Photography as a branch of art and crafts began developing in the middle of the 19th century reaching the peak of its popularity in the 1900s. In the late 19th century, there were 20 photo studios in Riga, in 1905 their number had grown to 37, and in 1910 – to 45. The first photo studios in Riga were owned by German photographers and Latvians initially worked there as trainees. In the early 20th century, photographers of different nationalities worked in Riga, the most famous ones were Roberts Borhards, Kārlis Hebensbergs, Kārlis Šulcs, Emanuels Egerts, Osvalds Lange, Leonards Viržovskis etc. Mostly portraits and group photos were made. Photo studios were fitted out in a particular way, there were a painted background and some chairs and small tables where people sat or stood striking a pose. Graphical drawings were used to mark the photos and each studio had a different logo. Their designs often included Art Nouveau flowing lines and curves supplemented with stylised images of plants and flowers. The museum has a large collection of photographs taken in these studios. At the turn of the century, the number of Latvian photographers grew rapidly. The most famous among them were Jānis Rieksts, Indriķis Baumanis, Mārtiņš Lapiņš, Ansis Skariņš and others. Their photos were of high artistic quality focusing on the portrayal of the person with the help of lights, pose and angles. Rieksts, Lapiņš and Skariņš were Latvian masters of Art Nouveau photography who laid the foundations of the Latvian art of photography. The museum collection includes several photos taken by these photographers, which show how the art of photography evolved in the early 20th century.