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FayFoto Boston photographs

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: M221


  • 1938-1999


Historical Note

FayFoto Boston is a leading provider of commercial photography in the Greater Boston area. They provide photographs on assignment for corporate, business, and non-profit clients. FayFoto’s services cover a wide range of disciplines, including portraiture (often referred to as “head shots”), events, architectural interiors and exteriors, industrial, and product still life. Some of their top clients include the Boston Globe; Cone Communications; Eastern Gas and Fuel Associates; Little, Brown, and Company; Massachusetts Department of Commerce; Massachusetts Port Authority; New England Telephone; Prudential Insurance of America; Saint Elizabeth's Hospital; Shawmut Bank; and Sheraton Corporation of America.

Harry Selig and Lewis Colson founded FayFoto Service in Boston, Massachusetts in 1925. Harry Selig was born in 1907 in Boston’s West End and graduated from Boston English High School in 1923. Lewis Colson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and came to the United States at an early age. The business incorporated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1932.

In its first decades in operation, the FayFoto studio was located at 5 Melrose Street in Boston. In 1940, the studio moved to 43-53 West Canton Street in Boston’s South End where it remained until 1972. The location was meant to accommodate new equipment to meet the needs of the illustrative and fashion industries, architectural interior and exteriors, catalogues, panoramas, conventions, banquets, and advertising. The opening of the studio was attended by over 300 members of Greater Boston’s business community.

In 1971, FayFoto Service, Inc. acquired Lenscraft Photo, another Boston photography business founded by Lewis Colson circa 1946. The Lenscraft Photo was originally located at 169 Massachusetts Avenue in Boston. The business moved to 46 Summer Street before merging with FayFoto, and subsequently relocated to 201 South Street under Harry Selig in 1972.

After Harry Selig died in 1979, his son, Mark, became president of FayFoto. Mark was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts to Harry and Jeanette (nee Baker) Selig in 1937. In 1954, he graduated from Brookline High School and then received a Bachelor’s degree in history from Brandeis University in 1958. He began working for FayFoto in 1978 when his father became ill. The younger Selig remained the president of FayFoto until his retirement circa 1999.

FayFoto purchased its first digital camera, a Kodak DC265, and began offering digital photography services to its clients in 1999.

The studio moved from its South Street location to 45 Electric Avenue at an unknown date. As of January 2019, FayFoto is located at 15 Main Street in Watertown, Massachusetts.


586.62 cubic feet




Daniel J. Lavoie II, Jill Chancellor, Molly Copeland, Samantha Dodgen, Lily Eisenthal, Kate Grant, Dominique Medal, Mariella Metz-Yeverino, Sean Plaistowe, and Marc Steiner.
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Snell Library
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115 US