Ernest H. Richardson was born at West Baldwin, Maine on November 22, 1871, son of George and Hattie E. (Boothby) Richardson. Ernest left West Baldwin, Maine about 1898 for Fargo, North Dakota to pursue his career as a photographer. He worked as a clerk/printer for C. L. Judd before acquiring his own studio located in the Smith Block in June 1900. He operated his studio until November 1901 when he sold it to F. F. Smith, to return to Maine.
While in Fargo, Ernest met Florence Amelia Hamilton who worked for Dr. F.J. Campbell. After being united in marriage on November 25, 1901 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, they depart for their new home in West Baldwin, Maine. They lived in Maine until approximately 1910 when they moved to Drayton, North Dakota where Ernest operated a photo studio until November 1914, at which time he moved the family to Park Rapids, Minnesota, where he also opened a photo studio.
In March, 1917, Ernest accepted appointment as assistant to Mr. F.E. Colburn in the Photographic Department at Iowa State College, Ames, Iowa, currently known as Iowa State University. He ultimately became the head of the department. He worked for ISU until his death May 18, 1941
Ernest and Florence had four children, Hazel, Carmen, Genevive and Otto.