This morning I was looking at my archive of India images and I realised that every time I go on a shoot to India, be it a personal project or a magazine commission, I end up with a lot of images of kids. This is especially true when I am working in rural areas. One kid will see me with my camera and within a few minutes he or she has rounded up all their mates and there they will be, waiting to be photographed. Some of them will be extremely camera shy but will follow the orders of the group and others will confidently pose and demand to be photographed in a certain way.
One kid will choose a location where they want to be photographed and the rest will line up behind up, making this a very instant and playful studio photo session.
In the beginning I used to find this distracting, and tried to avoid doing it but it seems that looking at my archive, I have been manipulated more than once. I guess in the end, I was happy to be influenced by a six year old who only wanted to be photographed.
And no matter how young or old I look or which part of India I am in, invariably I get called Uncle when the kids want to get my attention…
Copyright Brijesh Patel : Children in a village in North India