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“The world was blind until 1839… and then photography was born.”

Solomon Butcher was the first photographer to set up shop in Custer County Nebraska in 1882. His ‘studio’ was 18×28’ sod shanty with a dirt floor and skylights covered with sheets of cotton. He used a wagon cover as a backdrop. It had several mend holes where the rats had been chewing, but he devised a method to physically move his backdrop during exposures so the patches wouldn’t show.

He photographed most of his clients, however, in bright sunlight with their prized possessions in front of their homes. By this time, the knowledge of photography was becoming widespread among the public and competition among photographers began to grow. In order to be profitable, photographers everywhere started realizing the more they knew of the possibilities of their profession, the better they could meet the demands of their patrons (the clients).

In 1889, The Nebraska Photographers Association was founded by N.J. Anderson of Wahoo, George Heyn of Omaha, and Reynolds of David City but was unfortunately disbanded during World War II. 1946 marked the beginning of our modern Professional Photographers of Nebraska, which was instrumented by Ivan Matson, former mayor of Kearney. Since the very beginning, Nebraska has been proud to serve our members not only through education, but also by creating a solid platform which enables us to uplift professionalism to the highest of standards.

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