Varanasi, India: "Beyond"

Joel L is a Canadian commercial photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. The majority of his personal projects revolve around endangered cultures and traditions where he travels extensively with the intent to capture dramatic portraits that provide the viewer with an insight into the subjects' lives.

He's just wrapped up a beautifully composed behind the scenes documentary shot by Cale Glendening that chronicles Joey's trip to Varanasi, India with his best-friend/assistant Ryan McCarney to complete his photo series entitled Holy Men. The film is well worth the 43min which in fact I wish it would have been longer.

Below are 2 of my favorite quotes from the film that spoke to me:

  • "Whenever I photograph somebody, one of my main challenges is always presenting them with a sense of dignity."
  • "I think it's important not to always show people in a journalistic way of what they're doing but more show a portrait of them and what they're about."

I absolutely love the sheer passion displayed towards photography, culture and unconditional interest all 3 guys had for making it a priority to not just walk away with video footage and images but to get to know the people above everything else. The sincere connection is apparent all throughout the film.