WH Rodes was one of 11 photographers included in the 1859 White's directory photographers section. Rodes was listed again at 12 Oxford Street in the 1861 Forbes and Bennett Directory in the Photographic Artists section, and also placed an advertisement in the classified section.
The 1861 census recorded Photographer Walter H Rodes and his wife Eliza, living at 12 Oxford St with a 3 year old niece and one servant. Rodes gave his place and date of birth as Hornsey, North London, in 1832. Eliza was born in Portsmouth in 1833. The death of an Eliza Rodes of the same age was recorded on the Isle of Wight in October 1861.
Rodes was not in Southampton after 1861. The 1871 census recorded a photographer called William Rodes in Caledonian Road North London, with his wife Matilda. William Rodes gave his date of birth as 1828, 4 years earlier than the date of birth given by Walter Rodes in 1861. Both Walter and William were born in London. William's wife Matilda was 15 years his junior, and also born in London. No definite records have been found for Walter or William Rodes after 1871.