It is clear that both Mary Stella Edwards and Judith Ackland were avid amateur photographers and used their cameras extensively. Together, they used photographs to document their work, their lives as professional artists and very rarely their lives together. The archive holds a selection of images, which reference their sketching tours in Wales, the Lake District and North Devon.
There are often multiple copies of images and negatives, especially in relation to works like Jackanda models. These photographs were copied and used to illustrate their work to prospective clients – often at a distance – without having to risk damaging works. These images of Jackanda models, along with newspaper clippings, references and polite letters were sent by mail to clients in London, Reading and Winchester Museum.
Their photographs can often appear slightly staged but still manage to convey the ease of their relationship and their desire to be recognised as professional artists. Many images show them in the process of painting the watercolour landscapes they are so well known for. These images document the lengths both artists would go to capture the ideal viewpoint. A few albums within the archive also relate to Mary Stella’s family, her youth and their trips together. Sadly, there are no such albums for Judith Ackland.