Portrait of Brian Brake

Spencer Digby, Brian Brake, late 1940s.

Since its early years photography has mixed the artistic and the commercial. One of the finest commercial photographers in New Zealand was Spencer Digby. Primarily known for his portrait work, most famously the ubiquitous portrait of Michael Joseph Savage, Digby was committed to producing work of the highest standard, whether his subject was a politician, accountant, lawyer, debutante or university graduate.

While this image isn’t up to his best work, it is notable for the sitter, a young Brian Brake, who worked for Digby from 1945 to 1949 and picked up skills apparent in his own later work.

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