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Boris Bennet’s Weddings Collection Offers Rare Glimpse at a Community’s Past Beauty


Jewish photographer Boris Bennett, born Boris Sochaczewska, in Ozokoff, Poland, in 1900, one of eight children. At 18, Boris left Poland for Paris, to avoid the draft. He worked in a photographic studio, and later as a salesman for a German photo supply company. In 1922, he was sent to London as a sales representative.

Bennett remained in London and, in 1927, opened his photographic studio at 150 Whitechapel Road, which became an overnight success.

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Bennett managed to reproduce the glamour of Hollywood in his photography, which everybody was going crazy for. At one point he was doing as many as 60 bridal couples in a single Sunday — the day Jewish weddings were usually held.

Accounts of the day describe crowds gathering outside the studio to watch Bennett doing his magic.

Boris Bennett met Julia Vines in 1929 (she came for passport photos for a trip to America). It was love at first sight, and the couple married as soon as she returned to England. Julia ran the studios, and helped setting up the stylish wedding sessions.

On the eve of WW2, Bennett opened the first of his five studios in the West End, while still working in his Whitechapel Road studio. And as folks were no longer going to a photo shop for their pictures, he opened a retail camera shop, Bennett Cameras, in Oxford Street.

A new book, titled Vintage Glamour In London’s East End features Boris Bennett’s sometimes breathtaking work. Do scroll…

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