A picture of just one person is a very different kettle of fish from a picture of a couple, or of a group. Generally the single subject is at the center, and often radiates an aura of pose, sometimes raffish or jocular unless the portrait situation is formal, in which case the subject often (but not always) gazes away from the camera and seems suspended from living, breathing reality. An exploration of a large array of one-person photographs is sure to amuse and inform.
This worthy gentleman is clearly On Vacation
Aunt Kate, on the other hand, doesn't look like she ever went to the beach:
Some people think it's appropriate to smile for the photographer. And some don't:
Some take justifiable pride in accoutrements:
...or perhaps in hair genes...
In a more innocent time, such luxuriance was called a beaver:
Sometimes you can read a person's future from the face. This one looks like he's headed straight for a lifetime of dyspepsia:
The designated worrier:
An air of studied nonchalance:
A seriously bad hair day:
More horrible hair:
There is no danger that you will ever do anything right:
As an objet trouv´e, this one is perfect in its composition and execution:
on the back: "the last snap Ernest took of poor Alice G."
Can styles of hair and clothing help to date pictures? I'm guessing this one is around 1870:
The original of this one is a 6 x 9 tintype, one of the largest I've seen. Fiddling with the contrast makes the hand coloring look almost lifelike:
Is it mumps, or a big wad of gum?
Some people just have to be of certain astrological signs. This one needs to be a Capricorn:
Sometimes the photographer gets carried away with retouching:
A boy can take pride in his possessions
Some seem to be at Death's door:
Some are healthy, but just imagine the corsetry:
A vessel under full sail:
More lace, less hair:
More hair, but... imagine her as a Deadwood character
Another hair disaster: