Sambourne & Photography: 

Key Dates

1882 Apr:

Began work on Water Babies. May: Visit to the Hooks in Surrey: photos of waterside scenes. Sep: Scotland holiday with S. J. Herapath. Photos taken.

1883 Apr: Maud Sambourne modelling for Water Babies

Commission for Fisheries Diploma. Use of photos taken professionally and others purchased.

1883 Aug:

 ‘Took my first photo.’ 19 Aug diary entry. Many taken after this.

1883 Sep:

Scotland holiday with Watney, photos of fishing taken.

1884 Jan:

Diploma finished. Took up Water Babies again. Feb: Photod Marion. Mar: ‘Photod chicks on roof’ (Maud as Ellie in Water Babies). Began taking photos of groom etc for us in Water Babies and Punch. Oct: Photos of family on beach.

1885 Feb:

Learnt to develop from Tristam Ellis. Apr: ‘Tristram Ellis showed how to tone plates’ May: Photos on the lawn at Westwood. Aug: Stayed with the Fletchers ‘Hamilton did blue photos’ (cyanotypes). Oct: Bought new camera from Meaghers. Bathroom altered sometime this year for home developing.

1886 Feb:Sambourne Photo

Purchased licence for Platinotype process, home developing. Begins garden tableaux for cartoons. Marion complains of ‘everlasting’ photos.

1887 Feb:

First use of Abbey’s studio for nude photos.

1888 Oct:

‘First tried the cold Platinotype process.’

1888 - 1891:

 Continues to use Abbey’s studio and photo at home.


No longer uses Abbey’s studio. Tries a few nudes at home. Purchases hand held ‘key’ camera. Begins to photograph street scenes, views, seaside etc.

1893 Apr:

Bergheim recommends the Camera Club. Goes 8 times this year.

1894 Apr:

At home tries blueprint process (cyanotype); first success. Spends time organising photo filings system. Sambourne Photo


Uses Camera Club on average 5 times a year. Most plates developed at home but some still sent away. In 1895 takes up bicycling for his daily exercise instead of riding.

1898-1904Sambourne Photo 1908

Gradually gives up bicycling in favour of a walk round local streets. Begins to take note of schoolgirls and gives them code names in his diaries. Uses Camera Club on average 20 times a year, maximum 32 times in 1901. First lists models in diary of 1898. Asterisks begin in 1899, Diary for 1901 has complete list of models backdated to 1891, M.R. is his favourite model from 1901 to 1903, with 30 sessions.


 Uses Camera Club 32 times this year before it closes in September. Begins taking ‘snaps’ of schoolgirls on morning walks.


Photos schoolgirls, gives them code names, No studio sessions.


Joins Photographic Association 15 Conduit St. Average of 13 sessions each year. Continues his photographing of schoolgirls.

Visits are by Guided Tours

Mid-September to Mid-June

18 Stafford Terrace, W8 7BH