Applin's photographic career began in the late 1890s, while he was living with his parents in Alfred Street, Southampton. After marrying Agnes, a music teacher, in 1904, he moved to premises in Windsor Terrace. The 1912 Street directory listed Applin's Photographic Studio at 18 Windsor Terrace. In 1916 the firm had re-located to Commercial Road, where Applin continued working until his retirement in the early 1920s. After a long retirement Applin died in Southampton in 1944.