Born in Edinburgh, Edward was the son of artist and cabinet maker William Drummond Young. Like his father he trained as a painter, specialising in still lifes, but he also painted genre scenes, landscapes and portraits. He spent some time in Paris and the United States of America, before deciding to return and settle in Edinburgh. Together with his father, Edward founded the photographic firm, ‘W Drummond Young & Son’, which first appears in directories in 1897 advertised as “Photo Specialists, Press Work, etc”. The business quickly established an international reputation. Edward later published a book called ‘The Art of Photography’ that claimed to “help the tyro and the expert alike” with directions on everything from correct lighting to mounting and framing the final works.