Thank you all!
Since I have two similar portraits, one of appears to have been taken when he was younger (mustache and clothing a bit different) this confirms that he was in or near Shavli for some time. I still don't know if that is where he was born but this gives me some direction for my searches.
Thank you Shlomo Gurevich for the information about the photographer!
I wonder how common it was to have more than one portrait done in that era (1884-1894?)
Family lore has it that this gentleman left home because he didn't want the religious life that was intended for him.