A snapshot photograph of a group of coastguards taken by an unknown photographer in about 1905. A group of coastguards stand around the base of a harbour lighthouse. One looks out to sea with a telescope. Without modern radios or radar, safety at sea relied strongly upon the vigilance of the coastguard and the presence of lighthouses to show harbour entrances and warn of hazards. Originally a shooting term, the word 'snapshot' was first linked with photography in the late 1850s, when it was used to describe a photograph taken with a brief exposure. Over time, snapshot came to mean any amateur photograph taken with a simple camera. The origins of popular photography can be traced back to George Eastman's [1854-1932] introduction of the first Kodak camera in 1888. Snapshots are informal, personal records of everyday life and experiences.
© Kodak Collection / National Science & Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library