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Happy World Photo Day, Everyone!

The history of photography spans nearly 18 decades, and though the technical aspects have gone the way of faster, easier, and cheaper, the effectiveness of storytelling the medium creates remains the same. From the scores of iconic photos that have become embedded in culture like Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant Mother” or Richard Drew’s “The Falling Man,” to the photos we snap on our phones everyday–there’s something to communicate, an image that conveys some mood or atmosphere.

Started in 2009 by Australian photographer Korske Ara, World Photo Day is a celebration of photography and its ability to connect us and change how we view the world. World Photo Day is celebrated on August 19 because that’s the day (in 1839) when the French government purchased the patent for Joseph Nicèphore Nièpce and Louis Daguerre’s pioneering “daguerreotype” photographic process.

In honor of World Photo Day, we’re highlighting some of our favorite Fast Company posts featuring stunning photos that run the gamut of whimsical, inspiring, heartbreaking, and heart-racing. Check out the slideshow above and click the links for the full post.

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