Streets are an integral part of our society and we often overlook the emotions carried by different people, reflected through their faces. My interest grew in people and their portraits from the time I went o visit Baranti, West Bengal, India. It helped e read people more and connect to their thoughts. Human eyes convey a lot of hidden messages and they help us create documentaries about the places they live, their lifestyle, and habits. In the process of taking portraits, I came across many random people and got to know their stories as well. This blog is all about discrete portraits and their stories.
This image above was shot at the foothills of Jaychandi Pahar, West Bengal, India. Kids were selling the hand-crafted flowers and many more beautiful craftworks made of cane all over the steps to the top of the hill. Their only source of income is by selling their handcrafts which defines how eager they are to conserve their culture & heritage. One thing I observed is that they will keep chasing you unless you buy something from them... Although quite provoking, such is their livelihood.
Look at this little boy - a 10-year-old pure soul! I met him during an early morning stroll along Muradi lake, Branti, West Bengal. The villagers there were busy with their morning chores, while I stepped down the stones up to the point where the water touched my feet as well. I spoke with this infant who was so happy with his simple life, brushing teeth with a neem stem. I asked about his plan for the day and all he said was that he will be playing with his friends, after having some breakfast. Then he would study for an hour (that was the only time he would touch his books though). And then again his afternoon will go on running errands! I loved his adorable smile and could not resist taking a snap of his cute face. Early mornings are indeed full of joy and harmony.
Coming to the color variations a portrait can have, I always prefer night portraits - illuminated by street lights and a beautiful play of highlights and shadows. Nightlife in a city is filled up with activities, vehicle lights, and signboards and that has always drawn me a lot!
This image was taken in Hyderabad, India.
It was a paint shop on the other side of the road from where I stood. This little boy was left at the shop while the shopkeeper went out somewhere. Little business knowledge he had and that left him confusing how to deal with customers! Probably that was the thought which ran through his mind as he was biting off his nails.
Portrait images are incomplete if they are not connecting with our soul, or express some emotions that you can relate to. One of my ventures was to Alcazar Mall in Hyderabad, where I was able to capture some images of people around me, who radiated an aura of energetic vibes, compelling me to shoot their portraits, which were completely candid, thus expressing curiosity, boldness, thoughtfulness and many other sentiments.
I remember this guy, sitting quietly on a chair in front of Starbucks, Alcazar. The first glance I had - I felt the urge to anticipate his emotions and express them through my images. As calm as he was, looking into his mobile screen I could sense a thoughtful mind inside, self-loving & determined. The wonderful lights of the mall were on my side, providing a natural shade to where he was sitting, thus framing him in activity.
Huge thanks to Bharath Badshah for being a part of my work.
Kripanjali from Darjeeling, West Bengal remains one of the most lively people on that eve. My girlfriend's roommate she is, always displaying a frequent changes in emotions and I loved her unpredictability.
Meet Raya, an astrologer from Russia who came with her loving partner for a tour in India, Bangkok, and more of Asia. Such a charming personality filled with attitude and hospitality. Ever her images speak of her psyche! I liked the way they were so comfortable for the photo session even though they did not know us at all. I met with them on my way to St. Pauls's Cathedral in Park street where they were enjoying orange juice and some street-side snacks!
And there goes Werchenko Aleksei, who is a real estate businessman from Russia, accompanying Raya. Quite a happy traveler!
Let's talk about a guy who visited India from Madrid and who has been exploring the country on a bicycle! Guillermo is a painter by passion and his images indeed give out a vibrant feel. I spoke with him at St. Paul's Cathedral in Park Street, Kolkata. It seems he was interested in photography as well! Perks of being an artist I can say! He traveled from Delhi to Kerala, Jaipur, Mumbai, Goa, and Chennai, and from Kolkata, he went to Varanasi and then Thailand. Quite a traveler!
Meet him on Instagram at ClaytonHatton
This is how I am still exploring the various aspects of portraits, extracting the natural emotions inside people. Studio shooting although is an amazing way of exploring facial expressions and emotions, I tend to do the same in my travel routes. Let me know your experience with people! More images to load soon...