This ornate chain is a bridal ornament but most Indian women have their nose pierced as the Ayurvedic medicine associates this spot, on the left side, with the female reproductive organs. The belief is that women with a nose stud or ring will have less menstrual pain and easier childbirth and in many Hindu sects it is the sign of  a married woman.
Pushkar – Photo Tip

India is a magical place to photograph

Photo by Peter Adams

Pushkar – Photo Tip India is a magical place to photograph

To my mind, India is one of the best places in the world for people pictures. Indians are colorful, friendly and approachable, and generally love to have their pictures taken.

Peter Adams
Peter Adams Travel Photographer

Maybe it’s something to do with the influence of Bollywood but I’ve often had people asking me to take their picture, not for remuneration or a print but simply for the joy of being photographed.

I was wandering around the fringes of the Pushkar Camel Fair when I came across families of itinerant musicians and dancers gathered by their tents. I wandered over to say “hello” and take a few portraits before I suggested paying them a small fee for a performance.

It took a little while for everyone to get going but we were soon all joking and laughing - and before long the girls were playing up to the camera, dancing in a lively and flirtatious manner.

Without an audience for this impromptu performance, I was able to get in close with a wide angle lens. I crouched slightly to get a more interesting angle and used the lady on the right to help frame the picture and provide greater depth.

Of course, I had noticed the girl with the translucent golden eyes. I asked her to pose for me, with her face turned towards the sun to light up her eyes. She did. The smile I didn’t have to ask her for, it was her gift to me.

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The Kalbelia caste have traditionally been snake charmers and their women, notable for their black dresses covered in rich decoration, sing and dance. The sinuous movements of their dances echoes those of the snake and the migration of these nomadic tribes through Europe gave us Spain’s flamenco. Photo by Peter Adams

Peter Adams

Peter Adams

Canon EOS 1v

Aperture
ƒ/6.3
Exposure
1/125
ISO
50
Focal
24 mm

The Kalbelia caste have traditionally been snake charmers and their women, notable for their black dresses covered in rich decoration, sing and dance. The sinuous movements of their dances echoes those of the snake and the migration of these nomadic tribes through Europe gave us Spain’s flamenco.

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India is a majestic country blessed with a vastly diverse landscape. This great peninsula is called a "subcontinent" for good reason. The mighty Himalayas grace the north, evergreen forests cool the east, a formidable desert stands out in the west and stunning beaches dot the entire southern coast; Tourists flock to the famous hot-spots of India, the world wonder Taj Mahal in Agra, Jaipur for architecture, Rishikesh for yoga retreats and Goa for beaches.