As a young man, Baron Louis-Adolphe Humbert de Molard was renowned in Parisian salon society for his ingenuity and inventiveness. His skillfulness and his interest in science led him to photography early on, and by 1843 he was an accomplished daguerreotypist.
In 1843, Humbert de Molard married his second wife, Henriette Patu, an accomplished lithographer and miniaturist, and settled at Lagny sur Marne. There he investigated paper processes, and even before hearing of Niépce de Saint-Victor's achievements, he experimented with albumen on glass. Sensitive to the possibilities of artistic printing, Humbert de Molard realized the rich varieties of coloration in different toning and fixing formulas.
After the death of his young son in 1849, he settled at Argentelle, in Normandy, and throughout the 1850s he turned his attention to photochemistry and print permanence. As a founding member of the Société Française de Photographie, he published several articles on his experiments in their bulletin.