Driven by her innate curiosity and intuition, Dimpy Bhalotia travelled over 27,000 kilometres exploring the beauty of India. She spoke with us about her experiences and the challenges that arise during such an ongoing, lifelong project.

What inspired you to take on this project of travelling 27,000 kilometres around India with a Leica camera?
My innate curiosity and fearlessness led me to explore India broadly. With my photography, my aim is to understand and experience the beauty and the talent of India and its people. My journey around India with a Leica provided boundless opportunities for creative expression. It allowed me to challenge myself creatively, to gain new and deep insights of this land, and to connect with the people on a very profound level. Travelling around India with a Leica was the most transformative experience of my life. It is a lifelong project with no end to it.

How did you decide which locations and subjects to photograph?
I had a very spontaneous approach, without predetermined choices. I went with the flow. I identified places with strong visual elements, meaningful moments, and expressions that resonated with me while exploring; locations that allowed me to develop and challenge my perspective. I was very open to the unexpected and the opportunities that presented themselves. I was willing to take risks and experiment with different approaches. By being open to the unexpected, I welcomed new and interesting moments with an open thought process. My intuition and light were instrumental in guiding my creative process.

Your pictures show an great sense of timing and perspective. How do you manage to create such perfectly timed photos?
I am drawn to energy, as I believe that every entity and element consists of different frequencies of vibrating energies. This curiosity and understanding of timing has led me to seek out places with vibrant activity and towards light, while paying close attention to the composition, movement, and details. I employ my skills, patience, observation and willingness to take risks and experiment, to capture powerful and evocative photographs that find beauty in everyday moments. I believe it is essential to have a deep connection to the world around us and remain open to unexpected opportunities — and have a willingness to see the beauty and poetry in the mundane moments of everyday life.

Can you share some of the challenges you faced while travelling and photographing different parts of India?
Being a street photographer, dealing with unpredictability is challenging. Photographing candid moments on the street requires a great deal of patience and perseverance, as well as the ability to think on one’s feet and respond quickly to changing situations. It’s a lot of walking and circling back, day in and day out. But I think it is all part of the whole process. All the experiences have made me strong.

On a lighter note I have a funny story to share: I was taking a shot of a baby cow and after a few minutes, someone started tapping my bag from the back. Without moving an inch, I kept taking photos and saying, “Please wait, I have to take this shot.” But the tapping didn’t stop. So I turned while saying, “What is your problem?” and I see the mother cow was hitting me with her horns. I was so frightened to see her so close to me that I fell off the steps, rolling down and landing on the platform below. There was a bunch of boys lying around sunbathing, and they just couldn’t stop laughing. So it’s all fun, volatile, challenging and, at the same time, needs a tremendous degree of patience and endurance.

You worked with the SL2. How has this camera impacted your photography and creative process?
In every frame I photographed with the Leica, I felt as if I were a participant in the lives of the living elements in it. I believe photography has the power of intention, power of time, power of perspective and power of energy, that it emits. And with the Leica camera I was able to attain all of those. My expedition with Leica has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life.

What advice would you give to aspiring street photographers?
I have reviewed hundreds of photographer portfolios and I’ve come to realise that there is a fine distinction between those who simply love photography, and those who love and actively execute it. Once a photographer has a thorough understanding of themselves, it becomes easier for them to identify their strengths and weaknesses. It is essential to explore every aspect of the photography industry before discovering one’s true passion. Not everyone is cut out to be a street photographer, as it requires an enormous amount of dedication, time, and effort to capture that perfect shot that epitomises their unique style. To stand out, it is important to develop one’s own style and perspective, while exploring and understanding their thought processes. Once these aspects are discovered, anyone can achieve anything they desire in life.

Dimpy Bhalotia is an award-winning street photographer based between London and Bombay. Her work has received widespread acclaim and won her several prestigious awards globally. She has gained recognition for her unique perspective and creative compositions, often playing with light and shadows to create visually striking images. Dimpy’s work is found in some of the world’s finest galleries, and she is renowned for her powerful pioneering images. Find out more about her photography on her website and Instagram page.

Leica SL2

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