Etienne Carjat studied photography with Pierre Petit.
In addition to his work as a journalist, caricaturist, actor and playwright, Etienne Carjat established a photographic business which he ran from 1855 to 1867. He continued doing photography through 1875, his portraits appearing in several periodicals, especially those related to theater, arts and letters.
Though Etienne Carjat was one of the best French portrait photographers, his memory has been eclipsed by that of his better-known contemporary. Carjat's portraits were noteworthy for their directness and simplicity. He used the collodion process, producing albumen prints, and some cartes de visite.