Sharing my experiences of this beautiful world that we live in through photography. And some geeky tech photo stuff.

How to Photograph a Monk on the street

December 24, 2013  -  Monks & Priests, People, Photography Tips


This photo was taken a few years ago. I was walking along one of the smaller streets in Jaipur in Rajasthan (India) to get away from the hectic traffic when I noticed this sadhu sitting on the side of the street. As soon as I saw him I knew I had to photograph him.

I don’t want to be judgmental but as I got closer to him I got the feeling that he was not really a sadhu (monk) but rather someone who dressed up as one in order to receive alms or have photographers like me take photos of him.

Most of the time I ask when I photograph people. So, I went up to him and asked if I could take a portrait of him. Sure enough he very readily obliged but said I needed to leave a donation. Fair enough. He needs to earn a living and I want his photo. A fair trade. I was not there to find out if he was a really sadhu or not. Just wanted his photo. So, since I was paying for this opportunity I got him to pose up against a wall, adjusted my camera to the right settings then took this photo.

Photo Tips:
Here’s a photography tip on photographing a monk on the street. If you are traveling and come across such an opportunity don’t let it go. What little money he asked for was nothing in comparison to the photo that I have enjoyed looking at many times. Most people get offended when the subject requests money. I personally think it is a fair trade. I asked them they did not ask me.

Also, since you are paying for the photo, take your time to get your camera settings right, right angle, lighting etc so that you get the shot that you want.

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