8/25/12

"Making" Chinese Family Portraits Before Photoshop

I have seen many Chinese immigrant family portraits that resemble a posed portrait studio shot where everyone is stoically staring blankly at the camera. The parents are seated in the front center, perhaps holding an infant in the mother's lap, and older children or other relatives standing behind or seated on both sides of the parents. I never thought about the logistics of getting all these people together for the portrait, especially when the father might have been working somewhere in the middle of the U. S. or Canada whereas the wife, and most of the family members, might have been living back in the Guangdong village. Some of these family portraits in the earliest days might have been, as suggested in the video with Albert Lee of Halifax, Canada, composite photographs where individual photographs were 'pasted' of merged onto a single photograph! Why didn't I think of that solution?

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