Lartigue's first photograph, taken in 1902 at the age of eight with his first 13 x 18 cm. wooden camera, shows his family posing outside their summer home at Pont-de-l'Arche. The camera was a recent gift from his amateur photographer father under whose guidance Lartigue took his first photographs that summer. This family portrait was later described by Lartigue as 'First photo taken absolutely by myself with my 13 x 18 cm plate camera'1 yet in another instance, self-conflictingly annotated as 'aided by Papa'.2
Even in this staged group portrait, the instantaneous element, which dominates his mature work, comes through in the image of his aunt Yéyé [Geneviève Haguet] who is preoccupied with her young son and is unaware of the photograph being taken.
Remnants of light grey and dark grey papers on the verso suggest that this print was previously pasted in one album then subsequently re-pasted in another album.
1 Goldberg, Jacques Henrui Lartigue: Photographer, Thames & Hudson, 1998, caption of pl. 6.
2 Kevin Moore in Jacques Henri Lartigue: The Invention of an Artist cites this caption found in volume 2 of Lartigue's albums in the archive of the Association des Amis de Jacques Henri Lartigue [AAJHL] to illustrate the inconsistencies in Lartigue's childhood recollections made in the 1970s (Princeton UP, 2004, p.46).