Hugo van Wadenoyen

Hugo van Wadenoyen portrait in black and white

Hugo van Wadenoyen (1892 – 1 March 1959 in Cheltenham) was a British photographer, of Dutch origins. He lived in Cheltenham England, and was an influential figure in the long drawn-out genesis of British fine art photography, especially in the 1945–1965 period.

Van Wadenoyen led the « Combined Societies »; a progressive group of local photographic societies (Hereford, Wolverhampton, and Bristol) that, in 1945, broke away from the moribund Royal Photographic Society.

He undertook a series of instructional books on photography, published by the Focal Press.

Van Wadenoyen’s book Wayside Snapshots (Focal Press, 1947) marked a decisive British break with Pictorialism in photography, was a brave early attempt to use the book format as a means of showing a photographer’s personal pictures. Some of the book’s fresh approaches to landscape strongly influenced Raymond Moore. Van Wadenoyen was also a mentor to Roger Mayne, involving Mayne in the Combined Societies group exhibitions between 1951 and 1955.

Photos that he took with a Purma camera were used in Purma camera manuals and Focal guides.