Thomas Barrett was the youngest son of photographer Herbert Barrett. Another of Herbert Barrett's sons, William Rendell Barrett was also a photographer from the early 1890s at 43 East Street, trading as W.R Vandyke. When Herbert Barrett died in 1897 Thomas took over as photographer at the New Place, Bedford Place studio. The studio was advertised in Kellys Directory in 1900 and 1903 in his mother's name, Mrs Annie Barrett. However, for the 1901 census Thomas gave his occupation as photographer, and his mother did not give an occupation. By 1911 Annie Barrett was a lodging house keeper in Carlton Place and no further trace of Thomas has been found. William worked as a photographer in East St until it was destroyed in WW2.