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born 1917 - 1990

Laurence Le Guay was born in Sydney and began his photographic career in 1935 as an assistant in Dayne portrait studios. He began exhibiting in local and overseas salons from 1936. Le Guay established his own studio in Martin Place in 1938 and became a member of the Sydney Camera Circle and of the Contemporary Camera Groupe.

During World War II Le Guay served as a war photographer in the RAAF on overseas service. Before returning to Sydney to establish a new studio, Le Guay spent a brief period in London documenting plastic surgery for burn victims.

In 1946 Le Guay re-established a studio, firstly in George Street and later in the old Smith’s Weekly building. He was soon involved with running a photography school and founded Contemporary Photography in 1946, the first photographic magazine not published by a photo supply firm.

In 1947 Le Guay entered into partnership with John Nisbett in a new studio in Castlereagh Street. Their studio specialised in fashion and commercial illustration, although Le Guay worked on assignments for the Geographical Society in northern and central Australia.

He also accompanied the first post-war expedition to Antarctica in 1948 for the Department of Information. Prior to his departure Le Guay made a film on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Le Guay and Nisbett closed their studio in 1972 and afterwards Le Guay continued his own photography and worked as an honorary editor for Australian Photography magazine publications: Australian Photography 76 (1977) and Australian Photography - a contemporary view (1978).

With characteristic energy and adventure, Le Guay spent much of 1974 sailing around the world in a yacht with friends. Sailing Free, published in 1975, recorded this trip.

In 1980, Le Guay published a book on Australian Aboriginals, Shadows in a Landscape.

In 1963 Le Guay was awarded the Commonwealth Medal for his work in photography and his activities as an editor, lecturer and member of professional organisations.

above text based on Gaël Newton's Silver & Grey
Angus and Roberston, Australia 1980

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