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Photography History: The Evolution of Cameras Shown in Portraits

By Hanssie on December 14th 2015

The history of cameras is a fascinating one. We’ve come a long way from the invention of cameras to the current iteration of the iPhone. We’ve stepped out of the darkroom and behind a computer screen. Have we evolved into something better? Well, the tech behind it all, at least, has progressed in spades, and this following video from COOPH shows us in 11 portraits just how far we’ve come.

COOPH is the Cooperative of Photography, and they’ve brought us some fun videos in the past such as 8 DIY TRICKS YOU CAN DO WITH YOUR SMARTPHONE and PHOTO COMPOSITION: 9 BASIC GUIDELINES FOR BETTER PHOTOGRAPHS. In their latest offering, COOPH takes us on a quick tour of history as we begin with the pinhole camera and end with the modern day smartphone camera.


Pinhole Camera





Partnering with photographer Leo Rosas, the team uses one model and with the help of Photoshop, recreated 11 types of portraits to show “how the evolution of the camera has directly influenced portraits.” With one photo shoot, each camera milestone was covered including, as mentioned above, the Pinhole camera, Daguerreotype, Calotype, Tintype, Leica 35mm, Polaroid, Lomography, Disposable camera, SLR, DSLR and Camera Phone.

It’s a fun and interesting look down memory lane, and no, I don’t remember the pinhole camera, I was just a baby…

To learn more about COOPH, check out their website here and follow them on the following social media sites:

To see more work from photographer Leo Rosas check out his website here and follow him on the following social media sites:

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Paul Empson

    I suppose the fact they want me to watch a video.. to highlight the evolution of cameras in portraits.. says it all..

    I’d have preferred to just view the 11 images and have text to read.. I do find, having to wait for video.. a pain..

    Each medium has it’s merits, films are great for telling a story: front to back.. if you are prepared and wanting to wait for it to be told…

    Photos are great for allowing us to read in to a moment, in as much time and for as long as we want..

    The evolution of the camera that allows us to do both.. is an excellent evolution but imho.. video is not the best medium to view individual photos..

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  2. Barry Cunningham

    My favorite era is the future.

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