Rupert Potter (1832-1914) was the son of Edmund Potter who owned a large calico printing works and who served as a Liberal member of parliament from 1861-1874. Potter was educated at Manchester College before training as a barrister in London, once trained he specialised in equity law and conveyancing. In 1863 he married Helen Leech (1839-1932), the daughter of a wealthy cotton merchant and shipbuilder. They had two children, the children's author Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) and Walter Bertram Potter (1872-1918).
Potter was both a keen artist and amateur photographer, he also collected art. Potter was a close friend of the painter Sir John Everett Millais, he assisted the artist by photographing sitters when portraits were incomplete. His daughter Beatrix enjoyed a close relationship with her father and he was a significant influence in her development as an artist and a writer.
Some photographs in the collection have been catalogued on Multi Mimsy as part of the National Portrait Gallery Photography Collection, reference numbers: NPG x131242 to NPG x131250.