Digital cameras and selfies have practically wiped out commercial photography. But not so long ago, the photo studio was at the centre of image making. In the town of Bad Ragaz, the Fetzer family runs the oldest photo studio in Switzerland.
For 150 years, ten photographers from the Fetzer family have captured the people, buildings and wild landscapes of this corner of the Alps. The choice of subjects were dictated by the photographer’s idea of what should remain in the collective memory of the eastern Swiss village of Bad Ragaz.
A native of Bavaria, Johann Nikolaus Fetzer opened his first studio in Walenstadt in 1867. A decision that made good business sense as soldiers from the neighbouring barracks with their shiny uniforms became his major clientele.
In a 200-page monographexternal link titled “Photo Fetzer. The Fetzer Photographers Dynasty of Bad Ragaz“ the author Eveline Suter has captured the essence of the Fetzer family’s body of work. These photographs provide a glimpse into the world of Bad Ragaz and its inhabitants from the early days of photography to the present.
(Photos: Foto Fetzer, Text: Renat Künzi/swissinfo.ch)