Most pictures were staged at this time simply because the "film" (glass or metal plates, mostly) were difficult to handle and prepare, the cameras were very bulky, and exposure times were typically fairly long.
Live action photography was pretty much non existent. There are some, such as the only known picture of an actual old west style gunfight (found in the Time Life series of books on the old west, the Gunslingers volumn, I believe), but the figures are generally blury as hell because of the movement.
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza
Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.