John Moore Humby was the son of a successful East Street toy dealer, and worked as a photographer in East Street and Bridge Street from the late 1880s until the early 1900s.
John Humby was included in the list of commercial photographers in the 1891 Stevens directory, advertising his business at 40 East Street. At the time of the 1891 census Humby, his wife and children and one servant, were recorded at 40 East Street, and Humby's occupation was given as photographer.
By 1895 Humby and family had moved to 56 Bridge St. The National Archives hold a photograph of the interior of the SS St Louis by Humby of 56 Bridge Street, taken in 1895. The 1901 census listed photographer John Humby and family at 56 Bridge Street. In the early 1900s Humby moved out of central Southampton to Southcliff Road, after which time he was only included in the residential street listings, and no longer listed as a commercial photographer. From 1912 to the late 1920s Humby retired to a substantial villa in Bitterne Park.