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Portraits of India


Portraits of India A collection of scenes, people and portraits that encapsulate some of the spirit, beauty and magic of a nation: photographed in a number of small towns and villages in rural Rajasthan, and in Mumbai (Bombay) India.


Portraits of India photographed in Rajasthan and Bombay

Handheld Films 2010


This is a book that records a trip to India in 2010. But it is intended to be much more than that. It is a book about people and places. And how people and places reflect and influence one another. People of all ages, in many moods, both together and in isolation, feature in this collection of portraits and candid street photography. Many of the pictures compare and contrast the ways that people live in different parts of the world, particularly the east and west. But the ideas and the values are very often universal. It is a book about India, today, and about people everywhere.

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(this page, clockwise from above) a proud little girl holds the latest member of her family; collecting water from a public well in a small town in northern Rajasthan; intensity in the face of an elderly farm labourer; late for school - a young boy rushes in late during morning assembly at a small primary school

(previous page) main picture: a young boy plays in the main street of his village in Rajasthan; right (top/centre) the natural rhythm of village life; (bottom) the profound understanding between rural people and their animals (photo featured online in the Daily Telegraph & National Geographic )

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on the road with the gypsy girls


(clockwise from above) children playing in the street together; another game, the same place to play; a mother at home with her children, after carrying heavy loads in her bowl in the fields; eye to eye; smartly dressed, instantly serious

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(this page) 3 good friends standing outside their classroom (opposite) waiting for a bus - a boy stands hand in hand with his father, in the streets of a busy provincial town

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(clockwise from above) street cool, equally well understood the world over;: a young girl working at home on her sewing machine. Pictures of her family are on the wall behind her; arriving home from the fields; portrait of a young, enquiring mind; a monk meditates, to the soft, repetitive chant of ‘Ram...Ram... Ram’ in one of the four monasteries in India (all of them in Rajasthan) created for the believers of Ramsnehi Sampradaya. This is the largest

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(clockwise, from above) vivacious personalities shine out against the typical soft blues and ochres of this isolated village; ice cold in Rajasthan, where the daytime temperatures in April are constantly around (and over) 40째C; shade from the white heat of the street; between a rock and a hard place

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being together, in the shade in rural Rajasthan


(clockwise, from above) the white sage, father of a small shopkeeper; young boy with his mother and sister - ‘the boy who would be king’; village gossip, women meet in the now public grounds of an old palace; the eye of the storm - quiet serenity, with excitement all around; rush hour in a little village

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a woman’s work is a girl’s work too


“I like pictures that tell stories, with simplicity and focus and people and places with personality, wherever they might be. But India and the East are special, spiritually and culturally two of my favourite parts of the world...” Paul Dyer of Handheld Films

Paul lives in a quiet little village in the heart of the Cotswolds and, when not looking at the sky, takes pictures.

© Handheld Films, Gloucestershire, England, UK - 2010


A Handheld Films Publication


Portraits of India