Family from Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Click here to view it larger.

What it is:

Cabinet card measuring 4.5 x 6.25 inches.

What I know about it:

Photographer is Engle Brothers of Williamsport, Pennsylvania.  Otherwise undated and unidentified.


It seems like all the elements are here for a nice family portrait.  Suitably dressed people in a pleasant, if neutral, setting.  But there’s a remoteness about their body language and expressions that suggests things might not be all sunny at home, and that they are just going through the motions with this photo.  Hopefully it’s a misleading photo and things are fine.   (By the way, the little white triangle at the woman’s waist by her elbow is just damage to the photo.)

6 comments on “Family from Williamsport, Pennsylvania”

  1. I think there are just trying to be real still for the camera.

  2. They’re close together but physically isolated from each other, as if boundaries have been drawn. The boy behind the chair looks desperate, as if he’s being smothered. Could be accidental but I do see what you mean.

    • I saw the same thing in the boy, Paul. Maybe the “unused to posing” thing, but maybe a cry for help.

    • The woman looks indifferent, the boy looks trapped, and the man, in his effort to show erect posture, inadvertently looks like he is pulling himself away from the others. I think the chair doesn’t help either, like the back and arm are putting up barriers between them.

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