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ROGER, Henri

PORTRAIT-ROGERBorn in 1869. France

Died in 1946.


On June 6, 1881, Henri Roger noted in his notebook : “cliche #1: Henri bedroom (in front of closet)”. He had just experienced the photographic process for the first time, and from then on couldn’t do without it. Roger put various procedures to use, changing his cameras and formats as techniques progressed. His family quickly became his favorite subject.

Portraits, self-portraits, group scenes, his photographic diary of family life often became the occasion for play, through the use of costumes, staging and special effects that reveal the photographer’s taste for experimentation and fantasy.

Having a passion for astronomy, he shot the total eclipses of the sun in 1896 and in 1912, this time from the Eiffel Tower. Keen on techniques, he had followed the tower’s construction with  fascination and captured its phases on glass plaques.

Until his death in 1946, Henri Roger continued to methodically document his family life and his travels.

He left behind a collection of some 9,000 photographs, which make up one of the original collections of the Roger-Viollet Agency.


Henri Roger’s work was presented at the Rencontres d’Arles in 2008: Ticks and effects, at the Musée départemental de l’Arles antique.