Paul-Émile Miot, a French naval officer and photographer, entered the Naval Academy in Paris in 1843 and spent the next 49 years sailing around the world on the high seas. He spent five of those years working in Newfoundland, visiting the east coast of North America on five separate hydrographic missions between 1857 and 1862. On his first trip, he captured 40 photographs related to the cod industry and took portraits of Mi’kmaq peoples, as well as views of rivers and forests. This series is the first photographic reporting of Newfoundland using an ethnographic perspective.
After his campaign in Newfoundland, he rose through the ranks and participated in several naval campaigns to different areas of the world, all the while taking photographs. He retired from active service in 1892 and was named Curator of the Musée de la marine et de l’ethnographie at the Louvre in 1894. He died in Paris in 1900.