Photography in the past ain’t like how it is today. But this doesn’t just reflect the intricacies of photography, it also shows the mortality of life back then.
“Why didn’t the mothers simply pose with their children? According to Nagler, it reflects one of the core instincts of motherhood: to deny oneself in deference to the child. In the case of the photographs compiled in The Hidden Mother, Nagler notes that mothers have often opted to hide themselves in order to immortalize a child who might not live to be the subject of another photo, owing to the high infant mortality rates of the period.
Put in that light, the photographs of the camouflaged parents in The Hidden Mother stop being comic. The supreme instinct of a parent is self-negation for the sake of his or her children. It is through this act of self-negation that the parents of The Hidden Mother have now been immortalized.”