Carroll had taken up photography in 1856, around the time he met the Liddell family. A lifelong gadget geek, Carroll was fascinated by the technical demands of photography, then a much more arduous and difficult hobby than it is today. Subjects were required to sit still for long periods while the photographer wrestled with heavy equipment. In Carroll's 24 years as an amateur photographer, he virtually mastered the art form. His photographs are considered among the best examples of Victorian photography. "His ability to establish rapport with the sitter, the way he held their attention, his composition - there is no other photographer working in that way with that consistency in the whole history of photography," There is no evidence that Carroll ever behaved inappropriately toward a child, or that he had any sexual or inappropriate thoughts about his young friends. It's not clear whether he ever had sexual thoughts about anyone. Carroll never married. He was ordained a deacon in the Church of England on 22 December 1861. As part of his orders, he took a vow of celibacy.