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Thread: Period correct clothing of a photographer?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Browns Summit, NC
    Posts
    31

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    I know that no women, or at least documented, were photographers during the war. My wife is a photographer. To get her involved, would it be better to dress her as a male civilian photographer, or maybe a viv?

  2. #12

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    Do you mean that she does period wetplate photography, or that she wants to take modern photographs of reenactments?

    Hank Trent
    hanktrent@gmail.com

  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Browns Summit, NC
    Posts
    31

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    I am going to build a box camera that will house her modern camera, that way it will not stick out like a sore thumb. One of these days, we will get her into the wetplate

  4. #14

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    She will have challenges whichever way she dresses.

    Vivandieres had specific duties that did not include "company shutterbug." If she is not prepared to do those duties, she should not dress as if she were. They are also over-represented in The Hobby as a whole compared to the historic record of vivandieres here in America.

    A woman dressing as a man in this Hobby has a habit of bringing out the ire. As a civilian, she'd probably have an easier time of it than if she were to dress as a soldier... but the attitude of "she's a civilian anyway, why can't she just dress as a woman" would come to the fore. If she makes the choice to dress as a man, understand that there will be events where she is not welcome. It's not a happy prospect, but it is a fact of this Hobby.
    There were, in period, many areas where a person dressing in garments associated with the opposite gender could be arrested, fined heavily, and even jailed... for women, they further risked confinement to a mental institution. Such punishments didn't happen as often in the mid-19th century as in earlier centuries, but those laws were still "on the books."

    As I have suggested in previous threads... a woman serving as "company shutterbug" should position herself with the modern spectators at the battle and snap away and arrange with the company command staff to take photos as the event is winding down and everyone is "out of character" but still dressed. Such a person should create an impression that can work well with her company, but dressed as a woman of the period. The modern camera can be taken out at set times that everyone in the company knows ahead will happen and has agreed to.
    -Elaine Kessinger

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