India And Photography – A Pre Covid-19 Trip
India and photography go together like chickpeas and curry and butter and chicken as in murgh makhani. Here are some thoughts on a trip I did to India WAY back before Covid-19. The January 2020 trip was part of my multiple-location The People series. The how…
My cow photo on the left shows how I produced the series. I traveled with collapsible polls, a white background, two assistants, and Fujifilm equipment. I traveled light.
First things first – the video.
Back To India and Photography
I solo traveled to India in January 2020. My goal was to use The People, my ethnographic photography series, to meet lots of people and record my interactions in the northern state of Rajasthan and the holy city of Varanasi. My travels included the magnificent lake city of Udaipur, the holy and hippie town of Pushkar, busy Jaipur and the megacities of Delhi and Mumbai. In addition to the photography, I leveraged my global network to make friends in every city, to attend a huge Jaipur wedding and give marketing lectures at two colleges.
My initial takeaway is that it was more difficult for me to accomplish my photography goals in India than it was in earlier parts of the series that were shot in San Miguel de Allende, Venice Beach and Selma, Alabama. Difficult because I hit some cultural and language barriers — I had a harder time eliciting the interactive reactions I wanted.
Key thought – Outsider photographers who just parachute into ancient cultures for a month or less have built-in “connection” issues. I also think that some of the portraits are just a bit too expected from foreign photographers visiting India. Like the man on the left. A good shot. But, a brand new idea???
ABL. Always Be Learning.
!!!! My future goal is to do work that is more connected to a local community via more collaborative programs. Parachutes be damned. I am thinking of doing that in Selma. I have some more progressive ideas. I have even thought through the many ways to exhibit the work.
That’s it. If you ever consider going to India, especially if you want to do India and photography, give me a shout. I’ll give you my perspective, a limited 30-day perspective on how to plan and have a trip of a lifetime.