The photographers included in this section range from well-known to little-known, and their work has been documented to varying degrees. Many images in this site are attributed to unknown photographers, and other images are signed with only initials or surnames. Photographers represented here for whom there exists very little information include: P. Flores Perez, C. C. Harris, D. W. Hoffman, Hoyas, Jorschke, L. Lebert, Eduardo Melhado, L. R. Pimental, and Villegas.
Jim A. Alexander (18631926) operated a photography studio in El Paso, Texas and photographed the revolution in northern Mexico.
François Aubert (18291906) traveled to Mexico from France in the 1850s. In 1864 he bought Jules (Julio) Amiel's Mexico City photography studio. For the next few years he photographed Emperor Maximilian and his court, and documented the French presence in Mexico. He also produced images of Mexico City and environs and made a series of Mexican tipos or "types." Aubert left Mexico shortly after the execution of Maximilian in 1867 and opened a photography practice in Algeria.
Lorenzo Becerril (18371904) was born in Puebla, became a captain in the Eastern Cavalry Forces, and fought against the French in the Battle of Puebla, in 1862. He operated a photographic portrait studio in Puebla from 18701915. In 1873 he began producing a series of Mexican tipos.
Grant J. Bobier (18921972) was born in Iowa to French immigrant parents. He was a bricklayer and farmer by trade. Bobier was vacationing in the border area of San Benito, Texas, and Matamoros, Mexico when constitutionalist General Lucio Blanco captured the federal garrison at Matamoros and occupied the town. Bobier took and collected photographs as these and other events of the Mexican Revolution unfolded across the U.S.-Mexican border.
Hugo Brehme (18821954) was a German photographer who worked in colonial Africa and Dresden before going to Veracruz, Mexico, around 1908. In 1910 he moved to Mexico City, where he established a studio, quickly becoming one of the most popular photographers in the city. Brehme joined Casasola's Agencia Fotográfica Mexicana in 1911. He documented key events of the Mexican Revolution, notably the Decena Trágica of 1913, Emiliano Zapata's activities in Morelos, and the 1914 U.S. intervention in Veracruz. In addition to his documentary work during the revolution, Brehme also sought opportunities to capture the sublime in his photographs of Mexico. Many of these romanticized, idyllic images were published in his album México pintoresco (1923), a classic of Mexican pictorial photography.
Abel Briquet (dates unknown), a photography teacher at the French military academy of Saint-Cyr and a Parisian studio photographer, arrived in Mexico in 1883 to photograph Mexican ports for the shipping firm Compagnie Maritime Transatlantique. He opened a studio in Mexico City in 1885 and began to produce a large body of work on a variety of subjectsfrom landscape, flora and fauna, and tipos to views of Pre-Columbian, colonial, and modern buildings and monuments. He created a number of commemorative albums for the Porfirian government that documented modernization projects and public works, and also published photographic series with titles such as Vistas Mexicanas and Tipos Mexicanos. Briquet is considered to have been the first modern commercial photographer in Mexico.
Agustín Victor Casasola (18741938) worked for various Mexico City newspapers beginning in 1894, first as a typographer and then as a sports reporter. In 1900 he acquired his first camera and began illustrating his articles. Casasola was the unofficial photographer of Porfirio Díaz and his government until it fell in 1911, at which point he became one of the principal chroniclers of the Mexican Revolution. He established the Agencia Fotográfica Mexicana in 1911, bringing together photographers such as Manuel Rámos, Hugo Brehme, and Eduardo Melhado in an organization that could be competitive with international picture agencies. From then on, Casasola's role became not just that of a photographer and reporter, but also that of a photo-archivist. Casasola rescued the El imparcial photographic archive upon the newspaper's closing in 1917, and these images, along with others he had long created and collected, were the impetus for his Album historico gráfico of 1921.
Claude-Joseph-Désiré Charnay (18281915) first traveled to Mexico in 1857 on a photographic mission for the French Ministry of Public Education. His photographs of Mexico City, taken while staying in the city in 1858, were compiled in Álbum fotográfico mexicano (1860), published by Julio Michaud. From Mexico City Charnay traveled to Mitla in the state of Oaxaca and throughout the Yucatán peninsula before returning to France at the end of 1860. Cités et ruines américaines (1863), Charnay's album of 49 photographs with text by Viollet-le-Duc, was the French public's first introduction to ancient Mexico. Between 1880 and 1886 Charnay made three more trips to Mexico, recording archaeological sites as well as making ethnographic portraits and views of cities and villages. Publications from Charnay's later trips include Les anciennes villes du nouveau monde (1885).
André-Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri (18191889) was a Parisian photographer whose studios flourished under the patronage of European nobility, aristocracy, and celebrities during the Second Empire. He invented the carte-de-visite, an inexpensive mounted albumen print the size of a calling card, in 1854. The collecting and trading of cartes-de-visite of famous personalities became wildly popular during the 1860s and 1870s.
Alice (Dixon) Le Plongeon (18511910) See Augustus Le Plongeon
Louis Falconnet (dates unknown) was an officer in the French army stationed in Mexico during the French intervention. He assembled an album from the documentation and materials he created and collected while in Mexico, including watercolor drawings, cloth samples, wood engravings, hand-written letters and carte-de-visite portraits.
Antonio Garduño (dates unknown) was a Mexico City photographer. His early work included documentation of the events of the Mexican Revolution that took place in and around Mexico City. He became a significant figure in the Mexican photographic scene, organizing photographic competitions for venues such as the Seville World's Fair (1928), and contributing photography and Italian translations to magazines such as Helios. He became editor of that periodical in 1931.
Auguste Génin (18621931) an industrialist and founder of an explosives company, was also a well known poet, Mexican cultural historian, and collector. Although Génin was born in Mexico, his father was French and his mother Belgian. He studied in France, returning to Mexico in 1879. Between 1882 and 1885, he traveled widely across the country, representing French commercial interests. While working in his family's business, he was commissioned by the French government to carry out archaeological and ethnographic studies that led to a series of studies for the Trocadero Museum in Paris in 1893, 1895, and 1922.
H. J. Gutierrez (dates unknown) was one of a number of photographers working in Mexico City whose documentation of the Mexican Revolution was quickly disseminated to the populace in the form of postcards.
Walter E. Hadsell (ca. 1880?) was an American photographer. He graduated from the University of Arizona Mining Department in 1904, and around 1909 worked as an operator in the Henry Beuhman Photography Studio in Tuscon, Arizona, where the staff were described as "photographers and dealers in Arizona views, moldings, and picture frames." He was in Mexico throughout the 1910s and 1920s and in 1914 documented the U.S. intervention in Veracruz.
Walter H. Horne (18831921) was an American entrepreneur who arrived in El Paso in 1910 and stayed until his death 11 years later. Although he apparently had little previous interest in photography, Horne saw the financial potential of the photographic postcard, opened a studio, and began covering the revolution in northern Mexico, the Mexican-American border conflict, and the daily life of the soldiers stationed along the border. By 1914 he had established himself as a prominent wholesaler of war scene postcards, distributing large quantities of his cards throughout the United States.
William Henry Jackson (18431942) was an American photographer known for his pioneering photographs of the American frontier. He worked from 1870 to 1878 as an official photographer of the United States Geological and Geographical Survey of Territories, taking photographs of western North America. He was the first to photograph the territory of Yellowstone, and his photos were instrumental in establishing it as a national park. In 1883 Jackson was commissioned by the Mexican Central Railway to photograph its inaugural train ride between Ciudad Juárez and Mexico City, and to produce a series of publicity photographs for the company. On a return trip to Mexico in 1884 he made photographs of a variety of typical Mexican subjects. In 1885 he published several albums of documentary views of Mexico and Colorado. Jackson owned various photographic studios through which he sold his work to the general public. In 1897 he became part owner of the Detroit Publishing Company, which published and distributed the new work he continued to produce, as well as copies of his earlier work.
Guillermo (Wilhelm) Kahlo (18721941), father of the artist Frida Kahlo, was born in Baden-Baden, Germany. He immigrated to Mexico in 1891 at the age of 19, and married the daughter of Antonio Calderón, the Oaxacan studio photographer to whom he had been apprenticed. Kahlo opened his own studio in Mexico City in 1901, garnering commissions from the periodicals El mundo ilustrado and Semanario ilustrado. From 1904 onward he received numerous government commissions to inventory Mexico's architectural monuments. In 1910 he completed a photographic inventory of Spanish colonial church architecture in Mexico. Almost 200 of these images were later published in Dr. Atl's Iglesias de México.
Augustus Le Plongeon (18261908) was a photographer, medical doctor, and archaeologist. After graduating from the École polytechnique in Paris, he traveled to Chile and California. While on a trip to England in 1851, Le Plongeon learned William Henry Fox Talbot's paper negative process. Upon his return to California he opened a photographic studio in San Francisco. In the early 1860s Le Plongeon moved to Lima, Peru, where he practiced medicine and photography and became interested in Peruvian archaeology. In 1870 he traveled to England where he met Alice Dixon (18511910). The couple returned to North America, where they married, and devoted their lives' work to excavating, documenting, and describing the Mayan ruins and culture of the Yucatan peninsula. They spent the better part of a decade (18731883) exploring Yucatan and Central America, excavating at Chichén Itzá and Uxmal. In the field they worked closely together recording their findings on stereographic glass plate negatives. The Le Plongeons settled in New York and spent the latter part of their careers writing and lecturing on both ancient and contemporary Mayan culture. Publications by Augustus include Vestiges of the Mayas (1881), and Sacred Mysteries among the Mayas and Quiches (1886), and, by Alice, Here and There in Yucatan (1886), and Queen Moo's Talisman (1902).
Juan de Dios Machain (dates unknown) left an extensive archive of postmortem portraits taken in Ameca, Jalisco, from the late 1800s to 1930, that document rural funerary practices in Mexico.
Teobert Maler (18421914 or 1917) was a German architect who adopted Austrian citizenship. He arrived in Mexico in 1865 as a cadet in the First Company of Pioneer Volunteers fighting in support of the French Intervention, and subsequently joined the Imperial Mexican Army. In 1867 after the fall of the empire, he began photographing Mexican villages and indigenous peoples. He visited Mitla in 1875 and Palenque in 1877 before returning to Europe where he lectured on Mexico for several years. Maler returned to Mexico in 1884 to undertake a systematic photographic documentation of Mayan archaeological sites in the states of Yucatan, Campeche, and Quintana Roo. From 1892 to 1905 Maler worked with the Peabody Museum's expeditions in Mayan territory, particularly in Chiapas. His work at the various sites was published as part of the Memoirs of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology series.
Lord Alfred Percival Maudslay (18501931), an English scientist with a background in geology, botany, and zoology, made seven trips to Central America between 1881 and 1894, including expeditions to Copan, Quirigua, Tikal, Palenque, Yaxchilan, and Chichén Itzá. Probably the most scientific Mayan archaeologist of the 19th century, Maudslay's photographic documentation and plaster casts of inscriptions were instrumental in deciphering Mayan hieroglyphics. His monumental study Archaeology, part of the Biología Centrali-Americana series (18891902), includes photographs of Mayan ruins, flora and fauna, and scenes of the daily lives of indigenous peoples.
R. M. Metcalfe (dates unknown) was an American photographer who had a studio in El Paso, Texas, and was one of many photojournalists to record the Mexican-American border conflict and the revolution in northern Mexico.
Félix Miret (dates unknown) was one of a number of photographers whose documentation of the Mexican Revolution was quickly disseminated to the populace in the form of postcards.
Cal Osbon (dates unknown) was an American photographer who documented the Mexican-American border conflict, particularly in the area around Douglas, Arizona.
Osuna (dates unknown) photographed the Decena Trágica of 1913. Over 300 images from those ten days are signed Osuna, most of which depict scenes in and around the Felicista stronghold at the Ciudadela.
Agustín Péraire (dates unknown) ran a photography studio in Mexico City during the second half of the 19th century. He is known to have pirated photographs of the French Intervention taken by François Aubert.
André-Toussaint Petitjean (dates unknown) was captain of the first artillery regiment of the Corps Expeditionnaire Français. While on his tour of duty in Mexico (ca.18641866), he documented his experiences on the campaign trail via visual and written materials. He developed an interest in experimental photographic processes, taking the Mexican countryside as his subject.
Prevot (dates unknown) was a French photographer who operated a photography studio in Mexico City in the second half of the 19th century.
Manuel Ramos (18741945) was an early press photographer who worked mostly in Mexico City. In 1903 his photograph of the gored bull fighter Segurita, published in El Imparcial with his signature below the image, became the first signed photograph to appear in the Mexican press. Rámos joined Casasola's Agencia Fotográfica Mexicana and made extensive coverage of the Decena Trágica of 1913. Later, Rámos turned to architecture and landscapes as his principal subjects. His book Mexico moderno was published in 1937.
F. Gómez Rul (dates unknown) was one of the principal photographers working in Mérida at the turn of the 20th century. The Guerra family, who created a prominent archive of Yucatán photography, collected his work.
Homer Scott (dates unknown) was an American photographer who had a studio in El Paso, Texas, and was one of many photojournalists to record the Mexican-American border conflict and the revolution in northern Mexico. He established the Scott Photo Company and also worked with the Mexican War Photo Postcard Company.
P.C. Schockey (dates unknown) was an American photographer active during the early 1900s in Harlingen, Texas. He documented the Mexican revolution along the Mexican-American border, including the battle of Matamoros.
Henry N. Sweet (?1933) was assistant to Edward Herbert Thompson, the American Consul in Mérida. He was the photographer for Thompson's expeditions to Uxmal, Kabah, Sayil, and Labná in 18881891, and Alfred Percival Maudslay's exploration of Chichén Itzá in 1889.
Charles Burlingame Waite (18611929) was a California photographer who worked briefly in El Paso, Texas before moving to Mexico in 1896. Waite opened a studio in Mexico City that remained in business until he left the country in 1913. During that time he produced a large body of work ranging from documentation of archaeological and scientific expeditions to contributions to periodicals and tourist guides. He also received numerous commissions from businesses such as the U.S.-owned Chiapas Rubber Company. The most prolific of the new type of commercial photographer active during the last two decades of the Porfiriato, Waite is best known for his tipos and views, which were widely distributed as postcards.