The research and compilation of the information presented here was begun over two years ago. When the notion occurred of making a list of women who worked in the Australian photographic profession over a 100 year period across the 19th and 20th centuries it was unclear as to how many women would be found. With almost 400 names currently available on PHOTORIA and with at least that many more found but not yet added, it’s expected that many more remain yet to be discovered.
The process began by scouring published sources, books, journals and directories both hardcopy and digital versions. This provided many names which were then refined through the use of genealogical tools and either included or discarded. As a result “Mrs This” or “Miss That” become women with names and dates, places and professions. 


There are two pages which can be used to find and view the available details for any of the people included. The PORTFOLIOS tab presents a “business” card with a name. If there is an “f” or a “g” or an “f&g” after their names this indicates that there is a feature essay or a gallery of their work or both. Click on the card and the vital statistics portfolio opens. Included are a professional name, birth name and married name; dates include their birth and death dates and the dates of their marriage, i.e. the year they married and the year the marriage ended with either the death of one partner or in divorce. Their professional years are also included and, when known, the studio where they worked or, at least, the place where they lived. Importantly, the profession(s) they practised with the dates they practised are included. Every woman has one of these to her name and covers:

Professional Name is followed by her birth and death years which have been confirmed through her birth and death certificates
FBN = Full Birth Name. This is the name on her birth certificate. A diminutive name or pet name is included here if known.
MN = Married Name. This is her name based on her marriage certificate. The first year(s) given is her marriage year confirmed from her marriage certificate. The second year refers to when the marriage ceased. This is either from the year of her or her spouse’s death whichever was first. Or, it is the year of a divorce.
Profession = Here is referenced her role within the professional photographic industry. Where several different roles were undertaken each is defined by the years she undertook them.
Professional Years = Here is referenced the span of her career. These dates are based on the profession given in directories such as Sands & McDougall, professions given on Electoral Rolls and mentions in print media. It’s understood that these are not conclusive and the woman may have worked before or beyond the dates given. A special note must be given for the Electoral Rolls of South Australia which are online only for the years 1939 to 1943 and further research for the other years is currently underway using the available microfiche.
Where Practised = Here can be found the name of the studio where she worked and the year(s) she worked there.  Unfortunately, this information is known for only a few women. Where the studio name is unknown the suburb where she lives is given to provide a notion of where she may have worked.

Beneath the PORTFOLIO is a section called FEATURE. This is the space for a brief biographical entry or a substantial essay on the women and will be added gradually.

The GALLERY is where examples of an individual’s work will be found.

PORTFOLIOS also offers a Filter System so the user can refine their search by the professions, Australian state, location, studio name or a decade.

The ALPHABETICAL tab presents all the names in alphabetical order. Click on a name and you are taken to the relevant PORTFOLIO. The ALPHABETICAL lists cannot be filtered.

The GALLERY tab presents A Suitable Job for a Woman where there’s a compilation of international images and texts featuring a female practitioner. The range includes “cutesy” postcards, employment advertisements, examples of photographic work, women caught on camera with a camera, the shadows of women photographers and women on the job.


All text, information and photographs included on PHOTORIA are the property of PHOTORIA unless otherwise indicated.


The following are the key resources used to build PHOTORIA.

Barrie, Sandy, Australians behind the Camera: Directory of Early Australian Photographers, 1841 to 1945, Sandy Barrie, 2002

Davies, Alan and Peter Stanbury, The Mechanical Eye in Australia, Oxford University Press, Australia, 1985

Hall, Barbara and Jenni Mather, Australian Women Photographers, 1840 to 1960, Greenhouse Publications Pty Ltd, Australia, 1986

Kerr, Joan, ed; The Dictionary of Australian Artists, Oxford University Press, Australia, 1992.

Online Subscription Genealogical websites
International, National and State Archives Collections
International, National and State Library Collections
International, National and State Births, Deaths and Marriages Registrars
Australian-based Historical Societies



Patricia Anderson c1940s

There is a personal note to this work and I recall the day in the late 1970s when my mum, Patricia Anderson (1929-1983), told me about her work as a retoucher in the 1940s. As she spoke about what was required the work seemed both impossible and marvellous. Mum smiled as she explained her work “was to fix the photographer’s mistakes” and involved a skilled steady hand and great attention to detail. She took immense pride and pleasure in knowing that her work made the best of every photograph for both the client and her boss, the photographer. PHOTORIA is dedicated to her memory

A website doesn’t simply appear without people working to bring it to life. PHOTORIA is indebted to the generosity, skills and talent of :
Web Development: ThrottleMedia
Web Developer: Jasmin Joseph, ThrottleMedia
Editor: Raffaele Caputo
Photographic Reproductions: Hilary Waudhaugh
Consultant and Mentor: Gael Newton AM