History[ edit ] In , Robert Cornelius , an American pioneer in photography, produced a daguerreotype of himself which ended up as one of the first photographs of a person. Because the process was slow he was able to uncover the lens, run into the shot for a minute or more, and then replace the lens cap. In , the debut of the portable Kodak Brownie box camera led to photographic self-portraiture becoming a more widespread technique. The method was usually by mirror and stabilizing the camera either on a nearby object or on a tripod while framing via a viewfinder at the top of the box. In the letter that accompanied the photograph, she wrote, "I took this picture of myself looking at the mirror. It was very hard as my hands were trembling.