The Typical Image of the Professional Woman Photographer from 1840 to the early 20th century

By Marc Durand, research assistant at the French National Archives

Through the legal acts from the Paris Depository for Notarial Archives (Minutier central des notaires de Paris), we can draw up an image of these shadowy women, busy retouchers, printers, chemists and photographers working alongside their husbands. From the woman photographer running her own business, such as Mme Braquehais or Mme Disdéri, to the wealthy amateur, like Renée Marie Octavie Du Val d'Essertenne or Caroline de Rothschild, we can appreciate the talents of these practitioners who made such a large contribution to the development and spread of photography.

Lecture followed by a dedication from Marc Durand’s book to be published in October 2015:
From Fixed to Moving Image (1820-1910), documents from the Paris Depository for Notarial Archives relating to the history of photographers and photography.