Gould worked as a photographic colourist for John Ruskin. In the days before coloured photographs, colourists were used to hand–paint on top of the black and white image. Ruskin needed him therefore to help him produce his teaching aids.
Gould was born in Coniston in the English Lake District, where Ruskin had his home, Brantwood, so his family was probably known to Ruskin before Gould started to work for him. Later Gould lived nearby in Ambleside.