Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879) was one of the few women photographers of the late 19th century. Her works are on the same level of other photography enthusiasts of the period, such as Alfred Stieglitz and Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (a.k.a. Lewis Carroll). She started late, when she was 48 years old, after her daughter presented her with a camera, but her experiments marked the history of photography and have influenced many artists.
Besides the obvious quality, the importance of Julia Margaret Cameron’s work is both due to her meticulous attitude towards her work, always registering her pictures with the copyright office and keeping records, which allowed the survival of most of them, and the uniqueness of them, as they are sometimes the only photographic record of several historical figures.
Julia Margaret Cameron was born in Calcutta, India, daughter of an official of the East India Company and a French aristocrat. She was educated in France, and when she returned to India, she married a jurist in Calcutta, who was 20 years her senior.
When he retired, the family moved to London, where Julia Margaret Cameron’s sister hosted a salon, receiving artists and writers, and she became friends with poet Alfred Lord Tennyson. By living there, she benefited both from access to the latest photographic technology and the connection with the local artistic community, but when she moved to Ceylon in 1875, she took very few pictures, none of which survived, because photography chemicals were very hard to come by.
Julia Margaret Cameron remains an accomplished photographer, as you can see in the selection below. For more information, visit the sites listed at the bottom of the post.Wikipedia Julia Margaret Cameron’s Trust George Eastman Collection