabric that creates a "pouch" that tapers from
      the ground to the seat of the gown.

      The only copy of this photo that I know about is from the Society
      Page of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, though the Masthead and date
      are missing from the clipping. I mention this because there's
      another unusual aspect of the newspaper mention of the wedding.
      There's a full-length photo the new Mrs. Wilson next to a full-
      length photo of her sister, Mrs. B.F. Schu. The photo of Mrs. Schu
      is taken from the front and I believe is probably also a wedding
      photograph. The caption is under Mrs. Schu and says, "Mrs. Edward
      Wilson(sic), nee Murphy, whose marriage was a recent event, and her
      sister and matron of honor, Mrs. B.F. Schu."

      I guess my first question is about the pose of Florence (Murphy)
      Willson. Does anyone know if photos taken from behind were common in
      the early 1910s and, if they were, was there ever a specific reason
      they appeared (such as trying to hide a pregnant belly)?

      Second, was it common to have a full-length photo of another member
      of the wedding party (other than the groom) appearing next to the
      photo of the woman announcing her wedding? One thought on this is
      that perhaps Mrs. Schu was recently married as well and it was a
      sort of double announcement, but then why doesn't it comment on Mrs.
      Schu having been recently married?

      Any thoughts on the photo of Mrs. Willson and the announcement of
      her wedding the Society Pages of the early 1910s are greatly welcome.

      Thanks!

      -Christine
    • Cecelia
      I don t have information on your particular photo, but I have, and have seen, quite a few portraits of women, taken from the back. It was just a different,
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 15, 2007
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        I don't have information on your particular photo, but I have, and have seen, quite a few portraits of women, taken from the back. It was just a different, interesting, and flattering pose. Mine are not full length, but appear to only be about to the shoulder blades. These women never had children so I'm sure it was not to hide that they were expecting. Possibly, the train was an interesting feature of her dress.
        Photos that I have seen with this type of pose go back to the early 1900s.
        In fact, I have several portraits of myself done from this angle.
        I did the Soc pages for a couple of small town newspapers. The picture of Mrs. Schu could have simply been as a matter of space. Maybe several pictures from the wedding were submitted, and the paper had space for this one. Maybe Mrs. Schu was a prominent person and the editor wanted to include a picture of her, for some reason. Or, if they might have paid for space, and this was what fit.
        Cecelia in Texas



        I found what I thought was an isolated incident of an unusual
        wedding portrait pose for my great-grandmother-

        I later heard from my aunt that another woman of that generation had
        a wedding photo of a similar pose and I don't think there are any
        questions about the legitimacy of my grandmother.

        The pose is taken from behind with the woman showing about 2/3 of
        the back of the gown and a profile of her face. There's nothing
        terribly extravagant about the back of her gown, though it does have
        a "train" of sorts. It's not long enough to drag on the ground, just
        an extra gather of fabric that creates a "pouch" that tapers from
        the ground to the seat of the gown.



        Does anyone know if photos taken from behind were common in
        the early 1910s and, if they were, was there ever a specific reason
        they appeared (such as trying to hide a pregnant belly)?

        Second, was it common to have a full-length photo of another member
        of the wedding party (other than the groom) appearing next to the
        photo of the woman announcing her wedding? One thought on this is
        that perhaps Mrs. Schu was recently married as well and it was a
        sort of double announcement, but then why doesn't it comment on Mrs.
        Schu having been recently married?



        -Christine





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • the Crows
        I have seen other photos from around that time frame with similar posing. I would classify it as an artsy portrait rather than a method to mask something
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 15, 2007
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          I have seen other photos from around that time frame with similar
          posing. I would classify it as an "artsy" portrait rather than a method
          to mask something else. Evan

          photoshadows wrote:

          > I found what I thought was an isolated incident of an unusual
          > wedding portrait pose for my great-grandmother--Florence (Murphy)
          > Willson--who married Around 1910/1911 in Seattle, Washington. The
          > marriage period is VERY close to the birth of my grandfather, but
          > since I don't have a specific date, I can't be certain about any
          > illegitimacy issues. But back to the pose....
          >
          > I later heard from my aunt that another woman of that generation had
          > a wedding photo of a similar pose and I don't think there are any
          > questions about the legitimacy of my grandmother.
          >
          > The pose is taken from behind with the woman showing about 2/3 of
          > the back of the gown and a profile of her face. There's nothing
          > terribly extravagant about the back of her gown, though it does have
          > a "train" of sorts. It's not long enough to drag on the ground, just
          > an extra gather of fabric that creates a "pouch" that tapers from
          > the ground to the seat of the gown.
          >
          >
          >
          >
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