An IPO from Snapchat, the photo-sharing app, has caused a major stir. But it’s far from the first time photography has been controversial.
Snap Inc., better known as Snapchat, which recently launched an IPO valued at a staggering $30 billion, has started calling itself a “camera company.” “The camera is the core,” a Snap investor told Vanity Fair. “It used to be that photos were only used to make memories. Now, the camera is being used for a lot more, and for communication in particular.”
As the dust from the Snapchat IPO settles, analysts are scrambling to determine if the “camera company” is a passing fancy or the future. But then, when the daguerreotype—the proto-photo—was first popularized in 1839, French critic Charles Baudelaire railed against the form, calling it “deplorable.” And in the 178 years since its invention, the camera—and photographers—have courted controversy and headlines in equal measure.
Here are the 10 most controversial moments in the history of the camera: