The evolution of photographic studios in Paris

It was in 1839 at the gallery of the Academy of Sciences that the scientist Francois Arago expressed the most sensational new science discovery of the last decades: Photography.

He had no idea of the upheaval habits this new invention would create. Its immense social and industrial impact still continues to transform our lives today.

The first photograph studio dates from the mid-nineteenth century. At that time, the first photographers used lighting techniques of painters to create photographic portraits. Indeed, the artist/painters studios enjoyed a perfect light for the exposure needed for successful portraits. In artist studios, light in general came from a large window or a skylight facing north, usually a glass ceiling or on the sides of the room.

Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879), was one of the pioneers of portrait photography. She used a technique called “fine arts” applied by painters to magnify the lighting scenes they painted. She later used this lighting technology for his black and white portraits. This artist was animated by the search for beauty and aesthetics that you can perfectly feel in her innovative portraits.


In 1840, with the introduction of “calotypes” (direct negative paper making possible the reproduction of positive images), the characters of the exposure time can be reduced, family portraits have thus become easier to organize and photograph. Photography has become the first paper tells the story of families across generations. Remaining an expensive service and that service photo studio was reserved for the families of the haute bourgeoisie.


In 1854, French photographer Disderi developed an advanced technique to greatly decrease the price of a photo. It has democratized a technique for the development of this art and business of the latter.

Since 1911, photography studios have been incredibly successful in Paris as influential figures in fashion, film and art in general reside or stay in Paris. At that time, the portraits are the trendiest shots and profitable. In 1934, the Harcourt studio was founded by Colette Harcourt and the Lacroix brothers in Paris. This photo studio is illustrated especially for his black and white portraits of movie stars and personalities. It still remains a mythical Parisian photo studios and a dream for everyone to have a portrait Harcourt home.

It is from 1950 that the photograph was taken studios in the street. The photo studio is long remained oriented fashion and photography. Thanks to technical developments and discoveries of the second half of the twentieth century, more commercial portraits invaded called life pictures studios.

Since the advent of digital, many small studios family photos were closed to make way for photographic studios pushing the boundaries of creativity and technology.

Studio photography differs from other photo techniques because in a studio was the photographer who needs to create all that will be put before the lens thus usually an empty photo studio.