Little is known about the life of Thomas Richard Williams. The first professional record of him comes from 1850, when he set up a photographic business in London. In 1854, while working for Philip Henry Delamotte, Williams made his celebrated stereograph daguerreotypes of the Crystal Palace. Some scholars consider Williams to be one of the first photographers to record events as they happened, making him a forerunner of the press photographer. In the mid-1850s he turned his energies to portrait photography and later to still lifes, where he achieved his greatest artistic successes. Toward the end of his career he made a series of genre scenes entitled "Scenes in our Village."