I was very humored in a tid-bit I found in my current reading of a biography of the realist painter George Caleb Bingham.
For a period of time in the mid 1800’s Bingham moved to a then muddy and under construction Washington D.C. With a portrait studio on Pennsylvania Avenue, he took various commission including that of a current member of congress from Massachusetts in 1844, John Quincy Adams (who would be our 6th president).
Apparently Adams, a tireless keeper of diaries wrote: “From half past 9 o’clock I sat to Mr. John Cranch and Mr. Bingham who occupy jointly the painting room for my portrait.” Adams would list five other sittings. On May 21st he remarked, “neither… is likely to make out either a strong likeness or a fine picture.” Everyone is a critic, just imagine if that is the person you are painting!
Bingham would make three portraits of Adams, this one being the earliest. What floored me was Adams grouchy attitude could likely be because he would have to sit for FOURTY-FIVE artists in his lifetime. He pondered in his diary “another man lives who has been so woefully and so variously bedaubed as I have been.”
So, if you are someone of note, maybe there are some advantages to having a camera around. But hey, Kodak did put a lot of portrait painters out of business.
(This info is from: Painter on the Frontier The Life and Times of George Caleb Bingham by Alberta Wilson Constant. See- not everything can be found on the internet.)