Return to site

Celebrate National Camera Day Today!

June 29, 2021

National Camera Day is today, Tuesday, June 29, 2021! And we are so excited to celebrate the fact that cameras exist. Cameras are literally the foundation of photography, and photography is an integral part of everyone's everyday lives - especially ours. The art of photography is so important because it captures the magic of those special moments for friends, neighbors, children, families - everyone throughout each step of the walk of life - across the entire world.

Our last blog gave several insiders and best practices from a few talented photographers at Cherry Hill Programs and Photogenic. Did any of those tips and tricks strike a chord in your photography-aficionado heart? We hope so! Our goal is to share our love for photography with everyone - because every moment is magic! And those moments are made possible because of - you guessed it - CAMERAS!

We all know history is important, and we can't celebrate National Camera Day without taking a moment to review how the camera has developed over hundreds of years. We encourage you to learn more about the history of the camera and the art of photography by reading the timeline outlined below. We had fun reminiscing on the technology of the camera over the years by creating a brief overview of the major events that led to what photography is today because of technological advancements and camera engineers who made it possible.

But that's not all! We're super excited to shine the Spotlight on an invaluable team member and professional photographer, Mel Dunn! You're going to love reading about Mel and the journey she shares because of the importance of the camera and how photography has impacted her professional (and personal) journey. Get to know Mel, what led her to her career in photo experiences where she's surrounded by cameras all day, everyday, and why she loves working for Photogenic and Cherry Hill Programs. She is a photographer because she believes in the magic of the camera - and that magic was made accessible to all of us because of the impact photography has had on our society and culture.

Mel Dunn, National Project Manager of Cherry Hill Programs Souvenir Division, takes us to a place that truly defines the reason that National Camera Day exists... because of the moments and perspective photography brings to everyone, everywhere - and the history it captures.


1825 | The First Image Printed 

French scientist, Joseph Nicéphore Niépce invented the heliograph, an early photographic process producing a photo engraving on a metal plate coated with an asphalt preparation. This print required a full eight hours of light exposure to create, but unfortunately, the image still faded over time.  

1839 | The Daguerreotype is Born  

Louis Jacques Daguerre invented the Daguerreotype, also known as a photograph via an early photographic process using an iodine-sensitized silvered plate and mercury vapor. The Daguerreotype was the first publicly available photographic process; it was used primarily during the 1840s and 1850s.

1841 | Calotype Process

William Henry Fox Talbot, an English scientist, inventor, and photographer, invented the Calotype process. The first of its kind, this camera technology produced a negative-positive process which made it possible to reproduce multiple copies of a picture. Due to this discovery and process, many view Talbotat the inventor of photography!

1880 | Enter, George Eastman!

George Eastman, an American entrepreneur and inventor, founded the Eastman Kodak Company, which ultimately makes photography readily available to all. Thank you, Mr. Eastman!

“Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.”

- George Eastman

1888 | George Eastman Launches the First Kodak Camera

This debut camera had a nifty slogan to capture the product and the company's role in its ability:

“You press the button, we do the rest.”

This allowed for the consumer to take 100 exposures on the roll of film, return the film to the company to develop the images, and then return the prints to the customer - the photographer.

1890 | Eastman Kodak Company released The Brownie Camera

The first mass marketed camera of its kind, this camera was wildly popular and sold for only $1 a camera! Can you imagine? ONE DOLLAR!

1925 | The Leica 1

Founded by Oscar Barnack, The Leica 1, was the first commercially available 35mm film camera. This camera technology popularized 35mm film photography and generated a new outlook on photography and its accessibilty.

1935 | Kodachrome

Kodak introduces Kodachrome, the brand name for a color reversal film, in 1935 by George Eastman. This was the first color transparency film that was used for photography and cinematography. It was used mainly for professional color photography intended for print publications.

1948 | Instant Camera

American scientist, Edwin Land, invented the first commercial instant camera, The 95 Land Camera.

“It's not that we need new ideas, but we need to stop having old ideas.”

- Edwin Land

1970s | Digital Camera  

Multiple manufacturers brought the digital camera to life in the 70s. Kodak engineer, Steven Sasson, built the digital prototype out of a camera lens, some Motorola parts, sixteen batteries and the recently (at the time) invented electronic sensors by Fairchild CCD.

2000 | Camera Phone 

By the year 2000, technology progressed to a point where the first mobile phone with a built-in camera was introduced and hit the market! And this, of course, led to the crazy fad and trend we all know and love today - the "selfie"!


MEET MEL DUNN. Without strong lighting, sometimes capturing a moment is difficult, and that's how we feel about Mel Dunn - without her, doing this work just wouldn't be as easy and definitely wouldn't be as fun!

Mel wears many hats as the National Project Manager at Photogenic by Cherry Hill Programs, but her passion lies with the art of photography and the science of capturing the magic of a moment because of the technological power of the camera. As the inaugural Employee Spotlight at Cherry Hill Programs, we are so excited to share our conversations with Mel and an insider view at some exciting things that are coming soon.

As a sneak peek, check out some behind-the-scenes footage from Mel's recent photoshoot that launches with our Christmas in July campaign on July 25, 2021. Make sure to follow @createholidaymagic on Facebook and Instagram to get instant access to Santa's Chicago vacation!


It's because of folks like Mel that make us really think about the reason behind holidays like National Camera Day. It's clear why the first Employee Spotlight is hers... Take a look at how Mel Dunn, talented photographer and long-time Photogenic employee, describes the importance of cameras and how it led to her lifelong career. Her response - literally the reason why National Camera Day MUST exist.

Why is the camera so important?

"Looking at life through the lens of a camera creates a new perspective that allows others to see moments the way they’re meant to them individually, personally – no matter the subject, the focus, or the intent. Each time a photo is captured, someone gets to be part of the experience, whether they were a part of the captured moment or looking at it afterward - the moment has now impacted them regardless. Photography is a way to preserve those special moments throughout the walk of life for all to witness. Without cameras, there would be no photography. And without photography, there would be no historical perspective."

- Mel Dunn

Why did you choose a career in experiential photography?

Mel shares, "If I’m being honest, I stumbled upon Photogenic because I needed a job when I moved to Chicago in the Summer 2002… and it was the first post I saw that included the word “photo” in the job description and provided flexibility with my schedule so I could finish college. Over the years, I was promoted to Supervisor of the Ferris Wheel field operations at Chicago's Navy Pier and then promoted to a brand new position where I managed printing and then promoted to Operations Support Specialist where I developed the opportunity through this unique job position to liaise between the field and corporate teams, creating a more collaborative, productive work environment."

She continues, "I’ve chosen to work at Photogenic for 19 years because I love the continuous adventures that are assured to be around each and every corner and how each of those experiences becomes part of my unique role today as the National Project Manager. I’ve met so many wonderful people, traveled to so many amazing places and have created priceless memories all over the country - simply because I applied to a flexible position that connected to something I enjoy - cameras. Nevertheless, the reason I’ll continue to choose Photogenic as my workplace every day for years to come is because of the endless growth I’ve experienced as a professional. Over the last two decades, I have learned so much about behavioral science, business, strategic engineering, marketing, creative problem solving, and so much more. Photogenic has given me more than I would have learned by earning one degree sitting in a classroom – and that is simply invaluable."

No matter what excites you about photography, no matter what you like to capture - the art of photography was made possible because of the camera. And for that reason alone, we have to celebrate National Camera Day as a collective society - today and every day! The magic behind the history of the camera is truly an important part of our cultural progression - in every country around the world! No matter where you are - share the magic of photography and salute the history of the camera! #NationalCameraDay


Check out the amazing job opportunities at Cherry Hill Programs and Photogenic all over the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Click here to learn more.

#BuildYourCareer #BringTheMagic

Check out all the employment opportunities with Cherry Hill Programs and Photogenic that can kick start your love for the camera and photography.

About Author

Subscribe to our newsletter & stay updated