Julia Margaret Cameron

Julia Margaret Cameron (1815 –1879) was one of the most important and innovative photographers of the 19th century and a part of the pictorialism movement. The British photographer was known for her portraits of celebrities and for images with Shakespearian, Milton or Biblical themes.

She was born 200 years ago in Calcutta and one of many sisters by the name of Pattle. For 11 years Cameron exploded with creativity.

Her style was not widely appreciated in her own day and was accepted more by Raphaelite artists than among photographers. She took up photography at the relatively late age of 48 when she was given a camera as a present. Her critics who put down her dreamy focus to technical incompetence and a mistake, rather than artistic talent.

She described her path to her characteristic soft-edged images thus: “My first successes in my out-of-focus pictures were a fluke. That is to say, that when focussing and coming to something which, to my eye, was very beautiful, I stopped there instead of screwing on the lens to the more definite focus which all other photographers insist upon.”