Alfred Barker studied medicine at King's College, London.
Alfred Barker emigrated to New Zealand in 1850 (from London) to practice medicine in Christchurch. An ardent amateur photographer most of his life, he may have been an amateur naturalist as well, since he corresponded with Sir Richard Owen and Thomas Huxley. Alfred Barker handcrafted his photographs, from cutting the glass to preparing his own egg emulsions. He was said to have even melted down the household silver and gold for use as sensitizing and fixing agents.
Barker died on 20 March 1873 and was buried in the Barbadoes Street Cemetery (Christchurch, New Zealand).
Dr. Barker was a founding member and onetime trustee of the Canterbury Philosophical Institute.
Quotes from others about the person
Lucie-Smith says: "He is assured a privileged position among pioneer New Zealand photographers, though the aesthetic merit of his images has been only grudgingly acknowledged."
Alfred Barker and his wife Emma (née Bacon) arrived at Lyttelton on the Charlotte Jane on 16 December 1850 and settled in Christchurch, where they had five children.