Back in business after a long absence.
Today’s post was prompted by the launch last week of a photographic exhibition in New Brighton of the 1980s work of Martin Parr, Tom Wood and Ken Grant. All have established themselves as internationally important photographers in the intervening years and the exhibition – at The Old Sailing School in the resort – should not be missed.
Photography and New Brighton have a long association and the image of a beach photographer harks back to a time when only the wealthy possessed cameras. For the great majority, a portrait taken in either a high street studio or ‘pop-up’ location like a beach resort was the only opportunity to own an inexpensive portrait of oneself or friend/family member. The results were inevitably variable in quality when a high turnover was more important than creativity. The service was hugely popular, though, and millions of the small ‘carte de visites’ were taken between the 1850s and early 1900s. Anyone with an interest in family history will no doubt have surviving photographs of long-gone family members (with the name of the photographer prominently advertised on the front and back).