As daughters to the 2nd Earl of Bradford, Ladies Lucy Caroline and Charlotte Anne Bridgeman were educated in the fashionable interests of Victorian ladies, but they also witnessed the technological innovations of the Industrial Revolution, including photography. By the mid-1850s, professional photographers had set up shop in England, but the medium was also well suited as a leisure activity for the aristocracy by virtue of available space, wealth, and a general education in the arts and sciences. The Bridgeman sisters, who shared a close bond throughout their short lives, developed a strong interest in photography in the early 1850s and took up the enterprise together.
After learning to prepare the photo-chemistry, the sisters set up a studio in the undercroft of a Temple of Diana folly on the grounds of their estate, Weston Park, and began making portraits of their friends and family. This photograph of the Bridgemans’ sister-in-law Victoria Windsor-Clive, likely taken at the family’s other residence Castle Bromwich, relays the sensitivity of the medium in the hands of a passionate amateur photographer to capture the emotional content of intimate subjects.