The Art of the Snapshot (We’re Still Making Them Today!)

A couple of friends over for a BBQ bumping elbows.

I have a love for old snapshots. There’s something special about those photos that aren’t meant for the gallery wall, that aren’t going to win awards, but are just simply destined for the photo album–the “open-the-pages-and-reminisce book” that we used to create all the time but now finds itself out of fashion. I predict it will return one day. It has in some ways with the rise of printing of photo books.

Simple snapshots are the stories of a life. Our life. The places we’ve gone, the things we’ve done, and the people who populated our world’s play.

Photography, even back in its infancy, was touting the ability to use photographs as a memory-jogger.

From a Century Camera catalog from 1904.
Christmas morning in our home, 2020.
Snapshot of a friend and his biking friend at a local pub.

There are many resources for snapshots as art, and there are numerous collectors of snapshot photography, also called vernacular photography. Peter Cohen has a large collection for view online. There was a NY Times article about it.

But no matter how much time ages prints, and how much the photos becomes “cool”, they were all made with the simple goal of remembering something, where they were in time, who they were with.

Just like we do today.

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Check out my YouTube Channel of Photography Talks: my 6×6 Portraits Blog (you’re here) and my Daily Photography Podcast. Thanks!

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