Constance Stuart Larrabee was born in 1914, the daughter of a Scottish mining engineer and his British wife.
Constance returned to London in 1933 to study photography and moved to Munich two years later to undertake advanced studies. In 1936 the 21-year-old returned to South Africa and established the Constance Stuart Portrait Studio in the heart of Pretoria. She became a renowned portraitist and soon gained recognition as a photojournalist working for several South African magazines. Stuart was the first South African woman to be accredited as a war correspondent by the South African director of Military Intelligence. In 1944, during World War II, she covered the war in Egypt, Italy and France for the magazine Libertas.
In 1949 Constance came to the United States and married Colonel Sterling Loop Larrabee whom she had met in South Africa while he was a military attache. The couple settled in Chestertown on Maryland's Eastern Shore.
Constance Stuart Larrabee's work has been exhibited in several museums, including the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the South African National Gallery in Cape Town, the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven and the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, D.C. In 1997 she generously donated her collection of over 3,000 South African photographs to the National Museum of African Art; her World War II photographs to the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; and her extensive work about the Eastern Shore to the Chesapeake Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Maryland.