The 1861 Forbes and Bennett Southampton Directory listed Mackrell as a tobacconist, at Cooksey's Terrace St Marys. However his occupation was given as Photographer for the 1861 census. Mackrell, his wife and children, and a servant aged 12, were listed at Cooks Terrace, St Marys.
Mackrell was included in the trade section of the 1863 Southampton Post Office Directory as a photographer at 138 High Street, and his home address was listed as Cooksey's Terrace. 138 High Street was a glove and outfitter's shop run by Henry G Muddock, in which George Mackrell must have been renting space to take photographs.
Mackrell's wife was born in London and in 1866 the Mackrell family had moved to Chelsea where a forth child was born. The 1871 census listed George Mackrell, photographer, living with his family at Lower George Street, Chelsea.