The oldest or longest photography company in the world?

Barrett & Coe Limited

We’re very proud of our heritage at Barrett & Coe and wanted to share with you the history of the business and how it came to be what it is today!

Originally started in Norwich 173 years ago by John Sawyer, Barrett & Coe is probably the longest-established portrait photography company in the world. Barrett & Coe still adheres to the principles of its founder in 1849: “to actively seek quality rather quantity”.

John Sawyer was an ‘earnest and indefatigable worker’ who was concerned by the lack of permanence in photography and took the Collotype Process forward to establish the Autotype Company in London. Sawyer put his manager Albert Edward Coe in charge in Norwich in 1863 and eventually sold the business to him 20 years later.

Andrew Coe, Albert Coe’s great-grandson and the current owner of Barrett & Coe, joined the company in 1961. Brian Barrett joined as a partner in 1997, before retiring through ill health in 2012. Coe’s occupied the same studio in London Street Norwich, which was originally started by Sawyer in 1854, until 2003.

Below are a couple of examples of prints etc. we wanted to share with you from the past!

Barrett-and-Coe-Logo-600x600 copy

Barrett & Coe Limited


The oldest or longest portrait photography company in the world?

Running your own studio can be so rewarding!

Industry Support for Franchisees from the SWPP

Raising money for orphan elephants

Dog Photography Success for Barrett & Coe Essex

First Competition Winning Image for New Barrett & Coe Studio

Fantastic Success for New Barrett & Coe Studio

New Instagram Profile

Barrett & Coe Customer wins £5000

We use cookies to track site usage and improve user experience.