Alice Boughton was born in Brooklyn, New York. In the 1880s, she studied photography at the Pratt School of Art and Design where she met Gertrude Käsebier (1852-1934), with whom she later studied in Paris and worked for as a studio assistant. In 1890, Boughton opened a portrait studio on East 23rd Street in New York, which she maintained for the next forty years. Boughton exhibited at the Royal Photographic Society in London in 1910. In 1928 a selection of her portraits were published in her own book; ‘Photographing the Famous’. Boughton reproduced her sitters’ signatures below their portraits.