In 2002, a couple of weeks before Dad died at eighty years of age (he was in the throes of Parkinson's disease), he was in the living room, sitting immobile and was insistent we be quiet. as he believed a Mr. Brady was taking his picture for posterity. Mr. Brady was angry, he didn't want my father to move and Brady wanted us to be quiet. Brady, reportedly, was furious with the noise level, when I was trying to find out from the only other person in the house -- my mother -- if there was a BRADY photography studio on Staten Island (New York) where my parents originally were born and lived for a majority of their lives (nor, nowhere else we resided, for that matter.) After 2 1/2 hours, I had quite enough, as I was angry because I really thought the medications were doing this to my father. I kept searching for a Brady studios in the telephone books, as well as the Internet. Two days after Dad died, all of a sudden I realized: Brady... Mathew Brady. "But attempting to hold a pose for so long a time could result in a blank stare. To avoid that, the sitter might be instructed to gaze at some distant object, instead of looking directly into the camera lens. Photographic Art Journal, in 1851, advised subjects to think serious or pleasing thoughts, depending on which ever expression they desired..."
"...the sitter's head and the rod behind the sitter's body, they could not be seen in the photograph... When all was in readiness and the camera focused, the plate was inserted in the back of the camera. 'Don't move a muscle!' the sitter was told. 'Don't even breathe!'
The operator then removed the cap from the camera's lens. The subject strained to remain as still as a statue. No one even spoke. After the required exposure time, the lens cap was replaced and everyone breathed a sigh of relief.
The plate was removed from the camera, then developed and mounted. At some studios the process was completed in fifteen minutes to half an hour..." [Page 18].
(Do take a look pages 16-20 which is like what occured in our living room.)
So this book about Mathew Brady was helpful far beyond its original intention. A very interesting book, about a very intriguing photographer!