Harry Jacobs - The Portrait Parlour

We are documenting ‘I Am Here’ by setting up The Portrait Parlour in Brixton Village, inspired by photographer Harry Jacobs.

Harry Jacobs was the photographer of choice for the West Indian communities of Lambeth. During his Brixton studio’s 40 year lifespan, it is estimated that he took nearly 60,000 photographs. 

In the 1950s and 1960s, photography was expensive and few people owned a camera. His studio was the place to go to get the shot that would tell your story, against a rich exotic backdrop. These photos were sent back to family in the Caribbean as evidence of success in England.

We’ve paid homage to his iconic backdrop in an interactive installation that allows you to recreate the photographers’ famous portraits. 

Located in Brixton Market on Market Row, from 19 to 25 June, come and snap a photo of yourself and share it on our @WindrushLambeth social media accounts.

Lambeth Archives holds an extensive collection of Harrys Jacobs photographs which is largely undocumented – have a look through the collection and let us know if you recognise anyone?

Three men posing in front of Harry Jacobs backdrop