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The photographer took full control of the client, advising on facial expression and arranging head, body and limbs into a pleasing pose.
The photographic conventions that prevailed at any given time - ideas about subject composition and shifting tastes in backdrops, styles of furniture and other props - are the pictorial features that can help with dating the visual image.
Welcome to the fourth in our series of blogs about how to understand and interpret your old family photos.
In this series, Jayne Shrimpton, internationally recognised dress historian, portrait specialist, photo detective and regular contributor to Family Tree, Your Family History and Family History Monthly magazines, dates and analyses different types of photographs and helps you to add context to your old family pictures.
Other contemporary features include ornate wicker or cane furniture in the new art nouveau style, perhaps posed incongruously against the familiar baronial painted backdrop (fig.9), or the ‘outdoor' setting, often displaying weathered-looking masonry.
In the recent post 3 Clues to Identify Family in Old Wedding Photos, I asked a series of questions relating to this image belonging to William Davis: This week, I'm back with more information.