Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

It’s a Snap!: George Eastman’s First Photograph

Kulling, Monica (Author)
Slavin, Bill (Illustrator)
Tundra Books 2013. 32 pages
First published: 2009
Series: Great Idea
ISBN: 9781770495135 (paperback)
9780887768811 (hardcover)
9781770491526 (e-book)
Original language: English
Dewey: 770
Book type: Non-Fiction
Book genre: Biography

Text Elements:

character

Award

The Forest of Reading – The Silver Birch Express Award Nominee – 2011

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

At the age of 14, George Eastman took on a job to support his family. When he grew tired of his job, his mother urged him to take on a hobby. Fascinated by pictures, he tried photography, but quickly became discouraged by the cumbersome equipment and clunky process. “One morning, George strapped the tent and the tripod to his back. He carried the camera, the plates, the plate holder, the black cloth, the water jug and the chemicals. He felt like a packhorse!”

Eventually Eastman opened his own company, the Eastman Kodak Company. Not only did he improve cameras and the photographic process over many years, he believed everyone should be able to afford a camera, even kids. Eastman revolutionized photography by creating compact, lightweight cameras, film and specially-designed cameras for children.

The narrative is light, informative and imbued with humour. Clever metaphors enable readers to envision what it was like taking photos back in 1877: “Cameras were the size of microwave ovens.”

Stunning, detailed watercolour illustrations occupy most of the page and capture the subtleties of the situation, enriching the overall story experience.

This inspiring story chronicles Eastman’s devotion and ingenuity, as well as one of the first steps toward making photography the accessible medium it is today.

  •  Discuss the role of photography in your life. When and why do we take photographs? Who is the main photographer in your family? What do you do with your pictures?
  •  

    List the steps George had to follow to take his first photograph. How does this compare to the steps required today?

  •  Use information from the book to make a timeline of the history of the camera. Use teacher-selected resources to fill in important innovations since then.
  •  

    Brainstorm for words related to photography. Add to your list as the story is read aloud.

  •  

    What do you know about the evolution of photography? Discuss the role of photography in your life. What kind of photos do you like to take? What do you do with your pictures?

  •  

    With a partner, draw a mind map of George’s story. Use a specific colour to indicate where George influenced the history of photography.

  •  

    Use teacher-selected resources to research how to take a good photo using today’s readily available equipment. Create an information pamphlet featuring the top 10 tips for taking pictures.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To use creativity
  • To use information and communications technologies
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Media Literacy
  • Science and Technology