1838: The first photograph of a human being This picture, the earliest known photograph to include a recognizable human form, was taken in Paris, France, in 1838 by Louis Daguerre. The human in question is standing in the bottom-left of the photograph, on the pavement by the curve in the road. He is having his boots shined.
Daguerreotype photography was invented by Louis Daguerre (1789-1851) and was made public in 1839. In the Daguerreotype process a picture made on a silver surface sensitized with iodine was developed by exposure to mercury vapour. Daguerre granted the right to make and sell daguerreotype cameras to a relative of his, Alphonse Giroux of Paris. Photography thus became available to the general public in 1839 and this was the first commercially available camera.