Woman posing in swimsuit on a breakwater, c 1940.
© NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society
Snapshot photograph of a woman at the seaside taken in Britain by an unknown photgrapher. The woman, posing on a breakwater, wears a bold floral print swimsuit and sandals. 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.