Professional photograph in India began in early the 1860s when the British government invited photographers to take part in a survey of India. Still, there are many photographs that were taken by various British army officers during the 1840s and 1850s.
McCosh, one of the first photographers known to have worked in India, was an army surgeon with the East India Company. He was based in Lahore and Ludhiana just before the second Anglo-Sikh War in 1847, and produced many photographs using the calotype process, including the only known picture of Duleep Singh as a maharaja. The reign of this boy king, the son of Sardar Ranjit Singh, was ended by the war.
McCosh’s albums included over a dozen portraits of Sikhs, mainly officers in the Sikh army as well as some of the non-Sikh officers, who were also encouraged to grow long beards. Besides photographing people, McCosh also captured Sikh palaces and other buildings, as well as landscapes and military scenes. A collection of photographs attributed to him is in the National Army Museum in London.