Shooting India


As a prelude to highlighting Indian cinema later this week, I thought it would be fitting to hear more from Chris Morton, whose captivating portrait shots of Indian people I featured here last week. I asked Chris some questions about the inspiration for his photos:

Was this your first visit to India? What brought you there?

Chris: I think most photographers are attracted to India for the wide variety of image making possibilities. I was certainly one of them. This was my first visit but it will not be the last.

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How were you able to find such intimacy with your Indian subjects?

Chris: I believe if you have confidence to approach people openly and honestly you will very often be treated well in return. I worked hard on this and also to give of myself in return by showing the images on the digital screen to the people. You should not treat these encounters casually but as special opportunities.

Also, I feel that one of the reasons the Indian people are open is that they are used to living with dense populations and leading their lives in the open.

Did you learn something or feel something in particular from this trip?

Chris: The way Indians use colour in everyday life is extremely uplifting and something we in the West have lost to a large degree.

As I reflected on the work I had made there once I returned home, several themes came to mind. One is that in many images I see a real connection albeit brief, with the people. In many cases there is an honestly and an openness in their expressions and in their eyes. As you look you can imagine the individual journeys they have taken in their lives.

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