In this paper, I compare the use of photography by Sawai Ram Singh, the maharaja of the Princely State of Jaipur in colonial India, and by James Fergusson, the earliest historiographer of Indian architecture. Contrasting the "objective" use of photography by the colonist, with the maharaja's hybridized and illusionistic images, I argue that photography, on the one hand, helped fix "India" into stereotypical brackets, but on the other enabled the colonized to re-invent himself in more contemporary and potentially threatening ways. Foreshadowing the contadictory nature of postcolonial modernity, photography, in other words, enabled the maharaja to simultaneously resist the hegemonic interests of the colonizer while coveting and appropriating the instruments and signs of the West to his own ends.