I grew up all over the world. I was born in Crawley, a small English town near London, raised in East and West Africa until the age of 8 or so, the metropolis of Dubai in the Middle East until I was 13, California until my late 20s, and currently call New York City “home.”
When I finished university, my itinerant gene went haywire. So instead of finding a respectable job that my parents could be proud of, I set off to go backpacking in China on my own, in what was meant to be a 3 month trip. But I had such a marvelous time, I ended up staying for over two years taking ESL jobs in various parts of the country. I was fortunate to have been able to combine my passion for photography, travel, and of course my sense of adventure, which I think contributed greatly to my success in teaching ESL. I was one of the few “westerners” who took an avid interest in learning Chinese. I have backpacked through some of the world’s most dangerous, but beautiful places, such as Tibet (yes, it is a separate country), Nepal, Cambodia, Laos, and Pakistan. A few years after returning from my adventure, I was married. But I didn’t let being married to a Manhattanite stop my spirit of adventure. And now, not even a baby can stop me.
Ishq In A BackpackNormal people go for one or two week honeymoons at a nice all inclusive (we did that too). Instead, we went on a culinary adventure in Mexico where we also got to watch a live Lucha Libre Mexican smack down, and backpacked throughout India for six months. The idea to create IshqInABackpack.com started out as just a way to document our trip. But we didn’t want it to end, a sentiment I’m sure many of you can relate to, and extended our honeymoon. Indefinitely. So now the website is all about documenting our way around the world, one honeymoon at a time. When I first found out my wife was pregnant, my reaction was “what about our African safari?” But I quickly warmed up to the idea the second I heard of a BabyMoon. And so far, it has been surprisingly exciting even traveling with a baby in tow (babyinabackpack.com)
As a photographer, my main interests lie in capturing the essence of a place, ideally focusing on the human element of the world’s prettiest and not so pretty places. Whether I am photographing Tibetan yak herders in Shigatze, Tibet, Sikhs practicing the martial art “Gatka” at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, or documenting the plight of abandoned seniors in India, the goal I am seeking to achieve is to capture the human element whenever possible. Capturing people in their most natural element is one of the things I love about photography: the ability to capture a memory, a way of looking at the world. But as a travel photographer, the moment can’t be forced. I am just as likely to tell people to get out of my shot as I am to hide behind shrubbery in order to capture the image I am looking for.
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