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The involvement of women in photojournalism also had its beginnings in the early 1900s but slowly picked up during World War I.While the work of the English and French gentlemen involved in developing and pioneering the process of photography is well documented, the part played by women in the early days tends to be given less attention.Women were however involved in photography from the start.
The participation of women in photography goes back to the very origins of the process.
Several of the earliest women photographers, most of whom were from Britain or France, were married to male pioneers or had close relationships with their families.
It was above all in northern Europe that women first entered the business of photography, opening studios in Denmark, France, Germany, and Sweden from the 1840s, while it was in Britain that women from well-to-do families developed photography as an art in the late 1850s.
Not until the 1890s did the first studios run by women open in New York City.
Anna Atkins, a botanist, was also introduced to photography by Fox Talbot, who explained his "photogenic drawing" technique to her as well as his camera-based calotype process.
After learning about the cyanotype process from its inventor, John Herschel, she was able to produce cyanotype photograms of dried algae.
She published them in 1843 in her Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions, said to be the first book with photographic illustrations.
Following Britain's Linked Ring, which promoted artistic photography from the 1880s, Alfred Stieglitz encouraged several women to join the Photo-Secession movement which he founded in 1902 in support of so-called pictorialism.
In Vienna, Dora Kallmus pioneered the use of photographic studios as fashionable meeting places for the Austro-Hungarian aristocracy.
In the United States, women first photographed as amateurs, several producing fine work which they were able to exhibit at key exhibitions.
They not only produced portraits of celebrities and Native Americans but also took landscapes, especially from the beginning of the 20th century.