Photography arrived in India immediately after its invention in France and Britain.  British photographers such as Samuel Bourne, Thomas Biggs and Linnaeus Tripe created photographic images influenced by tradition of topographical and architectural documentation inspired by late 18th and early 19th century artists such as William Hodges and Thomas & William Daniell.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, photographers in India, both amateur and professional created some of the most extensive and artistic record of Indian people and landscape.

A significant body of work during this period was “The People of India” project, created between 1868 and 1875 and published by the India Office in eight volumes containing 468 photographs of the tribes and casts of India.