National Photo Month – May 2023

National Photo Month is celebrated each year during May by professional and amateur photographers, and even selfie lovers. The entire month is dedicated to learning the history of photography, mastering its many techniques and skills, and researching which camera is best to invest in. Today, anyone can be considered a photographer in the sense that we constantly take photos of things and people around us. Portable cameras and smartphones have made it easier to click and store photographs on the go. National Photo Month is for everyone who has ever clicked a photo. Share your favorite photos and get your friends to do the same.

History of National Photo Month

National Photo Month was first celebrated in 1987 when Congress recognized the role photos play in our society. The American Photographers Association and other organizations made National Photo Month a time of activities, festivals, photo contests, and exhibits. The celebrations have since taken on a new look in the digital age.

Photographs act like time machines. They give us a peek into our history, ancestry, and legacies from the past. Something as simple as looking at old photos can bring back a rush of memories. Historic photos, once preserved in museums and archives, capture iconic figures from history in the most important moments of their careers as well as in their unguarded moments. Photos help in creating legends out of regular people and also humanize those whom we think of as legends.

Through photographs, we can relive the most momentous achievements of humankind, such as astronaut Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. Similarly, photographs also capture the injustices of our world. Photographs of wars, prison camps, and illnesses serve as warnings to not repeat history and teach us to be kinder to fellow human beings. People do not only photograph for personal use, they photograph to remember a moment as it is — sometimes becoming the most genuine representation of a time. Photographs are perhaps one of the most reliable ways to document history, and National Photo Month is a celebration of this.

National Photo Month timeline

1888
The First Camera Goes on Sale

The first camera, created by George Eastman, is sold in the U.S. by Kodak for $25.

1948
The Polaroid Camera is Developed

The first camera that generates photos instantly is developed.

1988
The First Digital Camera

The first truly portable digital camera hits the market.

1999
The First Camera Phone is Released

The first phone with a camera, the Kyocera Visual Phone VP-210, is released.

National Photo Month FAQs

When is National Photo Month?

National Photo Month is observed in May.

How can we celebrate National Photo Month?

We can explore our community and take pictures of things that catch your eye. We can also take portrait photos of our friends and family. Setting up a photo booth with wacky props is another fun way of taking photos.

When is World Photography Day?

World Photography Day is celebrated on August 19.

National Photo Month Activities

  1. Take photos

    Celebrate National Photo Month by taking as many photos of the things and people you love. Take photos with your smartphone, digital camera, or Polaroid camera — experiment and have fun!

  2. Sign up for a photography course

    If you’ve always wanted to learn photography techniques, sign yourself up for a month-long course. This is the perfect time to start.

  3. Post on social media

    Post all the photos you’ve taken during National Photo Month to your social media. You can use the hashtag #NationalPhotoMonth to inspire more people to join the trend.

5 Fun Facts About Cameras

  1. The world’s largest camera collection

    Dilish Parekh owns 4,425 cameras, making it the largest camera collection in the world.

  2. The first digital camera was very heavy

    It weighed around eight pounds.

  3. People love uploading photos

    A whopping 95 million photos and videos are uploaded to Instagram each day.

  4. Color photos have been around for years

    The world’s first color photograph was captured in 1861.

  5. Cat photos aren’t a new trend

    The first cat photo was taken in 1870.

Why We Love National Photo Month

  1. All of us can take photographs

    Each one of us is a photographer. We constantly take photos and document our days through candid photographs and selfies. This is why we just love National Photo Month!

  2. Photographs document history

    A photograph is also a historical document. When we celebrate National Photo Month, we acknowledge the many ways photographs capture history and tell stories for future generations to learn from.

  3. It celebrates a marvelous invention

    Today we cannot imagine our lives without cameras. Thanks to smartphones, cameras have become indispensable to everyday life. National Photo Month is a celebration of this great invention.

National Photo Month dates

YearDateDay
2023May 1Monday
2024May 1Wednesday
2025May 1Thursday
2026May 1Friday
2027May 1Saturday
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