Monday, June 9, 2008

Henri Broidioi Wedding Portrait

I haven’t studied photographic techniques of the early 1900’s but I really believe that photographers must have attempted to have everyone in the portrait have the same expression. I call it the early 1900’s scowl. Look at today’s photos. Some smiling others looking solemn. Could you imagine someone in 1910 slipping and putting their hand behind some ones head in the “rabbit ears” sign? I have never seen that nor do I think that I ever will.
This is a happy scene but you have to realize that these same people will not be asked to survive one World War but two. I wonder what happened to each? Knowing that they were in the center of both.- did they all survive?
Less seriously, don’t you just love those hats? Is it possible that someone in the group might have operated a men’s hat shop?
Also, I see several neat mustaches in the group. Grandpa Broidioi wore one. In his own humor he called it his “soup strainer.” I remember that he always had a dignity about him even when he was in his overalls. I will always have that image in my mind.
I think that we have arrived at the fact that most of these macho guys are grandpa’s family – 9 brothers and 2 sisters. I believe that the top row plus the groom are probably his brothers. His two sisters are harder to pick out but 2 of these young ladies are most probably his sisters.
I enjoy looking for stories in each face and each pair of eyes. Even with the “1900’s scowl” their eyes and expressions show a window into their lives.
I enjoy studying and imagining each ones situation in life from their appearance and composure as the shutter opened. If a picture is worth 1000 words then I want to write them down. I enjoy pondering and questioning each face while trying to figure out what frame of mind each was in.
Have you ever been part of a group photo? Were you focusing on the camera when it snapped? If you are like me your mind may have been many hours and many miles away. You may have one expression on your face but have another one in your heart. That’s what I enjoy looking for in old portraits.
Try it for yourself on a group picture that you are a part of. Remember what you were thinking at the time. Then see if you can pick up expressions on yourself and others in the group. We all put on facades for photo shoots. That is a fact.
Many would consider this analysis a waste of time but I feel that the past is our link to the future.
We must treasure the past. If not, then why have family history sites?

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