This posting overviews early photography and its impact upon the world at large.
Although the History of Photography is a deep subject, please allow my ideas to help:
First, please note that early photography had a major impact upon the world at large. You might note how it definitely impacted the accessibility and pace of art. It impacted various genres of visual arts in many ways such as speed. Research shows that it "allowed a realistic image that would have taken a skilled artist hours or even days to draw could be recorded in exact detail within a fraction of a second" (http://www.scphoto.com/html/history.html).
Besides speed, it impacted culture and overall human life in emotional and historical ways. It allowed mankind to document personal memories. It also had cultural significance because it allowed people to "explore the human condition and provide aesthetic pleasure" (http://www.scphoto.com/html/history.html) as well.
You might even ...
Photography as art is contemplated.