Sze Yuen Ming (Yao Hua) Studio

Sze Yuen Ming & Co (known also by its Chinese name Yao Hua zhaoxianguan or Yaohua zhaoxianguan,上洋耀華照相), was one of the most famous Chinese-run studios in Shanghai. The founder/owner was Shi Yuming (Cantonese: SZE Yuen Ming), whose alternative name was Shi Dezhi (C: SZE Tak Chee), which he used when writing essays in the press. Shi Dezhi (1861-1935) was half British half Chinese, also known as Star Talbot. Shi bought his studio and state-of-the-art equipment from Herman Salzwedel. The Sze Yuen Ming studio was well known for its larger than life-size prints, exquisite portraiture and technical sophistication. Active 1892 to 1920s. In 1905 Shi opened a branch studio (‘West Yao Hua’) near the race course at 42 Nanking Road. West Yao Hua was operated by Shi's eldest daughter Mae Linda Talbot (1886-1964) until her marriage in 1908, “making her one of the earliest documented female photographers in China” (sources: Oliver Moore and Photography in China by Claire Roberts).