White took up photography in 1893 and helped start the Newark Camera Club
in 1898. White was one of the photographers promoted by Alfred Stieglitz
as the 'Photo-Secession', exhibiting his work in their exhibitions and
publishing it in Camera Work. His pictures are characterised by his use
of light, often creating a virtual glow from the highlights. He experimented
widely with printing processes, including platinum and gum bichromate.
White moved to New York and set up his studio in 1906, beginning to lecture
at Columbia University Teachers' College the next year. He also opened
a Summer School in photography in Georgetown Island, Maine in 1910, together
with Gertrude Kasebier, Fred Holland Day and Max Weber, and taught at
the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences from 1908-21. In 1914 he established
the C.H. White School of Photography, which taught many of the leading
photographers of the following generation, including Margaret Bourke-White,
Anton Bruehl, Laura Gilpin, Dorothea Lange, Paul Outerbridge, Ralph Steiner,
Karl Struss and Doris Ulmann.