Jodhpur: Portraits

Of course, not just the kids are amazing – also the people I’ve met. I can’t show you all the pictures I’ve taken during my visit to Jodhpur, but let me share some images of a street cleaning lady. She worked every day, on the streets surrounding the guesthouse where we stayed in.

I can’t believe that she was wearing such colourful, beautiful clothes while sweeping the street – but she was not the only one doing this. In fact, all the street cleaners (who were all women) wore nice saris! It’s incredible; given all the dust and dirt they are surrounded by.

Jodhpur people 2

Luckily the area where we stayed in was very clean (it was the high court colony, so a very good area of Jodhpur) and the street cleaner didn’t have to deal with too much dirt – but still, can you imagine cleaning the streets every day in such clothes? By the way, she was super friendly.

When I told her that I was practicing photography and wanted to take shots from her, with the sun coming through from behind, she was perfectly fine with that. Initially she was shy, especially when I took the first shot, but then she continued with her work and I could take several different shots – which turned out really nice. Again, I printed off copies that I gave to her the next day. She was pleased, but she had asked for more than the three that I had given her… oh well, I had to admit that not all of the 20 photo I took were that nice!

Jodhpur people 1

On another day, during our travel in the Thal desert, we stopped at a temple. An old man was sitting near by and we asked him if he could participate in a photo shoot. Gary wanted me to practice how to shoot someone in the middle of the day, in harsh light. Of course, I can’t shot in the bright sunshine, so I asked the old man to step inside a building and I used the light from the doorway to illuminate his face.

Jodhpur people 3

Again, he was very patient – he was half-blind and could not understand why we kept asking him to move left, move a step back, move a step to the front – and we told him that we’ll send him the prints per post. That kept him going and he was curious where we were from, why we came to this remote part of the desert etc. Our guide Bablu explained that we were photographers from all over the world and the old man was truly amazed!

Jodhpur people 4

What an incredible encounter, and yes, I will post him his pictures!

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4 responses to “Jodhpur: Portraits

  1. I often wondered how people like that cleaning lady, or the ones that live in sheds and so on, can wear such gorgeous squeaky clean sarees when everything around them is dirty and dusty. Unbelievable!

    That man is awesome (his face).

    How cool that you were with a group and a sort of guide, since then you have more options to try out and practice. I usually had to do with quick, candid photography, which gives less chances for portraits like yours.

    • Thank you! Yes, I was amazed by the colorful clothes that the people wore for their every day job. And I agree, I would not have talken half the shots if I had been on my own… I usually feel uncomfortable walking up to strangers and asking them for photos. But I know I should do this and should do it more often. People are often amazed and charmed when I choose them as a subject – and often grateful when I return with the pictures.

      • I don’t feel comfortable too. And not everyone responds so positive to being photographed. Bringing them an actual print is of course a very nice touch. How did you do that so fast? Did you quickly print them from a regular printer or something?

        What I did a couple of times in India was that I went into a neighborhood, took pictures, used them as inspiration for sketches (Paper53 on iPad), printed those and went back to hand them out. People were so surprised!

      • We found a local shop that printed pictures within 2 hours, so we just dropped off a USB stick with images and asked them to print them in standard size… we were lucky, they were not busy and happy to do this! In the past, we had small printers or Polaroid cameras with us, but the prints are too expensive that way!

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