Frith began as a grocer in Liverpool but took up photography around 1850. He was a founding member of the Liverpool Photographic Society. Between 1856 and 1860 he made three expeditions to the Middle East, bringing back photographs which were published in a wide range of sizes. His Egypt, Sinai and Jerusalem (1860) featured the largest photographs then published in book form. In 1859 the firm F. Frith and Company was established in Reigate, Surrey, and became the largest photographic publishers of English and foreign views in the world.
Van Haaften, Julia. Egypt and the Holy Land in Historic Photographs: 77 Views by Francis Frith. New York: Dover Publications, 1980.