(St. Hippolyte du Fort 1831 – Alès 1885)
After having practiced bookbinding for various years, he began taking photographs and using the heliogravure around 1860, under the guidance of Niépce de Saint Victor, cousin of Nicephore Niépce. In 1865, Bonfils opened his photo studio in Alès, in southern France. Infatuated with the beauty of Lebanon which he visited during his military service, in 1867 he decided to move to Beirut with his family, where he opened his own atelier. Here, with the help of his wife Lydie, Bonfils had a successful business. In fact, in 1870 his catalogue boasted 15,000 prints obtained from 591 negatives on Egypt, Syria, Palestine, and Greece, and over 9,000 stereoscopic views.