This listing of the photographers and studios operating in Brisbane from 1855 to 1901, is an abridged version of the print publication 'Capturing Brisbane'.
Raymond’s Photographic Studio
Raymond’s Photographic Studio was advertised as operating from George Street, Brisbane, in February 1872. It was located opposite Harris’ Terrace. The business was advertised only once. The studio offered portraits on glass, carte de visite, enlargements from carte de visite, and colouring in oil paints. The detail and variety of the products suggests it was run by an experienced professional photographer, however there are no further details to identify the operator.
Travelling photographer Alexander Reid was in Brisbane in late 1885, before leaving for Warwick as a partner in Robbins & Reid. Both partners claimed to have worked in London. They were together in Warwick until February 1886 when Robbins went to Ipswich. Reid remained in Warwick until July 1886, then moved on to Allora. Reid’s contact address for any photographs taken by him was the Bulimba Exchange store in Brisbane, perhaps indicating he may have been resident there for a longer period. No further information has come to light on Alexander Reid.
Richards & McGuire
See George Richards and William McGuire
Richards, George Edwin
George Richards was born in New South Wales and likely trained as a photographer in Sydney, possibly with Richards & Co. Moving to Brisbane by 1882 he found employment with Thomas Mathewson in Queen Street. He moved to Gympie and opened his own studio around April 1883, staying until late 1885. Richards had a studio in Maryborough in 1886, then returned to Gympie the following year.
William McGuire had taken over Richards’ earlier Gympie studio. The two apparently came to an arrangement that saw McGuire leave Gympie around June 1887 to open Richards & McGuire in Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley. That business ceased to operate by December 1887. George Richards remained in Gympie until January 1892 before moving his family south to Sydney.
Richardson, George Alfred
George Richardson followed his older brother Thomas into the photographic trade in London. He emigrated to Australia and working at Falk studio in Sydney when he was engaged by James Bain to work for him in Toowoomba from July 1896. The arrangement with Bain ended acrimoniously in November 1896, and Richardson won a case for wrongful dismissal. Around December 1896 Richardson entered a partnership with a Toowoomba grocer Frederick Cox to operate a photographic business in the town. He used a camera he had built himself. The business may not have been particularly successful as both Richardson and Cox were adjudged insolvent in 1898, by which time Richardson was living in Spring Hill, Brisbane. Richardson found work as a photographer in Brisbane, but it is not known with whom. He remained in Brisbane until at least 1906, before returning to New South Wales.
Rickwood, Robert Charles
Robert Rickwood started working life as an engine-fitter in Hull, England and married there in 1873. He emigrated with wife and family to Queensland in 1879 but had moved to Sydney by early the following year. Rickwood was noted as a photographer in Sydney from 1881 to 1885. He moved across country New South Wales before arriving in Warwick at the end of 1892. Rickwood worked in Warwick until 1901 when he became insolvent. He moved to Wynnum in that year probably working from his residence in Ashton Street. In later years he acquired other studios in Brisbane.
William Rippon emigrated with his parents and siblings to Melbourne in January 1855. Little is known of his early life though it seems likely he became a photographer while in Victoria. He arrived in Brisbane in 1873, and three years later when photographing the opening of the railway bridge at Oxley, was reported to be a Queensland government employee. Records however do not confirm that, and in 1884 he was employed by Mathewson & Co who described him as ‘an operator of first-class ability’. It has not been possible to confirm how long Rippon remained with Mathewson, or whether at any time he worked for himself.
Robson & Davidson
See George Robson
George Robson reached Brisbane around 1886. With a business partner named Davidson (qv) he operated Robson & Davidson’s photography studio in Hill’s Building on the corner of Elizabeth and Albert Streets, Brisbane as early as January 1886. The firm did not advertise in newspapers, so their products remain largely unknown. The few photographs they are known to have taken were portraits and outside groups. The partnership may only have lasted until the beginning of 1887, as of late January there is no further mention of Davidson.
Robson continued as a photographer until August 1887, when he was appointed as a photo lithographer in the Queensland government’s Patent Office, and eventually moved into the Survey Office.
Robertson, James Harrow
James Robertson trained as a photographer in Aberdeen, Scotland. He arrived in Brisbane circa 1887 and married there in 1890. He was living on Petrie Terrace at the time and likely employed by the New South Wales Photographic Company. By 1892-93 he was noted as the manager of that company, and may have remained with them until their closure in 1895.
Robertson moved north to Mount Morgan in 1896 where in addition to photography he erected a hotel and ran a tobacconist store. He became insolvent in 1904 but continued as a photographer. He returned to Brisbane in 1911 and appears to have been self-employed.
Rodway, Oswald Walter Horace Chandos
Oswald Rodway, more commonly known as Walter, is believed to have been born in India in 1876. He came to Australia with his parents in 1880. His mother, a singer and actress going by the name of Bella Sutherland, toured Australia and New Zealand with various companies. She remarried in 1885 to an American ‘Professor’ named George Washington Gibson, and the new family toured the country as performance artists.
When Sutherland and Gibson moved to Brisbane in the late 1890s, Walter Rodway sought work as a photographer in Sydney with Falk Studio, and later Crown Studio. He moved to Brisbane and in June 1900 advertised his speciality in outdoor photography, operating from Lambridge Villa on Petrie Terrace. In September he opened the Oswald Studio, in George Street near Tank Street, Brisbane, running it until about July 1901. There is a suggestion that he, as the comedian Max Rodway, then toured parts of Queensland with his mother’s company for some months. He returned to George Street and opened the Rodway Studio in the Federal Buildings around October 1902.
Rodway was involved in various studios in Fortitude Valley over the following decade, then spent another decade working between Toowoomba, Laidley and Brisbane, before moving to northern New South Wales.
Rogers & Edwards
The firm of Rogers & Edwards operated from January to June 1874. It consisted of Frederick Rogers and a partner Edwards for whom not even a forename or initial is known. The two rented a gallery space in Gaujard’s new building at the corner of Edward and Elizabeth Streets, Brisbane offering portrait, landscape, and architectural photographs, as well as the ubiquitous carte de visite by the dozen, and instantaneous portraits of children. They were on hand to photograph the opening ceremony for the new St Stephen’s Cathedral in May and for the Victoria Bridge in June 1874, the latter being the last recorded operation of the partnership.
Rogers, Frederick Horace
Born in London, Frederick Rogers arrived in Victoria at the end of 1852. He moved to Tasmania c1854 and married there in 1855. By 1861 he was in Melbourne where he reportedly assisted in the preparation of Victorian photographs for the 1862 Exhibition in London. Generally, however, he performed badly at his own business, facing insolvency three times between 1864 and 1866, the last while conducting a photography business in Fitzroy. Over the next few years Rogers worked for photographers Johnstone, O'Shannessy and Co, in Melbourne, and then Freeman Brothers in Sydney.
He was associated with Barcroft Boake’s studio in Sydney in 1870 and travelled to Brisbane in November to work as part of the Colonial Photographic Company. The Colonial Photographic Company operated only for the month of November. Working as a travelling photographer Rogers went to Ipswich around mid-1871. Rogers moved on to Toowoomba, photographing buildings, groups, and livestock. He returned to Brisbane to face an insolvency case, though by April 1872 no debts were proven against him.
Frederick Rogers managed to join the Queensland Governor’s seven-week northern cruise on the steamer Kate in September 1872 and took many photographs of the journey along the north Queensland coast. On his return he established a studio in Stanley Street, South Brisbane early in 1873. There he produced for sale a bound 12-page collection of Brisbane views, the first in an intended series.
Early in 1874 Rogers formed a partnership, Rogers & Edwards based in a photographic gallery at the corner of Edward and Elizabeth Streets, Brisbane. The partnership ended around June 1874, and Rogers remained in the premises producing life-size photographs in November, and exhibiting oil painted versions in December.
Throughout early 1875 he continued to produce coloured portraits as well as cabinet photographs. His work was exhibited at the first Brisbane Exhibition. The death of a newborn son in June, and his wife Mary a month later, had a major impact on his life. From that date there is no evidence he continued with his photographic business in Brisbane. In 1876 Rogers left his five-year-old daughter in the care of Brisbane friends, and accompanied by his 10-year-old son, left Brisbane. They emigrated to California, USA where Frederick worked as a photographer, and his son ultimately followed him into the same business.
Prussian-born artist Martin Roggenkamp emigrated to New South Wales in 1856. He made his way to Warwick by 1863, where he married. Roggenkamp tried his hand as a publican and storekeeper in Allora in 1867 but became insolvent. He moved back to Warwick and with his brother Christopher ran a house painting and decorating business. He also joined him in a photography business in Warwick and then in late 1869 Martin Roggenkamp opened his own photographic gallery in Toowoomba.
On 26 September 1883, Martin Roggenkamp opened a second studio at 7 Queen Street, Brisbane, the former premises of Gove & Allen, leaving an unknown English photographer to run his Toowoomba studio. Naming the Brisbane operation the Queensland Palace of Art Studio, his advertisements offered gems and other ferrotype portraits including cabinets and small framed portraits at very low prices. His brother Christopher may also have spent a short time at the studio. The Brisbane venture was not long-term, and the last known day of operation was New Year’s Day 1884. Roggenkamp then returned to his Toowoomba photographic business.
The Royal Studio was established in Melbourne Street, South Brisbane in mid-October 1887. It operated for less than a month, and its speciality offer was for a pair of very cheap cabinet photographs. Its operators have not been identified.