Vernacular Photography

Sunday, March 19th 2023

Vernacular photography is a term used to describe photographs taken by amateur or non-professional photographers that capture everyday scenes, events, and people. It is also referred to as amateur photography or snapshot photography. Unlike art photography, which is created for artistic or commercial purposes, vernacular photography is created for personal reasons, such as recording memories, documenting family events, or creating visual records of daily life.

Vernacular photography has a long history, dating back to the invention of photography in the mid-19th century. The first snapshots were taken by early pioneers of photography, such as William Henry Fox Talbot and Louis Daguerre, who experimented with the medium as a way of capturing everyday scenes and objects.

In the early 20th century, Kodak introduced the first affordable and easy-to-use cameras, which allowed people to take snapshots of their daily lives with greater ease. The popularity of snapshot photography continued to grow throughout the 20th century, as cameras became more advanced and accessible to the general public.

The most prominent figures in vernacular photography are often unknown and anonymous, as the photographs were created for personal use and were not intended for public display. However, some vernacular photographers have gained recognition for their work, such as Vivian Maier, whose street photography was discovered after her death and has since gained widespread acclaim.