Japanese woman on a bridge, c 1925.
© NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society
A snapshot photograph of a Japanese woman crossing a bridge, taken by an unknown photographer in about 1925. The woman is dressed in a fine kimono and carries a large parasol. The hills in the background above the village are shrouded in mist or low cloud. This is an atmospheric photograph that gives a sense of the romantic idea of Japan. This could be a view of the Japan of the Shoguns, except for the modern motor boat in the background. 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.