Tag Archives: civil war photo

My Birthday, 1863

My official birthday portrait with my lady friend Ellen. We’re for the Union, of course.

This was taken at Professor Bellows Old Time Photography at the Mall of America.  It was fairly quick – one downside is that they don’t really let you paw through all the costumes… you pick your era and they show you about 4 dress options. And you keep your pants on. Did you know that? The dresses tie up the back. I guess it’s good when you get to keep your pants on. Saves a lot of time.

If I ever have my vintage store, I might reserve a back room for portrait shenanigans, although I’d leave out of the usual Civil War/Old West/Ragtime/Flapper choices. Why not have a Mad Men-esque setting? Or 1950s sock hop? Or a 1969 Hell’s Angels rally? The possibilities are endless. I think there’s an untapped market here. The Civil War thing might be played out.

I don’t know that we ever grow out of our desire to dress up and be someone else for awhile. When I was little we had a lot of my mom’s and dad’s  old clothes to play with. There was my dad’s hats and uniforms from his time in the Army Reserves. Dresses my mom wore to dances. A velvet jacket. A leopard print beret. White gloves. We loved to dress up in them. I think dress-up clothes when you’re little can really spark imagination – you’re in the clothes, you’ve become the character. It’s different from dressing up a doll.

It opens you up to all sorts of possibilities.