For half a century Bedford Lemere & Co. was the leading architectural photography company in Britain. Bedford Lemere's skills were recognised as early as the 1870s when the architect John Seddon eulogised his work at the Royal Architectural Museum in ‘The Architect’. In the 1860s and 1870s the firm exhibited in London, Paris, Philadelphia, Vienna and Sydney. At the 1878 Paris Exposition Universelle it received ‘honourable mention for architectural subjects’ and a year later it was rewarded with a medal at the Sydney International Exhibition. The firm was quick to exploit its successes by advertising the names of high-profile clients and reciting testimonials in its printed catalogues.
Harry Bedford Lemere died in his office at 147 Strand in 1944 at the age of 79. Amongst the tributes he was described as “the leading architectural photographer in this country” and “world famous as an architectural photographer”.
Widely known as ‘Pa’, his cheerful and friendly nature endeared him to many, and was probably one of the reasons why the company forged many long-lasting business relationships. An obituary in the ‘British Journal of Photography’ said that apart from photography, his hobby was “cheering people up”.