Indian photographer Varun Gupta‘s long term photography project ‘Photo Seva’ is shot with a large-format field camera on 4×5 BW film, with an aim to photograph the Indian diaspora with a unique twist. He places his subjects in front of clean backgrounds with a focus on capturing identity. Stumbling upon this project during a warm afternoon a few years ago at the Kumbh Mela, the twist to the tale is that he employs a simple formula of ‘one for you and one for me’. Each subject goes away with a instant print of their own portrait and usually a big smile on their face. The theatricality of this method quite often results in Varun Gupta being surrounded by crowds as he works. The photograph isn’t just an incentive to these subjects, but acts as a metaphorical mirror that made the subjects project what which they wished to see, and thus is the gift of the art of photography.
Image Courtesy: Photo Seva