History of Commercial Photography

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The History of Photography. Depending on what you consider a camera or photograph to be, photography can date back either a few hundred years or much longer than that. . Anyway you slice it, the history of photography is filled with interesting tales and is quite dramatic. . ID: 562856 Download Presentation

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History of Commercial Photography

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History of Commercial Photography


The History of Photography

Depending on what you consider a camera or photograph to be, photography can date back either a few hundred years or much longer than that. Anyway you slice it, the history of photography is filled with interesting tales and is quite dramatic.

Photo from the creative commons.


Photography is Important

We see hundreds of photos every single day.

In order to understand and appreciate photography, it is important to look back and see how cameras and photos have developed over the years.



Many events over the past several centuries have defined what we call photography today.

There are several key people and moments that shaped the future of photography.

In this presentation, we will discuss a few of those moments and people, and how they affected photography.


The First Camera

One of the first types of cameras in the world was the “camera obscura.” It was a room with a small hole on one side that allowed an image to be projected inside. To the right is an image that displays how a camera obscura worked.During the next 50 years, modifications were made on this same basic design to make it both smaller and more mobile.

Photo from the public domain.


Making Images Permanent

Eventually, a man named Joseph Niepce developed a way to take photographs that stuck around.

Photo from the public domain.

Niepce worked with Louis Daguerre.

The image on the right is the first permanent photograph, taken in 1826 by Joseph Niepce.

The exposure time of this image was eight hours.

These early permanent photos were named “Daguerrotypes.”


Different Methods

After the daguerrotype was created, several more antique photographic methods were developed. Each improved upon the previous. Below are some of the most common: Daguerrotype (1840-1855) – Made on silver and subject to tarnish. Ambrotype (1855-1865) – Made on glass. Didn’t tarnish, but was subject to cracking and flaking. Tintype (1855 - 1900) – Made on tin. Didn’t tarnish or crack away.

An example daguerrotype.

Photo from the public domain.


Bringing Photography to the Masses

George Eastman was the person who first brought photography to the masses. He created and sold a simple box camera that featured a fixed focus lens and roll film that fit inside and allowed people to take multiple photos. This was the first time that cameras were cheap enough and easy enough to use that the public could purchase and use them.

Photo from the public domain.


Evolution of the Camera

The “Brownie” camera was introduced in the 1900s.

It made photography even cheaper, and popularized the “snapshot.”

In the 1940s instant film was popularized by the public.

In the 1980s disposable cameras were developed.


Digital Photography

In the 2000s and more recently, photography has moved away from film and embraced the digital world. This adjustment made it easier and cheaper for people to take photos, without having to worry about using up film. They were also able to immediately view a shot. Instead of being made to work with film, cameras were outfitted with digital sensors.

Photos from the public domain.


Commercial Photography

Once photographs became reproducible and of high quality, photography was welcomed as not just an art form, but as a means of commercialism too.

People with enough money to purchase above average photography equipment, and with professional level skills, created careers/jobs, such as fashion photographer, product photographer and much more.


Social Media

Social media and the advent of cameras being built into cell phones made it very easy for amateurs to gain an interest in photography. It also helped amateur photographers share their work online. This also allowed a whole new generation of photographers to become well-known, based entirely on the general public following their social media accounts.

Image provided by Will Milne, Denton ISD.


The Future

Cameras continue to increase in ability each and every day.

Currently, cameras are evolving in a few different areas, such as:

Low light ability, camera size, shutter speeds, megapixels, built in internet/editing capabilities and the ability to record video



One of the first types of cameras was the camera obscura.

Daguerrotypes helped to make photographs permanent.

George Eastman helped bring photography to the masses.

Digital photography made it easier and cheaper for the public to get involved with photography.

Professional equipment and skills allow people to pursue photography as a career.

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