As I sit around at home during this quiet time, I got to thinking about why people didn’t smile in old photos.

In the old days, cameras were slow and a single exposure would be several seconds long. If anyone moved, the photograph would be blurry, so as a result, everyone had to stay very still. This resulted in portraits having everyone in an unnaturally stiff pose, and it’s why we think of people in the past as being so much more stoic, serious, and stern than we are today. But this isn’t necessarily the truth. Here’s a rare photograph of how our ancestors really were– joyful, smiley, playful, and goofy– everything that we are today.

Why people don't smile in old photos