Here‘s a fascinating article about how babies were made to sit through the long exposure necessary to have their portrait taken in the nineteenth century – mothers dressed up as chairs, holding them.
Here is a slideshow of the photos.
One question is whether it was always mothers – as opposed to fathers, or servants – who held the babies, or whether that’s something the journalist, Bella Bathurst, assumes.
Another point of interest, noted in the article, is that many of the photographers were women.
An interesting topic for an aesthetics class, I think.