Beginning to mid-August, I sent about a dozen emails to miscellaneous photographers whose pictures I knew would look amazing in the calendar; Sabrina (Storyteller Sabrina) was the first to answer, a very short note "Would love contribute to your project" that just boosted me and proved that this calendar, my project, was going to be great because Sabrina was one of the first I really wanted to participate.
Sabrina is an Instagram photographer that I have been following for a long time, I love her pictures, mostly faces, people, girls and it just seemed obvious that she should be a part of the Pictures of India 2017 calendar with guests.
Soon after Sabrina, François (Jegerober) also said yes, he wasn't sure at first but, because I also really wanted him in and because I know him in person, I insisted and he finally agreed. François was the first to send a selection of pictures and as usual I was amazed with his work. I am so happy that he accepted to donate two of his latest pictures, actually taken this last summer, to the 2017 calendar.
Here are their answers to the questions I asked all photographers:
Who are you? Let's hear a little about yourself?
Sabrina: Sabrina Sharma Acharya. A photographer from India. My Nikon is my buddy. I shoot out of passion for all beautiful things in life. I Shoot to tell stories and evoke emotions mostly happy sometimes taboo. I also make a little money out of projects that I can justify.
François: Passionate about trips, photography, encounters and technology, we have visited many Asian South-Eastern countries, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam. To this day, we traveled twelve times to India, from Himalayan mountains to Kanyakumari, extreme South tip of the India subcontinent, via Bombay, Varanasi, Calcutta, Madras, Cochi and Goa.
How did you hear about Pictures of India by Joanie Waelti?
Sabrina: I discovered Pictures of India through Instagram.
François: By you [meaning Joanie] ...
Why are you participating to our 2017 calendar with guests project?
Sabrina: I am participating in the calendar because it is noble intent and I feel it gives me an opportunity to present my beautiful country to the world through my eyes, even if it is about two pictures. Pictures touch souls and we need to awaken souls all over the world for anyone who may be suffering.
François: Taking part in a support in the field project is interesting and allows me to share a few images discovered near small villages in which there isn't much to see but a lot to discover.
Which picture(s) did you choose to donate to the project and why?
Sabrina: The girl in pink - for her soul stirring beautiful yet gnawing presence talking about who she could be and who she actually is.
The ruffled up two siblings - for their appalling state of clothes yet very dreamy, naughty eyes. Talks about how innocently children camouflage pain and hunger.
François: The first picture is about Dasada's well, it's a small farmer's village in Gujarat, they fight like many others against drought and mansoon which is more and more delayed and mean in rainfall. Women go to the well by foot, fill the water vases with a metal recipient on a rope that they skillfully pull up from the surface of the water, eight meters below.
The second one was taken with an iPhone 6 at Alwar market, a small Rajasthan city, without interest according to some guidebooks. However it has a wonderfully colored market and an adorable welcome to the rare tourists who venture there. The jute covered alleys protect from the scorching mid-morning sun generating a warm and soft light. The neighboring land farmers carry fruits and vegetables in big colored pieces of fabrics, the picutre's subject.
What is your special link with India?
Sabrina: I am a very proud citizen of India. Born and brought up here and still discovering her beauty.
François: In India, each destination is another trip, a new discovery, a new adventure. Traveling in public buses allow encounters, just like riding trains which offer stunning postcards in some train stations transformed in vast dormitories. Even so, driving one's own vehicle in 2nd gear is another kind of experience that require attention and anticipation of every moment to weave in and out of pot-holes, cows, peddlers, bikers, trucks and tractor, all of them on the same highway!
Are you currently working on a specific project that you would like to share with us?
Sabrina: I am telling stories on everyday mundane which is not really every day mundane. My picture projects simplify the complex and beautify the simplest things. I try to evoke all positive emotions of warmth, love, desire, empathy, humor, lust and pathos.
François: Sponsoring of an Indian school girl in Madras region. The school has for goal to help girls access education in a country where the position of women is exceptionally hard, especially in rural environment, but not only. Here's the link to the project http://www.mithi-muskaan.org