India was beautiful, overwhelming, and full of life. It's hard to even begin to sum up the experience, but I think these images will speak much more clearly than my words ever can.
The following pictures are not in chronological order, or even categorical. I wanted this blog to mirror my experience of India as closely as possible - overwhelming, fast, chaotic, and so very beautiful. Each image has a story, and I wish I had time to share each one. But I hope, as you scroll down, that you can grasp a tiny bit of the aching beauty and chaotic mystery that is India.
All of the images were taken in various areas around New Delhi and Old Delhi.
india in black and white
India is such a colorful place, and it seemed right to edit most of my images as they were, bright and colorful. But there were a few that seemed particularly striking in black-and-white, and I realized that it was actually quite a unique way to view the images. It completely changes one's perspective to take all the color out of a place that is defined by its vibrancy. It helped me to see things differently, and more thoughtfully.
At home in india
One aspect of the trip that I really appreciated was how much time we spent in the homes of local people. We ate many of our meals with the same family, who prepared delicious, traditional Indian foods for us. We sat on the floor and ate with our hands. The girls also visited a young woman in her home, and she served us chai and Indian snacks. We talked about our hopes and dreams and fears, and learned so much about what it is like to be a woman in India - different, and challenging in more ways than one. She also treated all of the girls to a fun night of mehendi, or henna, which is an ancient and traditional Indian art. We loved the beautiful designs she made on our hands!
In additional to photographing all the sights and people of India, I made a point to photograph my fellow American team members. We had an awesome team, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know each of them over the course of the week. I loved watching them process the experience, some for the second time, many the first. A few of these portraits were not staged, but many I directed and posed. I found the simple, colorful atmosphere so inspiring, and loved getting to snap a few portraits here and there.