The man who coined the word ‘snapshot’ : Sir John Herschel

Sir John Herschel

The term snapshot was coined in 1860 by Sir John Herschel, who saw the aiming and quick snapping of the camera shutter as analogous to the quick aim and snap of a gun trigger used in hunting. Although Herschel envisioned pictures being made quickly at the snap of the camera shutter as early as 1860, snapshot photography did not really come into existence for another 20 years. This was the result of increased film speeds and hand-held cameras, which made it possible to capture both the moment and the movement.

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