The People of India was an 8-volume publication compiled by John Forbes Watson and John William Kaye between 1868 and 1875. Originally conceived by Lord and Lady Canning, it was an early experiment with photography as a documentary medium. The original prints were made using a process called Albumen printing, and the good news is that they are still very well preserved. The original People of India project was significant as it was the first photography project combining street and studio.
India Photo Archive Foundation, set up by photographer and photo historian Aditya Arya, asked four photographers, Dileep Prakash, Dinesh Khanna, Sandeep Biswas and yours truly, to revisit the People of India in a modern context. The geographical area was confined to the National Capital Region. We had the freedom to interpret the subject in our own way. I spent five days in New Delhi photographing ten people. My thought was to observe and photograph without making a comment. I love doing portraits; it’s like conversing with the subject‘s soul. It was a wonderful project for slow photography and formal environmental portraiture.
Please click here to read about the project.