Monday’s Photography Inspiration – Emma Schenson

Emma Schenson was a Swedish photographer and painter born in 1827. She was one of the earliest professional female photographers in Sweden. Schenson was the daughter of the academy treasurer John Schenson and the school administrator Maria Magdalena Hahr. There are no records of her education or of how she became familiar with photography.

By the 1860s, she had opened a studio in Uppsala, becoming one of Sweden’s earliest female professional photographers and the first to establish a business in Uppsala.

Uppsala Cathedral, Uppland, Sweden by Emma Schenson
Uppsala Cathedral, Uppland, Sweden by Emma Schenson
"The Geezers of the Svartbäcken creek" in Kvarnfallet at Akademikvarnen, the quarter Holmen, Uppsala 1880–1890's. Photographer: Emma Schenson / Upplandsmuseet.
“The Geezers of the Svartbäcken creek” in Kvarnfallet at Akademikvarnen, the quarter Holmen, Uppsala 1880–1890’s. Photographer: Emma Schenson / Upplandsmuseet.

In addition to photographs of Uppsala Cathedral, she produced a series of some 20 albumen prints as a tribute to the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus (1707–1778). In the 1880s and 90s, she produced a further technically perfect series of the cathedral showing the progress and results of restoration work. The images reveal not only her technical skills but also her aptitude at positioning the camera to obtain architecturally excellent images. Although Schenson’s negatives have disappeared, her photographs of the cathedral under repair can be seen in an album at the university library.

by Emma Schenson
Uppsala Mounds, 1895
Uppsala Mounds, 1895 by Emma Schenson

Emma Schenson died in Uppsala on 17 March 1913. She is remembered as one of Sweden’s earliest female professional photographers along with Rosalie Sjöman in Stockholm, Hilda Sjölin in Malmö and Wilhelmina Lagerholm in Örebro.

Uppsala Domkyrka
Uppsala Domkyrka by Emma Schenson
pammyv02

I am a photographer currently living in London. Most of my work is in black and white because which I've found to be the best outlet to express myself. With patience a rather unique way of seeing the beauty around me, I enjoy creating a world that is unique to me.

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