History of Photography

History of Photography:

Did you know that instead of saying “cheese” photographers used to prompt their subjects to say “prunes”?  This was to make sure that the teeth were covered.

In the beginning of photographs, a camera was not seen as a tool for art but instead a technical tool to capture.  For people, it was seen as easier and cheaper than having a portrait painted but was still seen as a timeless record which may only take place once in a lifetime.  Etiquette codes for the time stated that proper people should not grin or bare their teeth in pictures. Big smiles were considered childish or wicked. Even a small grin was associated with drunkards and halfwits, suggesting low class or some mental deficiency. For the most part, the seriousness nature that was encouraged in portraiture painting was passed into early photography.

After Kodak’s brownie box, their marketing team used the faster shutter times in conjunction with holiday portraits to make connections between happy memories and cameras.  They even coined the term “snapshot” and made it normal to smile for pictures.

Students will get to look and touch tin-types and carte de visite cards (all over 100 years old).

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