The Changing Faces of Indian Women

Pink Radiance

Pink Radiance

As you probably know if you stop by regularly, my favorite photographic subjects are people. With all their range of emotion and physical variety, they are endlessly fascinating to me. In the case of photographing women, my femininity serves  me well.

Indian women’s reserve and shyness around men, especially foreign men challenge the male photographer. With me, though, they open up easily and are just as curious about me as I am about them. Once they get used to me, which doesn’t take long, they enjoy both the attention and the cultural interaction. We laugh together as they inspect my jewelry, makeup and hairdo. After our little exchange, it is clear that we have much in common as women. They relax as I photograph them.

Naturally, it is what we don’t have in common that attracts me in the first place. It is partly their style of dress but more significantly, it is their lack of guile and their innocence that is so arresting. I come away wondering how did I lose these qualities and maybe, just maybe,

Sincere Smile

Sincere Smile

a little of their sweetness will rub off on me. As I aspire to capture their essence, I never stop clicking. They keep laughing.

Glad All Over

Glad All Over

As India and its population modernizes, I know that women like these are a disappearing breed. It does sadden me but I can certainly understand why and how this happens. Younger women are now working outside of the home and that requires them to dress and even think differently. Their style is different from their Western counter parts but their contemporary styles have little in common with their elders.

A Different Style

A Different Style

Along with that more contemporary style of dress,  they wear a more wary expression too. It isn’t unfriendly just more cautious.

Two Generations

Two Generations

One lesson India taught me very early on from Goenkaji is: all things change; nothing stays the same. It is my great fortune to document a bit of these changes for your pleasure and mine!

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About ninagrandiose

I am based in NYC but travel regularly to India and Mexico. Both of these countries feel like home. In India I scour the country in search of fabulous textiles to incorporate into my clothing designs. I sit back and let the ambiance and wonder of India seep into my consciousness so I can be inspired to write about what India is for me. I bring a limited number of people to India on exclusive and intimate tours of my favorite hangouts. In Mexico I take in the natural beauty that surrounds me and dance the night away. I constantly give thanks for all this and am pleased to share it all with you.
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8 Responses to The Changing Faces of Indian Women

  1. pedenny says:

    Thank you again, Nina!

  2. looneybitch says:

    The women are beautiful. All of them. Old and young. Some wonderful faces – full of character. I love the one where they smile directly at your lens. One (Indian) photographer says that sometimes there is a fine line between taking a snap and intruding on someones privacy. he is right, but the pictures you take, the subjects all seem very happy. I wonder if that is the way you approach them? respectfully? and women on women?
    I don’t know, but they are rather lovely. Thank you

  3. ninagrandiose says:

    Your comments always make me happy too! I try to engage with all my subjects in a friendly way but the lens is always there. It doesn’t take long for that to be forgotten as we try to communicate. Words aren’t the only tools to express oneself! Thank you!!

  4. Juli says:

    Beautiful pictures Nina. I like this sentence that you wrote “I know that women like these are a disappearing breed. It does sadden me but I can certainly understand why and how this happens.”

    It is true that this breed of women is disappearing and/or have already disappeared.

    Especially they are found in villages or country, and it is so sad they are leaving and lots of them have already left this world. and trust me, this world is facing the new generation of women. But I am sure many of us women still have this way of living and thinking as these women had. But there are some of our qualities that we cannot show at times depending on where we live today, as many of us women who have this village qualities have traveled and living in the outside world.

    And visiting our villages once in a blue moon is a must. “The past is a good place to visit.”

    Juli

    • ninagrandiose says:

      Yes, indeed, “The past is a good place to visit.” India isn’t all about the past but why it can appear that way is because it still adheres to an old style/system of values. Thanks for the touching reply.

  5. Aria says:

    “It is partly their style of dress but more significantly, it is their lack of guile and their innocence that is so arresting. I come away wondering how did I lose these qualities and maybe, just maybe…..”

    Being an Indian, I am simply touched with your words. Great captures!

    • ninagrandiose says:

      If we manage to touch each other then I know that I am doing my job! Thank you so much for your very kind words.

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