Portrait

Biography: 19th Century Daguerreotype Portrait photographer Marcus Aurelius Root

Biography: 19th Century Daguerreotype Portrait photographer Marcus Aurelius Root

Marcus Aurelius Root (1808–1888) was a writing teacher and photographer. He was born in Granville, Ohio and died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On 20 June 1846, he bought John Jabez Edwin Mayall’s Chestnut Street photography studio that was in the same building as Root’s residence in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Root had success as a daguerreotypist working with his brother, Samuel Root. Marcus…
Biography: 19th Century photographer Elizabeth Pulman

Biography: 19th Century photographer Elizabeth Pulman

Elizabeth Pulman (1836–1900) was a British-born New Zealand photographer. She was regarded as being the country’s first female professional photographer. She owned a photographic studio in Auckland along with her husband George Pulman. Elizabeth married John Blackman, a widower and reporter, on 14 June 1875, at the West Tamaki Presbyterian Church. They had one son. Originally from Surrey, England, Blackman…
Biography: 19th Century pioneer photographer Johann Pucher

Biography: 19th Century pioneer photographer Johann Pucher

Johann Pucher (1814-1864) was a Slovene photographer who invented an unusual process for making photographs on glass. As a schoolchild, Pucher was interested in art, languages, and the natural sciences, especially chemistry and physics. He wanted to study art, but obeyed his mother’s wish and became a Catholic priest. However, he continued to experiment in photography, art, and music. When…
Biography: 19th Century African-American daguerreotypist Augustus Washington

Biography: 19th Century African-American daguerreotypist Augustus Washington

Augustus Washington (1820 – 1875) was an African-American photographer and daguerreotypist, who later in his career emigrated to Liberia. Washington grew up in the Americas of the 1820s, a time when African Americans were denied even the most basic rights. Against all convention, all he wanted to do was study. He struggled to get admission into various educational institutions across…
Biography: 19th Century Portrait photographer Lina Jonn

Biography: 19th Century Portrait photographer Lina Jonn

Lina Jonn, birth name Carolina Johnsson, (1861–1896) was an early Swedish photographer. Jonn appears to have learnt photography in Paris but her first professional work was in the Swedish city of Helsingborg where she joined the Finnish photographer Per Alexis Brandt who ran a studio there. In 1891, she opened her own studio in Lund which soon attracted many influential…
Biography: 19th Century Portrait photographer Pietro Marubi

Biography: 19th Century Portrait photographer Pietro Marubi

Pietro Marubi (1834 – 1903) was an Italian painter and photographer who, as a supporter of Garibaldi, had emigrated from Piacenza, Italy, to Shkodra for political reasons around the year 1850. There, he founded a photo business, Foto Marubi, with cameras he had brought with him, using the wet plate collodion process, the standard method of photography across Europe. The…
Biography: 19th Century Daguerreotype Studio – Southworth & Hawes

Biography: 19th Century Daguerreotype Studio – Southworth & Hawes

Albert Sands Southworth (1811-1894) and Josiah Johnson Hawes (1808-1901) operated a daguerreotype studio together in Boston, MA. They are considered the finest American portrait photographers of the nineteenth century. Southworth & Hawes worked almost exclusively in the daguerreotype process. Working in the 8 ½ x 6 ½ inch whole plate format, their images are brilliant, mirror-like, and finely detailed. Writing…
Biography: Portrait photographer Gertrude Käsebier

Biography: Portrait photographer Gertrude Käsebier

Gertrude Käsebier (1852 – 1934) was one of the most influential American photographers of the early 20th century. She was known for her images of motherhood, her portraits of Native Americans and her promotion of photography as a career for women. In July 1899 Alfred Stieglitz published five of Käsebier’s photographs in Camera Notes, declaring her “beyond dispute, the leading…
Biography: 19th Century photographic duo Hill & Adamson

Biography: 19th Century photographic duo Hill & Adamson

In 1843 painter David Octavius Hill joined engineer Robert Adamson to form Scotland’s first photographic studio. During their brief partnership that ended with Adamson’s untimely death, Hill & Adamson produced “the first substantial body of self-consciously artistic work using the newly invented medium of photography.” Their collaboration, with Hill providing skill in composition and lighting, and Adamson considerable sensitivity and…
Biography: 19th Century Portrait photographer Alberto Henschel

Biography: 19th Century Portrait photographer Alberto Henschel

Alberto Henschel (1827 – 1882) was a German-Brazilian photographer born in Berlin. Considered the hardest-working photographer and businessman in 19th-century Brazil, with offices in Pernambuco, Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo. Henschel was considered the hardest-working photographer and businessman in 19th-century Brazil. He always remained up-to-date with the latest techniques on the photography market. By the time the aesthetic…
Biography: Portrait photographer Spencer Digby

Biography: Portrait photographer Spencer Digby

Spencer Digby (1901 – 1995) was a New Zealand photographer. He ran a well-known and prestigious Wellington studio from 1936 to 1960. Ron Woolf purchased the business in 1960 and later gifted all the approximately 40,000 negatives to Te Papa. After leaving school he worked for a time as a clerk with the meat company Vestey’s. He then became an…
Biography: Early XX Century Portrait photographer William Berry

Biography: Early XX Century Portrait photographer William Berry

William Berry was a studio photographer from the 1890s to about 1930. William Berry Collection contains around 3,000 glass plate negatives. In the 1990s, these were found in a cupboard by one of the tenants of 147 Cuba Street, Wellington. This was the former premises of Berry & Co, well-known Wellington portrait photographers, established in 1897 by William Berry. Amongst…
Biography: Portrait photographer Alvin Langdon Coburn

Biography: Portrait photographer Alvin Langdon Coburn

Alvin Langdon Coburn (1882 – 1966) was an early 20th-century photographer who became a key figure in the development of American pictorialism. He was greatly influenced by his mother, a keen amateur photographer, and began taking photographs at the age of eight. He travelled to England in 1899 with his mother and his cousin, F. Holland Day. Coburn developed substantial…
Biography: Pioneer of Mug Shot – Alphonse Bertillon

Biography: Pioneer of Mug Shot – Alphonse Bertillon

Alphonse Bertillon (1853 – 1914) was a French police officer and biometrics researcher who applied the anthropological technique of anthropometry to law enforcement creating an identification system based on physical measurements. This system, invented in 1879, became known as the Bertillon system, or bertillonage, and quickly gained wide acceptance as a reliable, scientific method of criminal investigation. In 1884 alone,…
Biography: Fashion, Portrait and War photographer Cecil Beaton

Biography: Fashion, Portrait and War photographer Cecil Beaton

Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton (1904 – 1980) was an English fashion, portrait and war photographer. Beaton’s interest in photography began when, as a young boy, he admired portraits of society women and actresses circulated on picture postcards and in Sunday supplements of newspapers. When he got his first camera at age 11, his nurse taught him how to use…
Biography: Nudes/Portrait photographer Andre de Dienes

Biography: Nudes/Portrait photographer Andre de Dienes

Andre de Dienes (1913 – 1985) was a Romanian American photographer, noted for his work with Marilyn Monroe and his nude photography. Born in Romania, André De Dienes arrived in Paris in 1933, making a living of selling photographs to publishing houses. He worked for The Associated Press until 1936 when the famous Parisian couturier, Edward Molyneux, encouraged De Dienes…
Biography: Pictorial Portrait photographer William Mortensen

Biography: Pictorial Portrait photographer William Mortensen

William Mortensen (1897-1965) was an American art photographer, primarily known for his Hollywood portraits in the 1920s-1940s in the pictorialist style. Mortensen began his photographic career taking portraits of Hollywood actors and film stills. In 1931 he moved to the artist community of Laguna Beach, California, where he opened a studio and the William Mortensen School of Photography. He preferred…
Biography: Portrait photographer Helmar Lerski

Biography: Portrait photographer Helmar Lerski

Helmar Lerski (1871-1956) who was born in Strasbourg in 1871 as Israel Schmuklerski and whose hometown was Zurich, is among the international classic photographers in the history of the medium. The Schmuklerski family settled in Zurich in 1876. Helmar’s father, a small-time textile dealer, was “the first Polish Jew” to be granted the civil rights of the City of Zurich.…
Biography: Portrait photographer Philippe Halsman

Biography: Portrait photographer Philippe Halsman

Halsman (1906 – 1979) grew up in Riga, Latvia, in a family of assimilated Jews and studied engineering at a university in Dresden. Two years after his graduation, he moved to Paris, turned his photographic hobby into a profession, and opened his own portrait studio, specializing in fashion and theater portraits. A few years later, with the threat of World War…