Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-79) had an immense influence on nineteenth-century photography. Her portraits and tableaux-vivants (many posed to illustrate poetry or represent literary figures) were produced in the 1860s and 1870s within the most important artistic circles in Victorian England and have enjoyed almost continuous popularity for over a century. Cameron favoured an imaginative use of lighting and focus - something that placed her work within the realm of high art and helped to transform the medium of artistic photography. Closely connected with the Pre-Raphaelite group, her work shares their nostalgia and love of literary and mythological subject matter. Her portrait subjects included such illustrious figures as William Holman Hunt, Alfred Tennyson, George Frederick Watts, Thomas Carlyle and Charles Darwin. In addition her work encompassed tender portraits of children and wistful, poetic homages to female beauty. Born in Calcutta, she was educated in France and England before returning to India. After moving to England in 1846, Cameron began important friendships with the poets Henry Taylor and Alfred Tennyson while her younger sister introduced her to the many cultural and artistic figures who frequented her home in London. She began taking photographs in earnest in 1864 after moving to the Isle of Wight. Cameron's artistic context for her photographs was her vital social circle of painters, writers, critics and intellectuals. She photographed only people, not the still lives or landscapes so popular in photography at the time.