The daguerreotype was the first commercially successful photographic process. The daguerreotype is a direct positive made in the camera on a silvered copper plate.
At the time the process was introduced, daguerreotyping a brightly sunlit subject typically required about 10 minutes of exposure in the camera, so the earliest daguerreotypes were of still lifes and landscapes.
The oldest well - documented daguerreotype featuring human subjects is Daguerre's own 1838 view of the boulevard du Temple, a busy street in Paris. The street appears deserted because traffic 9which would have been horse - drwn carriages) was moving and left no impression ; but a man having his shoes shined and the bootblack servicing him are visible because they stayed in position long enough for their images to be recorded.