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Emma Barton (née Boaz Rayson) was born in Birmingham in 1872. As the daughter of a railway porter, she came from a working-class background. Barton would later become the common law wife of the solicitor George Albert Barton, with whom she had three daughters and one son. Barton’s children were often the subjects of her photography. She was an active photographer in the early 1900s and as a successful practitioner of early colour photography using the Autochrome process.


Emma Barton first exhibited her work at the Royal Photographic Society in 1901; an exhibition that recurred annually until 1914. Her work was also published in various magazines and one of her photographs – titled The Awakening – was even awarded a medal by the Royal Photographic Society in 1903. Barton ceased exhibiting in 1918 and retired to the Isle of Wight in 1932 where she died six years later. 

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