Alice Hughes (1857-1939) studied photography at the London Polytechnic. The daughter of the society portrait painter Edward Hughes, initially, she used photography to document her father's work. Then in 1891 she opened a portrait studio as the first gentlewoman professional photographer. In 1893 she photographed her first royal sitter, the Duchess of Fife, with her baby, Princess Maud. She was hugely successful as a photographer of high society and royalty. As one of the most successful women photographers of the Edwardian period, Hughes's example encouraged other women to follow a similiar career and to open their own portrait studios and businesses selling photographs, often in the form of postcards printed in small numbers.