My First Travels To India - A Photographer's Colorful Paradise

My First Travels To India - A Photographer's Colorful Paradise

My first travels to india - photographed on fuji XT2, Kodak Gold and Tri-x 400 film through my Contax G2. As an introvert, it was both challenging and admirably beautiful. It was a journey I will never forget.
Feb. 26, 2019, 2:57 p.m.

One afternoon walking with my good friend Monica through the streets of downtown Charleston, she mentioned that she was traveling back to India to attend a friend's wedding and visit her extended family. I asked if I could come and knew it was the perfect opportunity to visit a country that carried so much mystery and unknown. I knew very little of India, aside from it's colorful festivals and uncanny ability to produce engineering talent. I booked my flight, and had 3 weeks to experience India with my friend and her family as my guide. 

My wonderful guide to India...

monica india wedding contax g2 film kodak gold 200

I spent most of my time in a small suburb outside of Mumbai in the Maharashtra state. I'm grateful for staying with Monica's family in their apartment. I got to live amongst those just going about their daily lives. It was a unique and entirely new perspective for me. I wasn't surrounded by other backpackers. I wasn't in the heart of a big city or to my lonesome in nature. I walked outside of the apartment and my skin color and curly, moppy head of hair instantly set me apart. My appearance caused those around me to pause...not aided by the subtle draw of my camera. It took me a while to get used to, and I'm not sure I ever entirely did. I've traveled a good bit, but have never been situated in an area where I so distinctly stood out. It really challened the introvert in me, but it was so amazing. I struggled to find my comfort zone as a photographer, while I was in awe of everything around me. The town was vibrant, colorful, and always abuzz with sights and sounds....oh the sounds!

india streets maharashta film kodak gold 200 contax g2

Attending an Indian wedding was a dream of mine and it did not disappoint. The energy, the love and the colors were contagious. I so strongly admired a country and traditions that celebrate it's people so proudly and comes together with such color and passion. 

brian india wedding photography head wrap

*not my photo

brian india wedding head wrap 2

*not my photo

Congratulations Priyank and Sara!

indian wedding contax g2 kodak tri x 400 black and white film flash

india wedding saree contax g2 kodak gold 200 direct flash

A special thanks to the friends I made and their kindness and generosity that made me feel so at home in India

india friends maharashta mumbai rooftop contax g2 kodak gold 200 film

I spent the majority of my time with Monica and her family, but ventured out on my own to explore the north of India during the final week of my stay. I started my journey in Mumbai, staying in the small town of Mulund East. I sampled local food (Monica's cousin is a restauraneur) and visited Monica's extended family, where I was promtly served even more food. The Indian hospitality made certain that I was never hungry. After attending the wedding in Mumbai, I traveled with the wedding party to the Pink City of Jaipur and then to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. I flew home through Ahmnedabad where I stayed a few days with Monica's father, touring the oil mining operations that his company pioneered. Finally, I returned to Mulund East for a few days rest before I set off to Darjeeling in the north of India, on my own. I was fascinated by the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway...partly by some unfounded Wes Andersen image of an Indian railway (not the same), but largely because of it's history and engineering prowess. It remains the highest railway station in the world and was built by the british to carry tea and other trade goods down the steep twists and turns of the mountains. In total it was a confusing 8 hours of windy turns, unexplained stops, and a hole in the train car for a toilet, but the end destination will remain a favorite of my trip. I stayed with a wonderful Airbnb host who toured me around the city and showed me all the local homes where we sampled the finest homemade rice beer and dumplings that the, largely, Nepalese people had to offer. I'd love to return and better convey the feelings I felt in India through photographs, but for now I hope these do it a bit of justice. 

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