I love old photographs. My parents had albums full of generations of Hodous ancestors. But why is it that in the really old photographs no one is smiling? As a dentist always concerned with making my patients smiles their whitest and brightest, I was curious and did some ‘Googling’.
In the early days of photography, photos were rare and expensive. Can you imagine holding your smile perfectly still for 15 minutes until the camera clicked? That’s how long it took for a photograph to expose in 1839.
Later, exposure times were significantly cut back, but it still took at least 20 seconds. To make sure pictures weren’t ruined, photographers asked their subjects to stay completely still and not adjust their bodies or facial expressions. No wonder people were so stiff and serious in old time photos! They were probably frustrated, tired and bored!
Now, snapping a photo takes no time at all. In fact, most people have a camera in their pocket all the time. Today, when someone whips out a camera, it’s just second nature for us to flash a quick smile. But it wasn’t always that way.
In the 1800s good dental care was not widely available. Modern dental procedures designed to help people keep their teeth for life were unavailable—so, most people had missing, broken, chipped, or rotten teeth. Even if the technology would have allowed them to show their smiles to the camera, they may have preferred to keep their mouths shut.
But then in the 1900’s, we see more natural-looking and relaxed poses. But why did we start smiling? No one is really sure. But one theory is that a picture is our introduction to someone new, and when we meet someone new, we usually make a good impression with a welcoming smile.
But now we live in a modern world and dental care has come a long way. Now it’s easy and affordable to have a big healthy grin.
So keep your smile camera ready and if you aren’t ready to smile for the camera then let’s talk! I want you to feel 100% confident when you hear those words “SAY CHEESE!”
Just For Fun!
Do YOU have a family or personal photo shoot story (good or bad, funny or serious)? Share it with me by posting it on my Facebook page. I’d love to see it!
If your smile isn’t camera ready then call my office and let’s get your smile camera ready!