When everybody wants to be part of the picture

My biggest challenge so far in India has been keeping people out of the pictures. As soon as my camera is spotted, people will then come to be and ask for a picture. I evidently always gladly accept. Yet if one is not quick enough, your frame will soon be filled by dozens of happy faces sneaking in. The whole process is just so different compared to other countries that it takes a bit of time to adapt. Here is a series of three shots to illustrate it :

The boy holding the cricket bat came to me to have his picture taken. I asked him to move to a better spot in terms of composition and light. By the time I had raised my camera, my picture had completely changed.

In the second shot, I took a picture of a couple of young kids. As I turned around, I saw a a dozen of kids running towards me to have their picture taken. So here I was walking down the street for 10 minutes with my new friends following me.

And if that wasn’t enough, it seems that cows  like to sneak in pictures too. It gave me this intense look for half a minute. Until I figured out that it wasn’t about narcissism, but it was attracted by the bag full of vegetables I was carrying back from the market.

Joke apart, India is a refreshing experience in terms of photography due to the kindness of people and willingness to be photographed. As a foreigner, your candid rate will drop but it is a good opportunity to practice street portraist. Now if you don’t like crowds and being the center of attention, India is definitely not for you.

(all pictures taken with Leica M8 and 35mm Lux Asph)

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