Since the advent of camera in my life a few years back, most of my photography has revolved around finding ways/excuses to travel far and wide, as extensively, as deeply and as immersingly as possible. Travel cattle class, live shoe string budget. That’s where fun memories are made. Luxury hotels and guided tours are equivalent of eating at McDonalds in various countries and calling it cuisine. It’s the same everywhere. Same mountains, waterfalls, people, shopping, rides, etc. But you have’nt really traveled if you’ve not spoken to the locals and heard their folk tales. A lot of your memories are made of tastes and smells. Unless you leave the environs of your hotel lobby and step into the local flea market, hit the street food stalls and let the local flavors melt on your tongue, you’ve just burnt a lot of cash for #PoutingSelfies :-P
So, coming back to clicking portraits. It’s a high to click random strangers on the streets. A lot of people ask me how do you walk to a stranger and click his or her picture. The secret lies in your eyes. A friendly eye contact, submissive nod of the head and a smile is all it takes 99% of the time. In spite of the tricks I’ve had my share of threatening, camera snatching, being shooed/chased away. Trolled for identity, roughed up to delete pictures.But when I look back it only makes the ride more memorable,and pictures more special. It becomes all worth it when the folks become your instant friends, share stories and food. Bless you. Crack jokes. Speak wisdom. It’s unconditional, strangers don’t judge you. Sometimes you open up a lot to them, than to probably your near and drear ones. And as a bonus you get to click their pictures and keep it touch..!
Here’s sharing some of my favorite moments down the memory lane so far.
P.S : “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” ~Susan Sontag