In the early days of photography, many well-off families jumped at the chance to have their precious children's likeness captured for eternity.

The one trick that they had to deal with next, after finding photographers willing to set up the bulky equipment and traveling to the portrait location, was getting the little babies to sit still for the entirety of the session.

As a result, many photographers enlisted the help of the children's mothers, with often creepy outcomes.

Sometimes, the child would be sitting upright on the lap of their cloaked parent, which is odd because many of the babies would not have been able to do so at that point in their early life, but also because the viewer is expected to completely ignore the bizarre figure that is clearly behind the child.

Photography of the cloaked parent was known as "hidden mother photography". It is a genre of photography common in the Victorian era in which young children were photographed with their mother present but hidden in the photograph. It arose from the need to keep children still while the photograph was taken due to the long exposure times of early cameras.

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