Indian holy men, c 1908.
© NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society
A snapshot photograph of a group of Indian holy men at a Durbar in India, taken by an unknown photographer in about 1908. The holy men in their pointed hats and brightly coloured clothes stand in front of a group of elephants. A well-dressed man rides in the howdah on the back of an elephant with highly-decorated trappings, perhaps a noble or prince. The holy men were probably attending a Durbar. Durbars were ceremonial gatherings of local Indian rulers, called to celebrate the coronation of a ruler. In this period there were two Durbars in India, in 1903 and 1911. 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