June 29 is National Camera Day, dedicated to celebrating the history and evolution of photography. Let’s dive in and see how cameras have changed over the years.

National Today says the earliest record of a camera dates back to 400 B.C.E. in China, called camera obscura or pinhole imagery. Camera obscura means “dark chamber” and was essentially a box with a hole inside. A projected image was shown in the hole when light passed through it but would disappear once the light was gone. 

Since then, cameras have significantly changed and are now in most technological appliances like cellphones, tablets, and computers. Photography also lent a helping hand in creating film cameras too. Digital photography has become so normalized that camera companies like Kodak stopped making film cameras nearly 20 years ago. 

The earliest selfie dates back to 1839 and was taken by Robert Cornelius. In his family shop, Cornelius set up his camera and quickly ran into the frame to capture an image of himself. This was during a time when photos took minutes to develop, whereas taking a picture now is virtually instantaneous. Some of the earliest models in photography were corpses since early cameras took hours to snap one photo. This made it easy to take pictures with a model who could not move. 

National Camera Day is significant because anyone can snap a picture now that cameras are fast and require less heavy equipment. Photos are also a great way to reflect on fond memories, either in shoeboxes at home or on social media. Celebrate by taking a picture with you and your loved ones or create a scrapbook for someone you truly admire, surprising them with a thoughtful gift. You could also go on an adventure to ZooMontana or a scenic hiking trail and take pictures while there. 

Above all, enjoy the day and make memories that will last a lifetime. Don’t forget to document this day by taking a ton of photos!