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View Full Version : When is this girl from?



E.F.B.
08-15-2018, 10:38 PM
https://s26.postimg.cc/9lgu5jutl/3699005_-_Copy_opt.jpg (click here for bigger pic (https://images.gr-assets.com/photos/1526391418p8/3699005.jpg))

I'm wanting to challenge myself by writing a historical fic short story inspired by this picture for a casual, fun contest a group of my writer friends are having. (There were 3 images to choose from as a prompt and I chose this one.) The problem is I'm having trouble deciding when to set my story because I'm getting mixed messages from the picture. The young woman seems to be holding a camera from around 1900? But when I did some research it seems her outfit doesn't match any images I can find of 1900's fashion for adults or children. Honestly, the outfit makes me think more of the times when Little House on the Prairie was set: Sometime between 1870 and 1894...The problem with that is, I'm getting the impression that the cameras during that time were the type you'd have to set on a tri-pod as opposed to being able to carry one around the way she is, and I want the camera to be part of the story. And, again, when researching the fashions from that time it seems like they didn't dress the way she's dressed?

When I asked some friends who have dabbled in historical fic when it looked like her outfit was from, one of them said it looks like a weird take on the way Puritans dressed back in the 1600's, only, the apron doesn't look right, she seems to be wearing a man's hat, and back in the 1600's, cameras like that weren't a thing.

This is all making me feel confused. My story can vary from the pic to a certain extent. No one will complain if my description of her clothes doesn't match exactly as we're pretty much free to do what we want so long as the story is set in the real world. Still...I'd like to use it to give me *some* direction since I haven't done historical fic before and I just need something to grab onto instead of the constant flip-flopping I'm doing now. Is my friend right that the clothes are not from 1900 like the camera is or do any of you have a different opinion?(Did the person who took this photo just dig through a pile of mis-matched old-timey clothes, stick the camera in the girl's hand and say "There, that looks historical enough. To heck with accuracy!" :P)

If it helps to know, my idea as it stands right now revolves around her using the camera, so that has to stay. Setting: A small town somewhere in the mid-west U.S. Knowing WHEN the story happens will help me decide exactly where because I can start researching what significant things were happening out there back then, and then I can start figuring out what the town would look like. Knowing WHEN will also help me decide things like her father's occupation which will come into play in the story.

Please help me make a decision on when this story is set before I flip flop so much I make myself tired. XD

veinglory
08-16-2018, 12:48 AM
Tineye tells me this is a photo by Mohammad Metri of a woman from present day Iran who happens to have an interesting fashion sense.

Alessandra Kelley
08-16-2018, 01:28 AM
This photo reminds me of a lot of ones I have seen in Japanese magazines with a weirdly generic romanticized vision of the past of the West, including the braids, the hat, the prop, and the not-really-from-any-time-or-place-but-sort-of-storybook-past-ish clothing. (Iíve found such things fascinating because they hold a mirror up to what must be just as disconcerting to Asians: the romanticized Orientalized vaguely storybook sort-of-East-Asian martial artist geisha fairytale imagery that still crops up in the West when attempting to invoke China or Japan.)

Kodak introduced hand-held cameras in 1888, so youíre probably okay there.

The clothes are not historic, or at least not from 1900. They appear to be linen in several shades of brown. They might be related to historic Iranian styles (assuming veingloryís identification is correct), trousers under a calf-length tunic with a shorter skirt or apron over that. But well, mostly they appear to be modern clothes on a modern model.

I mean, you could totally still write something inspired by this. But if historic itís already something of a fantasy.

Jaymz Connelly
08-16-2018, 02:27 AM
Maybe, if the camera is the important thing, keep that (and find out the era it would be available as a hand-held), keep the colours of the clothes, but adjust the style to reflect the era the camera is from?

Cath
08-16-2018, 05:28 AM
The camera is a Twin-Lens Reflex (commonly known as a TLR). This style was first available around 1930.

frimble3
08-16-2018, 05:34 AM
How about making use of the fact that she's alone in the picture?
You want her to be from about 1900?
She's the only/favourite child of a well-off rancher. She's always been a bit of a tomboy - the eccentric dress is custom-made to give her wide-legged pants to ride and run around in, and a skirt/apron to roll down if she meets someone.
When she goes into town, she wears a normal (for the time skirt). And does the same if they have guests or parties, etc.
Sort of a 'Caddie Woodlawn' who did not accept the idea of not running with the colts, and becoming a lady.

And, the family must be well-off, because only the rich or the poor can get away with being that odd, and a poor family can't afford an expensive toy like the latest model camera. Or, probably, any camera.

She's hitting that age where she should be married, and not running around the countryside like that. People are starting to talk. Although, if her father is a big man in town, they will be talking in low voices.

She is, after all, only a couple of decades short of being a flapper.

E.F.B.
08-16-2018, 06:52 AM
Thank you all! It helps to know the background behind the picture, if nothing else, to quiet my inner critic down. I was starting to wonder if I was just really bad at researching historical things or something. XD


Tineye tells me this is a photo by Mohammad Metri of a woman from present day Iran who happens to have an interesting fashion sense.
Very interesting! It certainly is a striking image.


This photo reminds me of a lot of ones I have seen in Japanese magazines with a weirdly generic romanticized vision of the past of the West, including the braids, the hat, the prop, and the not-really-from-any-time-or-place-but-sort-of-storybook-past-ish clothing. (I’ve found such things fascinating because they hold a mirror up to what must be just as disconcerting to Asians: the romanticized Orientalized vaguely storybook sort-of-East-Asian martial artist geisha fairytale imagery that still crops up in the West when attempting to invoke China or Japan.)

Kodak introduced hand-held cameras in 1888, so you’re probably okay there.

The clothes are not historic, or at least not from 1900. They appear to be linen in several shades of brown. They might be related to historic Iranian styles (assuming veinglory’s identification is correct), trousers under a calf-length tunic with a shorter skirt or apron over that. But well, mostly they appear to be modern clothes on a modern model.

I mean, you could totally still write something inspired by this. But if historic it’s already something of a fantasy.
That's a great way to describe it and is the impression I get from it, too. Also a very interesting thought on holding a mirror up to the way some things are romanticized. :)

Ah, that's good to know about the cameras. I was a little confused before about when they first got introduced.

Yeah, I think it's going to have to be a loosely based story, but that's okay since the contest rules are loose too and when the leader of our group picks images for picture prompts she's just aiming to find something visually striking that will hopefully give people ideas. Literally the only rule is that the story has to be under a certain word count and has to be set in the real world because most of us group members tend towards writing fantasy or sci-fi and the whole point of the group is to challenge ourselves to try different genres. So I'm sure sticking with the historical western theme for my idea will be acceptable.



Maybe, if the camera is the important thing, keep that (and find out the era it would be available as a hand-held), keep the colours of the clothes, but adjust the style to reflect the era the camera is from? Yep, I think that's what I'm going to need to do. :)


The camera is a Twin-Lens Reflex (commonly known as a TLR). This style was first available around 1930.
Thanks for that! I never would have figured that out on my own, LOL. :)



How about making use of the fact that she's alone in the picture?
You want her to be from about 1900?
She's the only/favourite child of a well-off rancher. She's always been a bit of a tomboy - the eccentric dress is custom-made to give her wide-legged pants to ride and run around in, and a skirt/apron to roll down if she meets someone.
When she goes into town, she wears a normal (for the time skirt). And does the same if they have guests or parties, etc.
Sort of a 'Caddie Woodlawn' who did not accept the idea of not running with the colts, and becoming a lady.

And, the family must be well-off, because only the rich or the poor can get away with being that odd, and a poor family can't afford an expensive toy like the latest model camera. Or, probably, any camera.

She's hitting that age where she should be married, and not running around the countryside like that. People are starting to talk. Although, if her father is a big man in town, they will be talking in low voices.

She is, after all, only a couple of decades short of being a flapper.

Interesting ideas. Thanks for taking the time to reply!



Thank you all again for responding! This really helps me get my idea more focused. :)

snafu1056
08-16-2018, 12:31 PM
People tend to overestimate the bulkiness of old cameras. Relatively small cameras made for everyday use were already being produced by the 1890s. The big tripod models were used mainly by professional photographers or just people who wanted high quality photos.

E.F.B.
08-16-2018, 06:06 PM
People tend to overestimate the bulkiness of old cameras. Relatively small cameras made for everyday use were already being produced by the 1890s. The big tripod models were used mainly by professional photographers or just people who wanted high quality photos.

Thank you for the info! That helps clarify things a lot.

Al X.
08-16-2018, 06:15 PM
It looks to me like the girl is in Amish garb, of which is worn today in certain US states.

snafu1056
08-17-2018, 02:29 AM
Just for laughs this site has some old Kodak catalogues from the 19th century
http://www.kodakcollector.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=7&Itemid=32

E.F.B.
08-17-2018, 05:44 PM
It looks to me like the girl is in Amish garb, of which is worn today in certain US states.
Thanks for the reply!


Just for laughs this site has some old Kodak catalogues from the 19th century
http://www.kodakcollector.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=7&Itemid=32
Ooooh, thank you! I love looking at that kind of thing. :D

WeaselFire
08-19-2018, 01:12 AM
You're challenging yourself by asking us...? Not much of a challenge.

Jeff

Orianna2000
08-20-2018, 06:31 PM
Definitely not period garb, but others have already told you that. It's still a striking photo, though!