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Photography and leisure go hand in hand. Although cameras are part of our everyday lives, we are never more likely to take a picture or to be photographed than when we are at play. As recreation and entertainment flourished in the 19th century, so too did the new medium of photography. Cameras became increasingly accessible to amateurs and were quickly deemed an indispensible part of what it meant to have fun. Acting as social commentators, many artists turned their attention to the subject of pleasure, often observing how photography itself has changed the way we spend our free time. This illuminating exploratory essay traces the relationship between the growing importance of leisure over the past 150 years and the part that photography has played in changing how we see ourselves.