I’d fed the cat, and it wasn’t quite time to start cooking dinner, so I thought I’d trawl Trove for the earliest advert I could find for someone offering to take your daguerreotype
from the Australian of 18 January 1843. The text of the advert suggests that he was in business before then, perhaps in 1842, but I was not been able to find earlier mention of him in Trove.
A bit of creative Googling found him to be George Barron Goodman who arrived on the Eden on the 4th of November 1842, and rapidly started promoting himself as a photographer
In contrast, the earliest advert I can find in Welsh Newspapers online dates from the Monmouthshire Merlin of 10 November 1841
and in New Zealand from a comparatively late 1848
To give this some context, the daguerrotype process was only invented in 1839, and the earliest mention in Welsh Newspapers online is from 1840.
Being a daguerreotypist was a highly skilled profession, requiring a knowledge of optics and chemistry. For example the Dundee Directory for 1850 lists two daguerreotypists in a town whose population was roughly 65,000, and suppprted a reasonably sized middle class.
Prince Albert, a known geek, didn’t have his picture taken until 1842, and Queen Victoria was not photographed until 1844 …