The first human to be photographed?

Take a close look at this photo. It was supposedly taken by Louis Daguerre, the inventor of the daguerreotype, the first model of the camera, on the streets of Paris in 1838. And it might just be the earliest photo to include a person. The man can be seen in the bottom left corner, one leg raised, presumably getting his shoes shined.

Why do we not see a crowded Parisian street? In order to capture the image, Daguerre exposed a chemically treated metal plate for ten minutes. Only images that were motionless during the process appeared in the final picture. So, others were walking or riding in carriages down that busy street that day, but because they moved, they didn’t show up. Only this guy stood still long enough to leave an image.

Other primitive forms of photography had preceded this picture by over a decade. However, this shadowed, forever anonymous character is the first human to be captured in a photo. Can you say profile pic?


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