Mug shot of Henry Reid, 7 January 1930, Central Police Station, Sydney.
Special Photograph no. D21 (Drug Bureau Photograph). No entry for Reid appears in the NSW Police Gazette for this date, but he is cited there nine months later as having been released on license following a conviction for assault in January, and for unlawfully supplying cocaine in February. He is described as being five foot seven in height, and of 'fresh' complexion; a blacksmith by trade.
This picture is one of a series of around 2500 "special photographs" taken by New South Wales Police Department photographers between 1910 and 1930. These "special photographs" were mostly taken in the cells at the Central Police Station, Sydney and are, as curator Peter Doyle explains, of "men and women recently plucked from the street, often still animated by the dramas surrounding their apprehension". Doyle suggests that, compared with the subjects of prison mug shots, "the subjects of the Special Photographs seem to have been allowed - perhaps invited - to position and compose themselves for the camera as they liked. Their photographic identity thus seems constructed out of a potent alchemy of inborn disposition, personal history, learned habits and idiosyncrasies, chosen personal style (haircut, clothing, accessories) and physical characteristics."