Just as their are more self - enlightenment, self - absorbed novels written than have ever been read, under the sole purpose to transcend death through print, so was the appeal of early portraiture for one's face to live on forever. With the invention of the daguerreotype (see photo. process), a negative print could be created within 15 minutes of the picture taken. Combine that with 12 cents for two photos, and the demand rose exponentially. Also, because the negatives needed to be exposed for two to eight minutes, crowd shots were improbable and impracticle. The negatives were on a glass plate resulting in often scratches and dust on the negative. As a result, the pictures of this time are largely portraits and landscapes.
Above: A daguerreotype of John C. Calhoun (1800 - 1850). A daguerreotype of the Adams Family (1846). A daguerreotype of a forty niner.

Above: An example of a Carte-de-Viste negative
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A portrait of Sarah Berhardt, taken by Nadar in1859

Francois Gizot- Photographed by Nadar in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris

In his autobiography titled, Quand j’étais photographe, Nadar explains the overwhelming need to follow the “trend” of using the carte-de-visite style of photography. Those who did not were at risk of losing business. Although he lived to see the twentieth century, he never reached the same level of success, which he achieved in the late 1800s. Other contemporaries such as Etienne Carjat, Pierre Petit, and Antony Samuel Adam-Salomon display their works in the seven-volume photograph series Galeries de Contemporains. American photographers Brady, Charles Fredricks, Jeremiah Gurney, and Alexander Hesler slowly made the transition from using daguerreotypes to wet plates, carrying over all of their expertise. It is even said that Brady’s famous photographs of Abraham Lincoln made him win the election. As actors and actresses increased the demand for publicity photographers, the cabinet photograph became popular throughout England in late 1800s. These 5.5 by 4 inch prints on 6.5 by 4.5 inch mounts were photographs taken of performers acting out their role with props, costumes, etc. Now one of the most well-known theatrical photographers, Napolean Sarony started a photography business with fellow photographer Henry B. Major. Complaining about the way that the high-paced business world was destroying the artistic process, Sarony created some of his most well-known works sitting in his “den” drawing in charcoal. Some photographers tried to reproduce older paintings, seeing if they could create a better image than the original artist.