Alexander ‘Sasha’ Stewart, born 1892 in Edinburgh, moved to London and launched his professional photography career in 1914. In 1920, Sasha opened his first London studio in Bloomsbury. A technical virtuoso and popular amongst the upper class, the photographer’s theatrical and society portraits were frequently seen in sophisticated journals such as The Tatler, The Sketch and Illustrated London News.

As brilliant as he was charming, Sasha was known for his inventions and studio innovations, none more so than the Sashalite. Produced by General Electric with key input from the photographer, the Sashalite debuted in 1930 and was the first commercial flashbulb available in the UK. Sasha used the powerful light generated by the bulbs to capture his trendsetting and signature dramatic shadows and frozen motion.