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Life in Early Poverty Bay

Photography in the Early Days

Photography in the Early Days.

To get or have your photo taken fifty years ago was no joke and was not an amateur's job. My first photo was taken when five years old by Sammy Carnell of Napier, and it took all day to do the trick. My mother left home with four of us at 10 a.m. and got home again at 4 p.m. The light, the long exposure, the arranging of us tour in the correct positions was not the work of an instant. We had to stand so long in the one position that iron stands were required to prop up our heads and hold them in a fixed position. We were all very tired, not forgetting poor mother, when the job was over. The old photographer had to make his own “plates” in those days, and many a time I have watched the late C. P. Browne and his wife at work in their studio, which stood on the site of Mr. J. D. Harries' boot shop of to-day. Photography was then only for the professional.