It was wild to discover in our Feel Good issue of AQUILA magazine that smiling was super rare in Victorian photos – can you control your giggles and recreate a perfectly serious portrait ?
HARVEY ’ S MISSION
On your own or with friends , your mission is to further research the photographs of the Victorian era that we explored in our Feel Good issue . What do you notice about the poses and expressions ? Do the subjects tend to stare into the lens , or look away , lost in serious thought ? How about the settings , the backgrounds and props ? What about the colours ? Are they black and white , colour , or more of a sepia shade ( brown-ish )? Once you ’ re suitably inspired , it ’ s time to have some photo fun – and unlike our Victorian ancestors , this will not involve metal head clamps ! ( Seriously , NO METAL HEAD CLAMPS !). Pick whichever challenges below you fancy and don ’ t forget : say PRUNES for the perfect pout !
30 mins +
Challenge 1 : The Stunning Selfie
This is a solo effort . You ’ ll need to spend some time practising your sombre look in the mirror to take a truly accurate vintage selfie . When you ’ re ready , select the reverse camera on your chosen device , and pose . How many goes did it take you ? How many seconds did you last before laughing ? If you used a digital camera , you could alter the brightness and contrast , or change the settings to black and white or sepia . If you use a smartphone , there are endless filters to make you look straight out of the 1800s !
Challenge 2 : The Perfect Portrait
For this challenge , ask your friend to take your very serious portrait . Did you dress up ? Ideally this will be a full body shot so costume would really make this look authentic . What about props ? Are you delicately reading a book , or perhaps leaning against a mantlepiece studiously ?