Hand coloring

1845 - Hand colored dageurreotype

In the world of photography, people were enthralled by the idea that life could be captured in an image. However – that sense of awe was short-lived. Many people did not understand how the image of life could be taken, but not the color.

To get around this, people began to hand-color their photographs to make up for it. Photographers would give their pictures to artists, who would hand-color the images to give them a bit more life. With great time and skill, fairly realistic colors could be added to the images –however, they were never exact copies of real life.

Photography could capture light and shade, but consumers yearned for something even closer to life.

Artists hand-colored photographs to give them a more life-like appearance.

1855 - Hand colored daguerrotype
1850s - Hand colored portrait
1856 - Hand colored portrait