The History of Portrait Photography

Annabelle Annabelle


Portrait photography is defined as a picture of an individual or a group of people that conveys the personality of the subject(s) through the image. A good people photographer is one who can capture the personality of another person through photography by utilizing effective backdrops, lighting, and poses.

people photographer

The form of photography we are familiar with today began in France in the 1800’s when Joseph NiĆ©pce created the first image using a camera obscura. Photographers explored how different chemicals worked when creating their permanent pictures and the art quickly grew and expanded from there.

Cameras for All

In the 1880’s, George Eastman created the company Kodak. Prior to this, only the rich and the famous had access to cameras. By creating Kodak, more people could get their hands on cameras and take photos. Owning a camera and having pictures printed was more affordable.

World War II

During the 1930’s, photographers began using 35 mm cameras to document actual life as it was going on around them rather than just staged portraits. With the onset of World War II, many new photojournalists began taking pictures like this and people were able to see just how graphic and deadly war was. This way of taking photographs changed the way the world viewed photography.

The Digital Age

Fast forward to present day photography and you will see just how far photography has come. People are now able to take pictures from their smartphones and other electronic devices. With the tap of a finger, pictures can instantly print from a printer in your own home. The majority of photographs are no longer printed in photo labs, people can do is themselves. Pictures don’t even need to be printed anymore because they can be stored digitally on computers or other electronic devices.