…the light is best when the heavens are clouded and the sun shines through the clouds. Lighthaired and lighteyed subjects should avoid a very bright day if convenient.
Arrangements for the babies should be made so as not interfere with their daily sleep, as they look and feel so much better and sweeter after a nap.
Arrange matters at the office, or the shop, or at home, or with you [sic] creditors, so that you can take it perfectly easy during the operations of awaiting your turn and the making of your picture. If you do, the likeness will be calm, peaceful, and true to you, and you will feel repaid for your tranquility.
Dress is a matter which should have your careful attention. The photographer is very much tried by his patrons sometimes, who place upon their persons, when about to sit for a picture, all sorts of gewgaws and haberdasheries which they never wear when at home, or when mingling among their friends. The consequence is some miserable distortions and caricatures, which chagrin all concerned. Dress naturally, and think a little while you are about it.
Ladies with dark or brown hair especially, should avoid such contrast [very light colors with their very dark hair.] Open lacework collars and embroideries are prettier than solid ones, which the latter are apt to take white. Ladies and children with light hair should dress in something lighter than those whose hair is dark or brown. We will give you a photographic reason for this. Light substances photograph more quickly than dark. Hence is a fair person wears dark dresses, either the person wil be overdone and vice versa with a dark person.
This subject [behavior] we broach reluctantly, but we often meet the opposition from our patrons which is certain to spoil the results, and which absorbs too much time. For our mutual good, permit us to be frank. The headrest must be used, not to give the position, but that you may keep it. The natural pulsations of the body cause it to move in (in spite of the strongest will) sufficient to make your negative useless. Time will be saved then, by it’s use. Wink as much as you please, but don’t turn your eyes. While sitting for your picture, forget all dolefulness, and also forget where you are. Whistle Yankee Doodle mentally, or think of some pleasant thing that will enliven your spirits and impress a pleasant look upon you [sic] face.
- Edward L. Wilson, 1871
- Edward L. Wilson, 1871