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A Brief History of Pet Photography

For as long as humans have been making pictures, people have been capturing the likeness of their pets. From Egyptian sculptures of cats and Greek frescos of dogs to Renaissance ladies posing for portraits with their pet ferrets, we have always included our furry friends in our art. There are even cave drawings of men using dogs to help them hunt!

As technology has advanced, it’s become easier and easier to capture our pets in images. The early 1800s saw the first major progress towards developing the cameras that we have today, and Alexander Wolcott was the first person to develop photos that did not fade quickly after being shot in 1840. It was very soon after this advancement that we began to see animals appear in pictures for the first time.

The problem with early photography is that subjects had to remain still for an extended period of time in order for their portrait to come outright. This meant that even the slightest wag of a tail could result in a blurry picture. Pet photos were also limited to special occasions since pictures could only be taken inside a studio. Nonetheless, there are still plenty of photos from this time period, showing us that even people in the 1800s were as dedicated to showing off their pets as we are now!

Another cultural phenomenon that began appearing around the mid-1800s were zoos. For the first time, people could get up close to exotic animals they had only ever heard of before. This led to a new wave of animal photography, as suddenly creatures like cheetahs and zebras were close enough to capture on film.

By the late 1800s, the invention of faster film and compact cameras made it easier to capture pictures of animals in their natural environment. Pet photography would only get better from there, as the early 1900’s saw technology so advanced that cameras could capture shots of animals in motion, such as a bird in flight or a horse mid-leap.

Now that cameras are so advanced and can fit in the palm of our hands, there’s nothing to stop us from taking as many pictures of our pets as our heart's desire! At Iconic Paw, we want to help you to not only immortalize your pet’s likeness but do so in a way that is truly unforgettable. Through our custom pet portraits, we seek to capture each animal’s unique personality and style. Simply visit https://iconicpaw.com/ and see how we can turn your adorable pet photos into a gallery-worthy portrait shipped straight to your home!


Sources:

https://www.studiobinder.com/blog/when-was-the-camera-invented/

https://blogs.getty.edu/iris/a-brief-history-of-animals-in-photography/

https://fanimal.online/the-history-of-pet-portraits/