Kurkdjian produced stereoscopic images of Ani. He worked for another photographer in Singapore for two months and moved to Surabaya where he eventually established his own studio. In 1897, Kurkdjian was joined by Englishman G. P. Lewis. A famous photograph of Kurkdjian shows him standing behind his tripod-mounted camera photographing a volcano.
Lewis took over the business after Kurkdjian's death in 1903. The studio was acquired by Mieling & Co., a pharmaceutical company, in 1915.
Margarethe Mathilde Weissenborn was born on 22 March 1883 or 1889, to Cornelia Emma Angely Lina da Paula (ne Roessner) and Hermann Theodor Weissenborn in either Surabaya, or Kediri, on East Java of the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). Her parents were German-born, naturalized Dutch citizens and operated a coffee plantation in Kediri. In 1892, her mother returned with Thilly and her siblings to the Netherlands and took up residence in The Hague. They were joined by their father the following year. After five years, the oldest son and the father left for Tanganyika in German East Africa to become planters there. Else, one of Thilly's older sisters, who had studied photography in Paris, opened a photographic studio in The Hague in 1903, where Thilly began working. In 1912, she left the Netherlands and returned to Java, in the company of her brother Theo to join their brother Oscar, who was living in Bandung.
In 1913, Weissenborn found employment in a prestigious photographic studio in Surabaya which was founded by Onnes Kurkdjian, an Armenian, called Atelier Kurkdjian. The studio was the only agent for Kodak in East Java. Kurkdjian had died by the time Weissenborn arrived and the studio, which employed thirty photographers, was managed by an Englishman, GP Lewis. Weissenborn honed her craft under Lewis' tutelage learning both photographic and retouching techniques. In 1917, she moved to Garut in West Java and managed a photographic studio GAH Lux in the Garoetsche Apotheek en Handelsvereeniging Company, a pharmacy owned by Denis G. Mulder. Mulder moved to Bandung in 1920 and turned over his property to Weissenborn, who changed the firm name to Foto Lux. In 1930, she established Lux Fotograaf Atelier NV, which she operated for a decade in Garut.
Weissenborn became the first significant woman photographer in Indonesia and was one of the few photographers working in the era who were Indonesian-born. Her works were marked by a lyrical quality and her attempt to capture the idyllic nature of the landscape. She is most known for her photographs of architectural interiors, landscapes, and portraits, which were produced for the burgeoning tourist industry. Some of her works were featured in Dutch tourism guide published in 1922, as Come to Java. Her photographs also made up the majority of the images in Louis Couperus' work Oostwaarts (Eastward, 1923). Weissenborn traveled throughout the East Indies, and particularly worked in Bali, trying to capture the exotic nature of the islands, while at the same time, retaining the dignity of locals she photographed. Ironically, her images were at times appropriated and used in prurient manners, such as a photograph of two women on a road carrying water, one who has a pot on her head, which was used for a French novel titled L'le des seins nus (Island of Bare Breasts). In time, her portrait images changed from partially-clad images to the more artistic images of dancing girls. These were featured in such magazines as Inter-Ocean, Sluyters Monthly and Tropical Netherlands, which marketed a more civilized Bali to international tourists.