The first family pictures date back to the paintings of Ancient Egypt and China. During those times, however, family portraits were as important for record keeping purposes as they were for commemorating individuals and families. Since early photography did not appear until the middle 19th century, the reliance on portrait painting has resulted in many iconic depictions by the likes of Michelangelo, DaVinci, Rembrandt, and countless anonymous painters.
When Louis Jacque Mande Daguerre invented what would become known as daguerreotype 1830s, it was finally possible to create unique images of any object or person, of course, given the appropriate amount of light was available. While daguerreotype productions could be costly and time consuming to process, improvements to exposure time, coupled with the invention of film, made photography the preferred medium for everything from dramatic mountain peaks to fun family portraits.
Although the first film cameras were a considerable improvement over the daguerreotype, the biggest obstacle for photographers was lighting. Unless photos were taken outdoors, it could be challenging to find somewhere to take family portraits in proper lighting. When American inventor Joshua Cohen unveiled the flash lamp in 1899, it was a revelation to photographers. In fact, it was the development of the flash lamp that finally allowed photographers to begin opening family portrait studios.
Today, it seems as if every major retailer has an in store studio, and offers everything from those awkward family portraits to sentimental baby portraits. While retail photo studios are popular among people looking for somewhere to take family portraits, there are a lot great portrait deals out there. It is just a matter of taking the time to shop around.