Engage with the hobby of photography, which has been one of America’s most popular leisure activities since the development of the Kodak camera and roll film in 1888 ushered in a new mass market for amateur photography. From this original two-pound model, cameras evolved to become lighter and easier to use for the photographer. The 20th century saw the development of Kodak’s Brownie camera (first marketed to young mothers and children in 1900), the 35mm camera (introduced in 1925), the instant camera (pioneered by Polaroid in 1948), the digital camera (introduced in 1975), and the disposable camera (first widely marketed in 1986).
Film development evolved with each major change to cameras. At first, amateur photographers had to develop their photos in what was called a “dark room,” where outside light wouldn’t interfere with the delicate development process. Many professional photographers and amateur enthusiasts still prefer the creative process involved with developing photos in a dark room, but many cameras no longer require film.
The digital camera proved to be the most popular camera model in the 21st century, for its ease of use and the ability to share digital photos on social media websites. Cameras built into smart phones spawned a cultural trend in which people—particularly millennials—would take pictures of themselves, called “selfies,” with their smartphone’s camera and either text them to friends or post them on Facebook or Instagram. Powerful photo editing programs make it easy to manipulate and improve digital photos.