First Photograph of a Person

In the bottom left corner a man can be seen having his shoes shined on the Boulevard du Temple in Paris
In the bottom left corner a man can be seen having his shoes shined on the Boulevard du Temple in Paris

Historical Context

In early 1838, Louis Daguerre used his famous daguerreotype process of photography to snap a photo of the Boulevard du Temple in Paris. The streets in the photo appear deserted: this is because the exposure time for the photo was so long that the cars and trams could not be captured.

Thus only the man having his shoes shined and the shoeshiner were motionless enough to be caught. This is thus the first known photograph of a person.

The daguerreotype was the first publicly available process of photography, announced in 1839, and for the following 20 years it was the most commonly used process.

Photo Info


Photographer: Louis Daguerre
Location taken: Paris, France

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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