After a couple of days acclimatising in New Delhi I was keen to jump into some Jodhpur street photography.

Our First Night Train

Ok, before jumping into our Jodhpur street photography adventure, I’ve got to talk about night trains. While planning the trip we thought it’d be a blast to travel by train. The thinking was, we’d get to see some of the countryside, save time by traveling at night and explore some stories on the train. All this was achieved and mornings on the train were a blast (sitting at the open doors watching the world outside shoot by was a highlight).

However, we may have overlooked the impact hard beds, brutal AC and the constant stopping and starting of the train would have on the quality of our sleep. So when bookings night trains, keep in mind that you may need a nap the following day.

The Jodhpur Experience

After using a couple of days in New Delhi to acclimatise, Jodhpur was our first proper opportunity for some street photography action. Walking out of the hostel and we bumped straight into a wedding being celebrated on the street. A little ironic given my day job as a wedding photographer, but also a beautiful introduction to the energy and colour Jodphur had to offer.

Wondering around the maze of small streets and alleys there was a great sense of discovery. When you approached a corner there was a sense of excitement as you had no idea what the next street would reveal. The pace was a lot calmer in Jodhpur compared to Delhi which made slowing down and capturing stories a bit easier.

A number of people on the street would make a gesture bringing their hand to their mouth. Initially I thought they were asking for food but I soon realised that I could not have been more wrong. It turns out they were actually offering us tea. This was a great example of Indian hospitality which was shown again and again on our trip. Several times our group were welcomed into homes for tea and snacks, often by families that had very little to offer and asked for nothing in return apart from our company.

Best locations for Jodhpur Street Photography

  1. Jodhpur Railway Station. A personal favourite of mine, the station had such a large range of stories to capture. The best time for shooting is first thing in the morning when the light is amazing.
  2. Sadar Market (aka Clock Tower Market). Great to explore in the morning as things start to ramp up. Don’t forget to explore the small alleys at the edges of the market.
  3. Old City/ Blue City. A little underwhelming based on expectations but still worth checking out for the blue walls. After all Jodhpur is also known as the ‘Blue City’.
  4. Toor Ji Ka Khalsa Step Well. Really interesting light and use of repeating shapes. If you’re lucky you might also get some swimmers.
  5. The Ramparts of Mehrangarh Fort. Worth going for a walk around, especially in the evening when the light on the walls is stunning.

Top Tips for visiting Jodhpur

  1. Accept the Chai. Chai (aka tea, usually milky with a few spices) was frequently and generously being offered to us. Take the time to have a break and enjoy some chai with the locals.
  2. Chat with the locals. Following on from the above, the locals were really friendly and welcoming and many had some basics of English.
  3. Beware of the Bollywood. Yep, we got roped into a Bollywood movie as extras (a long story which you can read more about in my ‘Behind the scenes’ blog post). An interesting experience to say the least and although I have no regrets, be aware that shooting can end later than expected and it’s not easy to leave once you’ve started.
  4. It gets cold at night. I was surprised by this one, but while we were there it reached around 10C at night so make sure you have a jumper handy. Especially for early morning starts.
  5. Night Train Tips. Book 1st class for extra privacy when needed (you can still explore the rest of the train). Book in advance as there is usually only one first class (or AC1) carriage per train. Wrap up warm as the air conditioning can be brutal. Bring water and snacks. Be prepared for delays (we had an 8 hour delay with our Jodhpur – New Delhi train).

Next stop on our street photography adventure – Kolkata for a taste of real India.

Fancy checking out some of my favourite photos from our Indian street photography adventure?