Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bermingham Photography Since 1851

My brother Colin is a portrait photographer in the Liverpool, England area.  A few years ago, he received this letter from a client:  

Along with the letter, was the carte de visite picture below.  This was a very popular tradition in the last century where people had "card-o-mania," exchanging these 6 x 4 pictures amongst their friends.  On the front of the photograph is P. Bermingham Liverpool, on the back is the address and, obviously, no phone number, but the caption "copies may be had at any time."  The address 149 Dale Street was actually on my beat as a police officer when I was in the Liverpool City Police.  I did some research in the Kelly's Directory in Liverpool, which listed all the businesses, and established that there was a portrait photographer by the name of Peter Bermingham, who had a studio at 151 Dale Street.  There was also  a listing for a Peter Bermingham, who worked for the Victoria Portrait Studio at 19 Whitechapel, which is only a few streets away, also on my beat as a police officer.  I visited the sites, and these numbers no longer existed.  Lastly, I also discovered that he was born in 1851, exactly 100 years before I was born!  If anyone has any information in the ancestry about this chap, and I can establish some kind of relationship, I would rather amusingly like to claim in my literature to be "Bermingham Photography since 1851."

This logo for Peter Bermingham's photography business was on the back of the carte de visite.  

I used his logo in my marketing design for a number of years.  Here is an example of it on my display at Tyson's Galleria around 10 years ago:  

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Some Things Never Change

When I started my photography business thirty-four years ago, I developed a reputation for angelic photographs of children barefooted on a white background.  This was incredibly popular, because when you're a child, it's the only time your feet look good in your life.  There is so much body language expressed in the hands and feet.  Just look at this photograph of the Diamond children taken some fifteen years ago, and each has their own definite personality.  You can separate the children and each would stand alone as their individual portrait.  This 'Blues Brothers' skit was great fun to do with them as little children, and when they came many years later, they were so enthusiastic about recreating the image.  Being engaged with your subjects like this is so much fun, and having the opportunity to photograph them over the years like this is one of the most satisfying aspects of being a portrait photographer.  I particularly feel enriched with this happens.  There is nothing more enjoyable than photographing children and watching them grow over the years.