Through the exploitation of an unprecedented corpus composed of the archives of a hundred photography studios, this project proposes a history of the popular practices and uses of photography in South India. While, over the last few decades, social sciences have increasingly relied on photography as a source, much of the work on India has focused on the photos produced by and for colonial and indigenous elites. To date, studies have not been carried out analyzing the relationship entertained by the majority of the population with the appearance of this new technique, which gave them access to an emblematic prerogative of modernity: to have their picture taken. The STARS project aims to fill this empirical gap.