Jack Crosby is a traveling photographer who focuses on connecting with people while on a shoot. He has been to numerous countries, capturing them all with sensitivity and wonder. We highlighted Jack previously here.
Were these photos taken on your first trip to India? How many times have you been?
All photos were taken on my first trip to India. I traveled through the state of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. I hope to return in the upcoming years to see more of what this country has to offer.
You seem to love to capture the faces of the local people–is there something about them that inspired you?
I’ve always been drawn to the interactions between people when traveling. When I return home those conversations and interactions are much more memorable to me than any of the sights I may see. Also, the ability to capture a single scene or someone’s emotions in that very moment speaks to me in a certain way. Of course, I enjoy photographing the beautiful forts and sights, but those images are replicated day in and day out. When photographing street scenes and people that image will always be unique–it may never play out in that same manner again.
What were some of the challenges you faced while shooting in India?
India is like nowhere else I have ever photographed before and probably like nowhere else I will ever photograph again. It’s loud, chaotic, and full of life. With that being said there are so many different components to take into consideration when framing and composing an image in order to achieve an ideal balance and frame. This can be difficult, but can also be a blessing. Around every corner and down every back alley there is going to be something interesting happening. I’ve never had so many opportunities for photos just by walking. It seemed like every time I would go out I would come back with hundreds of images that capture the essence and soul of India.
What colors stood out the most to you while you were there? Why do you think that was?
India is a country of bright and vibrant colors. During my time there I visited the blue city of Jodhpur and the Pink City of Jaipur. Jodhpur was by far my favorite for shooting as the entire old town is painted in shades of blue. The people of India are also adorned in beautiful saris of many different colors. Something I do often when photographing is find a spot with an interesting background and then wait for an interesting subject to appear or walk by in the foreground. Doing this in India allowed me to combine interesting backdrop colors with interesting colors in the foreground. Some of my favorite images are the bright blue buildings with lines of women in saris passing by in front.
How does a place like India affect how you see the world as a photographer? As a person?
India was eye-opening for me for many reasons. After traveling extensively throughout Asia I thought I was ready for what I was going to see, but I wasn’t. Well beyond these magical sights that most often appear in guidebooks, there is an India filled with strong emotions and some of the worst poverty I’ve ever seen. It’s so easy to detach oneself from these human components of a destination when traveling, but for me it is important to immerse yourself within them in order to experience what a country really is. And to be completely honest–it was very intense. Getting lost in any direction opens your eyes to really see how others live. I kept thinking while there, and I still am trying to wrap my head around it, is that for me what I’m seeing is unique and intense, but for someone else it’s their everyday life. This extreme poverty is all they know and what they may ever know. It truly makes me feel blessed for what I have and the opportunities I’ve been given.
What advice would you give to fellow photographers who want to capture the people, sights, and atmosphere of India?
My best advice would be to grab your camera or phone and pick a random destination and just walk. Look out for the colors, emotions, and street scenes and capture it in a way that moves you. I try to capture images that if put together can create an overall story of a place, but when standing alone also tell their own story within each frame. By doing this, you’re going to be searching for images that will be completely unique to you. Also, using your camera to create a conversation or interaction with someone can lead to some incredible photos. It’s always surprising to me how receptive some people are to having their photo taken. The reaction you receive when you show them is usually the best part.
Photos by Jack Crosby.