I remember one time when my nan showed me a load of old family photos and I mean really old, as in before the days when “Say cheese!” was even uttered. Everyone had the same glacial expressions with eyes that managed to follow you wherever you stood. It was creepy but these photos still physically exist so watch out.
Having some fun with these kinds of portraits is Dan Hillier who tweaks slices of Victoriana with whimical headdresses made out of ornate feathers, horns and branches in his series Feather and Claw. The monochrome works look regal and give a glimpse into a fantastical fictional history. Layered with detail and surprising twists, they’re not creepy at all either.