Julia Margaret Cameron Essay

1406 words - 6 pages

At a time when women were looked upon as being homemakers, wives, mothers and such the late 1850's presented a change in pace for one woman in specific. Photography was discovered in 1826 and soon after the phenomenon of photography was being experimented with and in turn brought new and different ways of photo taking not only as documenting real time, but also conceptualizing a scene in which an image would be taken. Julia Margaret Cameron will forever be recorded in the history books as one of the first female photographers to make significant contributions to a field that was ruled by the male counterpart of her time.
Julia Margaret Cameron was born 1815 in Calcutta, India and was the fourth child of James and Adeline de l'Etang Pattle. She was one of the seven celebrated Pattle sisters, renowned in Anglo-Indian society for their intelligence and beauty (Cox 5). She married Charles Cameron, a British civil servant and had six children. When Cameron met her future husband in 1835, he was writing his "Essay on the Sublime and Beautiful," a thoughtful text that explores many of the concepts that were to fundamental to her art (Cox14). While living in Calcutta her family belonged to high society and continued the same role after they moved and settled in England in 1848. She new and entertained her friends who were the likes of Tennyson, Herschel, Carlyle, Darwin, Browning, and Longfellow and was able to photograph them because of her closeness to them thus being one of the reasons she has been recorded in history. These were often the only photographs found of these historical figures. She took up photography in middle age: a portrait titled Annie, My First Success is dated 1864 (Newhall 78). After about a month of experimenting at her studio home in Freshwater, Cameron declared that she had succeeded in creating her first portrait that she was very proud of. Her subject was Annie Philpot, the daughter of a local resident. It is a picture of great simplicity and grace, conspicuously divided in terms of light and dark (Cox 10). Julia Margaret Cameron had a passion for literature and the visual arts which she made sure was a part of her families everyday life and when she was introduced to photography she was able to incorporate her new passion with her domesticated life with great ease. All of her children were grown and taking care of their careers and or raising their families so she was able to set up shop at her home and begin her new adventure. Photography had forever changed the world when it was invented and ways of documenting now would include images of people, places or things that would be marked in documentary, journalistic and artistic ways. Julia Margaret Cameron made an impact in the world of photography when her daughter decided that she would give her a camera for her forty-eighth birthday. Julia Margaret Cameron became one of Victorian England's most renowned female photographers and given the time she was living in and that...

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