Julia Margaret Cameron received her first camera as a gift at the age of forty-eight. It was 1863 and she was the mother of six children, but that didn’t stop her from pursuing a new found love for photography. It was a passion that is still influencing photographers today.
Above: Ellen Terry, who would become the leading Shakespearean actress in Britain, photographed in 1864 at age 16.
The first print that left Cameron satisfied. Annie, 29 January 1864
Cameron eschewed the formal techniques of contemporary photographers – many of whom voiced their opinion that her images were crude and lacking in craftsmanship. Instead she used soft focus and allowed for slight movements from her subjects. It was a choice that, though not truly appreciated in her own time, added an element missing in many photographs of the day – a striking breath of life.
“I longed to arrest all the beauty that came before me and at length the longing has been satisfied.” she wrote late in life.
Portrait of Julia Prinsep Jackson, later Julia Stephen. She was Cameron’s niece, a favorite subject, and the mother of the author Virginia Woolf.
Born into an influential English family, Cameron was a friend to many famous artists and writers, including Charles Darwin, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning, Ellen Terry and others who posed for her photographs. Read more about her techniques and her many historical connections on Wikipedia.
via: My Modern Met