(1888 - 1990)

John F. Collins is one of the early pioneers in photography the first generation of 1920’s photographers who are said to have turned advertising photography into an art form. Like other gifted photographers he fell in love with photography with his first camera, for Collins he said he was quickly “bitten by the photo bug” at the age of 17 after he got a two-dollar Brownie camera that he recalls using to take images in 1904 at the St. Louis World’s Fair.

Collin’s work became known as that which represented the characteristics of the advanced style of the 1930’s, “precision, luminosity, transparency, sensitivity to material, and freedom from sentiment and dogma”. Collins went on in his career to work as the Senior Photographer for Kodak during the 30s, 40s and 50s. He was the first to take Kodachrome images when Kodak introduced their new color film. Among other accomplishments Collins was the first commercial photographer to become a member of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain. Collins was never concerned with exhibiting his work and after the 1930s his work was not really exhibited until 1987 when he was almost 100 years old! Collins said that “the reason I have been around for a 100 years is that I broke all the rules”.