This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. This page will not be altered or updated. Web pages that are archived on the Internet are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats of this page on the Contact Us page.
Amateur portraits could take many forms. Some were casual, or shot in a snapshot style. Others, like James Ballantyne's striking 1892 image, were highly composed, and attempted to mimic the conventions of professional studio portraits. Interestingly, the only detail that identifies Ballantyne's image as the work of an amateur is the fact that we can see the world beyond his makeshift studio, which would have been eliminated in a professional product.