Photographers and Studios
Capturing Brisbane identifies 158 commercial photographers and 54 photographic studios or companies operating in Brisbane from 1855 to 1901.
I have not identified amateur photographers. The dozen or so government employees who took photographs as part of their job are not included either, nor are the professional or amateur associations of photographers. Companies that provided services to the photographic industry are also excluded.
The biographical entries on these pages usually do not contain as much information as is published in the book. The entries are arranged alphabetically by photographers’ surname and studio or company names, and all entries are cross-referenced where other photographers are mentioned. In some cases, photographers have only been identified by surname, making the telling of their story very difficult. In just a few cases studio operators have not been able to be identified.
The sources consulted for the work have been considerable. For readability the entries have not been individually referenced as it was not unusual to have more than 50 references for many of the photographers. Most come from newspapers and journals of the era. A select list of all major sources consulted is provided in the publication, and I retain a record of each source for all the entries.
The actual trading names of partnerships, companies, galleries, and studios were rarely consistent during the nineteenth century. Advertisements or news articles may well provide misspelt, abbreviated, or simple inaccurate information. This could also occur across government records and commercial directories. Whether the result of clerical error or even the fault of the photographers is difficult to determine. It does however add another level of difficulty to uncovering these lives.
For brevity alone most entries do not contain biographical information about the photographer’s spouse or family unless they were identified to have worked in the business. It is likely many spouses, and even children, assisted in the daily operations of the photographic studios, though sadly this information has rarely been recorded.
This website will over time include many examples of the works of these photographers. If you have images or information to share on these pioneering photographers, please do it through the Contact page.
NB: Photographs used in this publication are from private collections unless otherwise acknowledged.