I love Sepia Saturday because it keeps me posting at least once a week when life gets hectic. This week’s prompt features Boadecea (Celtic queen of the Iceni tribe which rebelled against Roman rule in Britain, AD 60 or 61). At least, it features an actress dressed as Boadecea, since photography was invented a couple thousand years after Boadecea’s heroic acts in the name of Britain.

Of course I have lots of pictures in costume, just not many from the 19th century. The amazing Cabinet Card Gallery features tons of cabinet cards of actors and actresses in various costumes. Since I have more modern photos, I thought I’d share one that has been in my family for many years.

Pioneer family

Pioneer family

This photo was incredibly difficult to photograph because the glass reflected every little glare! You can still see my hands and camera, I apologize. It is framed professionally so not possible to remove the photo for scanning.

The photo itself was taken in the late ’70s. Visitors who know anything about historical fashion will immediately question the dating because Mother there is wearing an Edwardian dress and hat! As well you should, this is MY family in the 1970s, hehe. I have done this to you before, Sepians, but this photo was actually taken by a professional photographer and gave us an idea of what it might have been like to sit for a portrait 100 years prior.

We were in a little town somewhere in the Western US, maybe in Colorado. I don’t really remember. The dresses are over our regular clothing and nothing matched. My sister’s dress was a turkey red and mine was a light pink. My mother’s dress was either lavender or light blue. My dad has a black drape over his legs to make it look like he is wearing slacks. I can remember thinking it a long and arduous process because the photographer would come and rearrange a tiny detail, go back and look through the camera, come back and rearrange a tiny detail, etc etc. The original photographers really did think of themselves as artists and arranged photographs with composition and imagery in mind. Then of course we got the giggles. It was very difficult to not smile, in particular for young girls with lots of energy. But also, we were relatively spoiled at this point by instant photographs. The concept of not smiling and holding still were so foreign to us, it was difficult to hold it for just a few minutes.

Regardless, this photograph hung in my parent’s home for 30-some years. When they moved to a smaller home, I took the photo and now it hangs in my house. Most people don’t think it is anything but an antique photo depicting a loving family. I love that my mother had it framed to look antique, as well. One day it will be in actuality an antique photo, haha, but at this point it is a neat family treasure.

For more photos of people in costumes, click over to Sepia Saturday. You will be happy you did!

Playing around


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