This article presents the new direction of study of the ethnographic photography - visual anthropology. For the first time an attempt is made to understand the photographic heritage the end of XIX-early XX century, stored in museum collections of Yakutsk, St. Petersburg, Tomsk. The ethnographic photographs of first photographers (A.Kurochkin and I.V.Popov) of Yakut subjects are analyzed. The regularities of photographic fixing, symbolic images and presentation practices are revealed.
Key words: Visual Heritage, Ethnographic Photography, Museum Photo Collections, Visual And Anthropological Analysis, Photo Documents As Cultural Text.