The first photograph was taken in 1827 by a retired French army officer - Joseph Niepce. This job took him eight hours to complete, so he named it a Heliograph (sun drawing). However, photographing technology did not jump start until 1839. Louis Daguerre had invented a way to reproduce the image on a metal plate. The picture only took 30 minutes to expose, which is much more shorter than 8 hours. Started from here, photography became major influential element that impelled people's life as well as many areas of art world. Through a picture, people were able to record the past and the present of their lives. The medium of photography became an important tool beside fine art to record everything happened in the world - misery, joy, wars, poverty as so on.
When photography became more popular, and cameras became more portable, photography helped the fine artists capture the moments of everyday people's lives. Artists started to paint ordinal people and objects. Photography indirectly kick off the impressionist movement. Artists were no longer focus on emulating reality, because they knew that they had no way to compete with photography for the ultimate reality. Instead, they sought to express their feeling of nature, people, and the world.
In 1840s, Thomas Bewick used images in the editorials and advertisements. Photography became a powerful illustrating tool in newspapers, books, and magazines. People were able to have better understanding about the printing materials both visually and verbally.
In terms of graphic design, photography held a significant position in reproduction field. It helped graphic designers speed up the design process. It also inspired designers in many ways. Moreover, illustrators gained more freedom of expression through photomechanical reproduction than handmade plate.