EVERYONE IS TENSE IN THIS SMALL FAMILY EXCEPT THE DOG

family

This cabinet card features a family portrait of what appears to be a very tense family. Dad’s facial expression indicates that he is quite angry. At the very least he seems very stern and is the type of guy you don’t want to provoke. Perhaps he is steamed about having to get dressed up and spend money for a photograph that he views as frivolous. Mom is not dealing with the situation. She is looking down toward the floor but she has closed her eyes. It is as if she wants the whole situation to go away. The couple’s son is adorable and smartly dressed in a sailor style outfit. He is displaying some of his dad’s intensity and looks as if he wishes the photographic session would come to a quick end. The only one in this portrait that seems happy is the family dog. This cute canine is bright eyed and flashing a doggy smile. The individuals in this photograph as well as the photographer are unidentified. This particular photograph is one of those images that tells an interesting story but it is up to the observer to hypothesize the details of the story. Perhaps some Cabinet Card Gallery visitors will comment about their perceptions concerning this emotionally provocative photograph.

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Published in: on April 30, 2015 at 12:00 pm  Comments (7)  
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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. seems like the dog is the only one not bothered by having his photo taking…perhaps the young boy was fidgetting so much and his behavoir wearing the mom and dad’s patience thin…..great photo!

    • I agree, Jean. I think the boy was giving them all a fit, and only the dad’s stern rebuke made him stop long enough for the shot. The mom was so embarrassed by them, she couldn’t look anyone in the eye, even folks who might see the photo later. The dog appears to know exactly what is going on, and is laughing because he wants his picture taken for posterity.

  2. This is a scary photo. It looks like it could be a battered wife scene to me. =sigh=

    • @the pamazon; I totally agree. I am at a loss for adequate words to describe how frightening this photograph is.

  3. love your automated messages with selected photos – thanks!

    • Can’t disagree with what has been said. Hard to believe it has survived for us to see (and ponder over). It makes me sad to study it, really. No self-respecting photographer would have allowed it to leave the studio … or put his name on it (Touche!) One can speculate … let me try. He is angry. She is depressed. They are not people of means … probably the clothes are the best they have … for the picture, an (unnecessary?) expense. There is no jewelry, watches, etc, (save her wedding ring, which seems to be a double band). Look at their hands … neither is a stranger to hard work. Could only afford a fly-by-night photographer, who likely gave them a one-plate price, take it or leave it. And yet, the print survived … maybe they laughed at it. I hope so. I am probably completely wrong, but what I see in the picture makes me sad. Except for the Phido … good doggie! Nice collar.

  4. Abusive husband tyrant child, happy loving dog… wife looks sad


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