Kodak and the Rise of Amateur Photography
by Mia Fineman
This essay explains how the introduction of the Kodak #1 camera in 1888 changed the landscape of America by encouraging individuals to “push the button” and “smile for the camera.” Kodak’s aggressive style of advertising its products also created a backlash in the artistic community.
Why We Say “Cheese”: Producing the Smile in Snapshot Photography
by Christina Kotchemidova
This essay explores the history of the toothy smile as a standard expression in snapshots. An analysis of popular photo journals throughout the twentieth century suggests that Kodak played a leadership role in shaping the conceptualization and the cultural habits around photography at the time when the technology was becoming mass-consumed. The Eastman Corporation actively and innovatively used the idea of consumer happiness in its persuasion work, skillfully exploiting visual codes.
In relationship to the introduction of the Kodak, discuss how the new camera changed the concepts of Productivity, Empowerment, and ritualizing interactions between the photographer and subject.
Why did some photographers from the photo-secession movement in response to the Kodak?