Among the travel advice that we are often told is to make a genuine connection with the locals for unique experiences. It can be pretty intimidating at first, especially when you travel to big cities or set out on your own for the first time. But if you’re a photographer, overcoming your shyness and apprehension can set you up for an interesting project and keepsake of your trip. Today’s travel and portrait snaps by Mumbai-based Vikas Vasudev proves to be an inspiring example.
A fashion photographer by profession, Vikas’ portrait work is usually vibrant, energetic, and playful. In contrast, portraits taken during his travels are more relaxed, candid, and to some degree, documentary in approach. Portraits from a Land Forgotten, which he photographed during a trip to the Baltistan in northern India (or Pakistan says some sources), is a set that shows this distinction.
Very rarely do we see what the lands beyond India’s better known cities look like, let alone how life goes in that part of the country. On an interesting note, Baltistan, a mountainous region that hugs the border of Pakistan and India, is also known as Baltiyul or Little Tibet. We can definitely see where the name comes from, looking at the beautiful mountain scenery serving as the backdrop for Vikas’ portraits. Part portraiture, part documentary photography, and part travel photography, this beautiful set captures the interest of anyone who wonders what a “forgotten land” could probably look like.
Interestingly, his flair for colors, poses, and details also shows in these photographs. I like how each portrait gets a hint of the editorial treatment we normally see in commercial work produced by photographers like Vikas. We get a glimpse of these people’s lives, a peek at the world they live in, and an inspiring example of the perspectives that open our creativity when we make a connection with unusual destinations and their people.
If you enjoyed browsing through these photos, you might also want to check out how Giacomo Bruno captured tea picking in Sri Lanka. Then, head over to Vikas Vasudev’s Behance portfolio and look for his other travel sets.