Vintage Photos of Hidden Mothers


Back then, it was a bit hard to take photos of children and babies since they move a lot. The solution to this was the ‘hidden mother’ technique wherein mothers would hold their children in place during exposure.

Photo via Peta Pixel

While browsing through vintage photos of babies and children, you might come across a few photos that may seem out of the ordinary like the one shown above. Way back, it was a bit difficult to take photos of children, especially fussy babies, since they need to remain perfectly still for a long period of time in order for their photo to be captured flawlessly. The solution to this is to have the mother in the photo with them. You may notice that on the photo, a person is concealed underneath a blanket or large cloth. The mother would hold the child and keep him still throughout the exposure period.

Back then, this was a common practice. When we look at the photo today, we might find it to be a bit unnatural, maybe even a bit creepy. On some photos, the mother would be completely cropped out, leaving the child as the focus of the photograph. These photos were pretty common back in the 19th century but with the advances in technology, we no longer need hidden mothers to hold their child in place during a photo session.

Here are more photos of children with their hidden mothers:

Photos via Peta Pixel, Later Ceramadre, Retronaut and Laboiteverte

Today, many vintage photo enthusiasts find rare photos like these to be added to their collection. What do you think of these photos? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

The information for this article was taken from Artrick Playground, Boing Boing and Accidental Mysteries.

written by jeanmendoza on 2011-12-27 #lifestyle #vintage #photography #analogue-photography #portraits #old-photos


  1. ukarim
    ukarim ·

    This is pretty interesting, I am new to the Lomography world and this "trick" is something that seems out of the ordinary today, but back then it was pretty normal. It made me happy and sad to see how photography has evolved. The digital camera age is pretty cool, with blink detectors and automatic flash but it saddens me to see that we have distanced ourselves so far away from the past.

  2. bass_clarinet_2000
    bass_clarinet_2000 ·

    This makes me want to look through all of my old photos and see if this was done.

  3. emperornorton
    emperornorton ·

    I'm surprised that some charlatan hasn't claimed that those are ghosts.

  4. liquorice
    liquorice ·

    Some of then are quite creepy!

  5. carlota_nonnumquam
    carlota_nonnumquam ·

    So fascinating and interesting, I wonder if they didn't also think of this as a bit creepy at the time?

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