Woman on a beach in sunhat and swimsuit, c 1935.

Woman on a beach in sunhat and swimsuit, c 1935.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 24cm x 32cm


Snapshot photograph of a woman on a beach in Britain, taken by an unknown photographer. The woman wears a bold floral print swimsuit and holds on to a large straw hat in the wind. The pose and composition of the photograph may well be influenced by the cinema. Hollywood greatly influenced people's awareness of style and ideas of glamour during the 1920s and 1930s. Stars such as Dorothy Lamour and Esther Williams in films featuring exotic locations and synchronised swimming all helped to create an interest in figure-hugging swimwear. 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.

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© Kodak Collection / National Science & Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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