Tributes paid to pioneering Pontefract photographer Betty Beaumont

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Pioneering photographer Betty Beaumont – who captured important moments in the lives of families in Pontefract for 50 years – has died, aged 94.

Mrs Beaumont became the town’s first self-employed female photographer at the age of 16 .

She started photography after her father Tom Hawly formed Pontefract Photographic Society in the 1940s.

Mrs Beaumont’s son Peter, 61, said: “When my mum was 16 her dad just said to her one day “we are doing a wedding today” and that was the start of it all really. It just went from there.

“She was the main photographer in Pontefract and across the district for around 50 years.

“People who got married in the area during the 1960s and 1970s probably had my mum as their photographer.

“She was one of those people who made you feel relaxed and that’s key as a photographer.

“She was always interested in people and put them at ease and that always came out in her photographs.”

Mrs Beaumont worked from her home at Wood Villa, Tanshelf Drive. She converted it so it had a studio, dark room and reception.

Mr Beaumont added: “My mum was extremely well-known and will be sadly missed by a lot of people.

Mrs Beaumont, who retired at the age of 66, leaves behind two children, four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Her funeral took place at St Giles’ Church in Pontefract on Tuesday.