smiling

This is How Smiles in Yearbook Photos Have Changed Over the Past 100+ Years

Smiling is a relatively recent phenomenon in the history of photography. If you take a look at photos from many decades ago, people commonly wore stoic expressions on their faces and portraits were a much more serious affair.

Researchers at UC Berkeley recently crunched through an enormous trove of high school yearbook photos to show how smiling and portraits have evolved over the past 100+ years.

The Earliest Known Photos of People Smiling

The following is a collection of some of the earliest known images of people smiling, starting with a pair of soldiers in the Mexican American War in 1847 and up to a group of soldiers near the end of the Civil War.

If early images of people smiling do not come as a surprise to you, there are a few things to note. Among other things, a portrait of a person with a grin of any kind is quite a rare find in the early decades of photography.

Precious Moments: I’ve Learned To Catch The Smiles of Sleeping Babies

I was photographing families and toddlers in 2010 and 2011 and my work was a bit uninspiring. Then I saw American photographers creating these beautiful, arty, creative sleeping newborn photos and I wanted to do it too!

It wasn't easy. No one in the UK really saw my vision, but I managed to get a sweet family with a beautiful newborn called Daisy to help me launch this style of photography to my business. That was back in 2012 - and I haven't looked back since.

Say ‘Prunes’, Not ‘Cheese’: The History of Smiling in Photographs

"Say cheese." It's an expression that has become so much a part of our culture that everyone understands it to simply mean, "Smile," rather than a command to actually utter the word "cheese." For many people, smiling and posing for casual snapshots go hand-in-hand, but why do people smile for pictures, and when did this practice begin? After all, if you browse portrait photos created in the early days of photography -- or even half a century ago -- you'll find the subjects wearing stoic, humorless expressions on their faces.