Some tearsheets from a recent trip to Kerala, India, where I spent a few weeks traveling across the state for a story on the cuisine and culture of the region. From the backwaters of Alleppey to the mountainous tea plantations of Munnar and most places in between. I’ll post some of the outtakes in a separate blog, so it’s just these simple layouts for now. Thanks to Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia for the beautiful design.
It’s criminally easy to take photographs in India. That’s the whole truth of it. There’s something at every corner and around every bend. Garlands of flowers adorning doorways. Hawkers peddling fruits and other goods. Walls splashed with texts and debris and layers of paint stretching as far back as anyone knows. Cows ringing bells in the streets. Burning altars and saris spread out like rainbows across market aisles. It’s frenetic and wonderful and curious and friendly, above all else.
And so it was in Goa, as we traveled through old Portuguese towns that felt faded and lived in. Over cobbled streets that buckled and waved with the passage of time. From the beaches that line its western edges to the inner forests and rivers and white-washed churches standing sentry on lonely hilltops and in sprawling empty gardens, everywhere we went we were met with something new and exciting and altogether unexpected. We were stared at and bumped against, crowded into small cars and buses with far too many other people. And we were invited into homes. Cooked for and cared for and sent on our way with stomachs full of love and naan and lots of curry. And that was better than OK.
India presents itself as a chaotic cliche of Asia, but it’s so much more than that. And because it’s so hard to explain, I’m just going to leave it there. Better to show it in photographs. And so.
Sometimes the hardest thing about working on a great story is having to wait for the article to be published. I traveled to Goa in early January of this year–one of my first assignments for 2016–knowing at the time that the piece wouldn’t see the light of day until summer. It was a difficult one to sit on. I had a great time touring through the state, and even managed to stretch the trip to get a little vacation in. You can read the article over at Endless Vacation. A big thanks to everyone involved for helping create such a great looking and well-written story. I’ll post some outtakes and alternate photos soon. Until then.
I’ve been trying to learn a little about video. Shooting, grading, editing, etc. I figured it was about time. I shot this little promo while on a fashion shoot in Kochi, India. I’m trying to keep it loose. Simple. Just the basics. But I’m into it. I just shot another bit while in Goa for a travel magazine, so who knows. I’m sure they’ll be calling me up to consult on Episode VIII next.
Just a quick image from Goa, in southern India, where I’m currently on my second assignment of the year. The weather couldn’t be nicer and the people couldn’t be more beautiful. I’m looking forward to the week. More later from various travels. But for now, the sun is calling.
India smells like burning. Like the crush of a billion people. Like oils and incense and rose water and stale puddles and drying paint and toasted spices. Like body odor and fresh grass and simmering curries. Like everything and all of it all at once. It smells like colors and sunshine too. Like a loud joyful scream. It does something tangible to you. The world there exists in technicolor. In song. In smiles and bobbling heads. It’s filthy and annoying and beautiful and one of my favorite places in the world to work. I was lucky enough to get back a few weeks ago to Kerala to shoot the most recent SS2016 collection from Sula Clothing. Check it out. And get yourself to India already.
A few weeks back, I had the pleasure to travel back to India for a fashion shoot with Sula Clothing. The designer flew in from the UK and we worked with a Mexican model, the lovely Sofia Torres, in a lofty green garden apartment overlooking Hauz Khas Lake in South Delhi. We went to the market to buy fresh fruits and marigolds and random threads and beads and other accents for the styling of the shoot. Then we spent two days in the grueling dirty dusty suffocating heat of South Asia in the middle summer shooting a winter collection. And weirdly enough, it worked. Like a lot. I think the photographs came out really well. Mostly because of the model and designer. With these things, I basically just show up with a camera and if I can manage to point it in the right direction, something magical is bound to already be happening. So here are some selects from the day. Hopefully we’ll be able to get to Kerala for the next one. Fingers crossed.