By 1867 the news was about a portrait photographer who had set up shop in town. Junk and Company Photographers, operated by John Junk, were offering their services in Boise’s classifieds for a couple of years. You could get “pictures in every style” as well as enameled cards. In 1869, Photographer Junk was mentioned in the Statesman once more, this time as a resident of Helena, Montana, and the victim of a fire, the fourth time flames had destroyed his business.
S.W. Wood was in town in the fall of 1873 with his camera and a tent set up on Eighth Street near the old court house where he was “prepared to do all kinds of work in his line, and at reasonable prices.” He was likely one of many traveling photographers of the day.
Boise had its own resident picture-taker again in 1874 when I.B. Curry set up shop. He operated until about 1880.
Photography was becoming a necessity among a certain class when in 1877 the Statesman carried this advice headlined “How to Fix the Mouth.”
“As the season is approaching when the ladies will be looking their prettiest, and the clear strong sunlight will be conducive to the highest success of the art, the following suggestions from a distinguished photographer may prove of great value:
“When a lady, sitting for a picture, would compose her mouth to a bland and serene character, she should, just upon entering the room, say ‘Bosom,’ and keep the expression into which the mouth subsides until the desired effect in the camera is evident.”
The article went on to suggest that if a lady were to want “to assume a distinguished and somewhat noble bearing, not suggestive of sweetness, she should say ‘Brush,’ the result of which is infallible. If she wishes to make her mouth look small, she must say ‘Flip,’ but if the mouth be already too small and needs enlarging she must say ‘Cabbage.’”
Whether or not the instructions were intended to form a mouth where the tongue would rest firmly in the cheek is not entirely clear.
The Idaho Tri-Weekly Statesman covered a photo shoot of 500 students in the spring of 1887. The City School students from first grade through high school were rounded up by “Prof. Daniels,” who was the superintendent of the school district, and arranged “them in a group, the large girls and boys in the rear, and the very little folks in various pretty attitudes in the fore-ground.” According to the paper “Photographer Cook blush(ed) at finding himself the object of one thousand curious and sparkling eyes.”
It would be a treat to see that old photo and to check for goofy faces, protruding tongues, and rabbit ears from fingers. How early did that start, do you suppose?