To illustrate my point, allow me to introduce you to my Great Grandmother Hazel (McKinley) Layton, also known as: The Most Consistently Miserable-Looking Person Ever.
The lesson I have learned from Great Grandmother Layton (who passed away two years before I was born) is that you should occasionally smile in photographs, even if you aren’t particularly happy, if only because you don’t want future generations to look at you and wonder, “What the hell is wrong with her?”
But, wait! Weren’t people usually frowning back then? Well, yes, many of my family’s old photos feature unhappy-looking people. However, several photos prove that Hazel chose not to smile even when others seemed to be having a good time.
The closest she comes to a smile is in this photograph with her niece, Ida Jane Easterly, although I could be mistaken. It might just be a grimace – her shoes do look awfully uncomfortable.
I’m sure Great Grandmother Layton was a fine woman who just did not enjoy being photographed. But I can’t help it – I will always think of her as the family grump.