Happiness and Smiling for the Camera

Before Kodak came out with the Brownie – the first inexpensive, portable camera – in 1900, people didn’t tend to smile for pictures because getting your picture taken was a lengthy process. Plus it wasn’t considered dignified and respected, which was important to people who could afford photographs. Kodak brought quick photography to the masses by making it affordable and then marketing it as a way to capture happy moments. Kodak’s slogans (“Vacation days are Kodak days” and “Save your happy moments with a Kodak”) helped turn the idea of photography into something that could be – and should be – enjoyed by everyone. Everyone except Mark Twain: “A photograph is a most important document, and there is nothing more damning to go down to posterity than a silly, foolish smile caught and fixed forever.”

Sounds like Mark Twain would’ve been a fan of the smize.