Stockholm-born Oscar Gustave Rejander (1813–1875) relocated to the UK in the 1830s. Some twenty years later he abandoned his profession as a painter to pursue a career in photography. Karen Hellman, assistant curator in the Department of Photographs at the Getty Museum talks about the medium of photography in the 1850s – what it was and what Rejlander thought that the medium could do. Rejlander’s position as an outsider allowed him to do what was not expedited, like double exposures, photographic manipulations and retouching. Today he is often referred to as the father art photography, a pioneer experimenting with the medium. We talk about his legacy and how it fits within photo history and about his wife Mary Bull, her role as a model and support running the studio in Kentish Town, London.