It’s simply one of those experiences that you just have to have and the closest affiliation I ever got to an involvement with the festivities was having attended The Brooklyn Color Run in 2012. The liveliness combined with the sheer volume of enthusiasm and fantastic colorful scenery during Holi is incredible but as a photographer, one has to be careful in doing their best to keeping ones gear dry and functioning all through the celebration in view that there’s very little leniency towards photographers.
One of the many attractions of living in New York is the easiness in which you can get exposed to the diverse cultures that exist in one neighborhood alone. I miss the opportunity to attend Holi celebrations in Richmond Hill last year so I did my best to make up for it this time around.
While attending, people are constantly smearing brightly colored powder all over you and it’s best to let it happen as soon as you arrive and before you’ve pulled out your gear. The last thing you want is for you to not have been coated with at least some color because there might be this perception that you’re too self-important to take part in the celebration. If you want no part of it then simply don’t attend. Needless to say someone powdered me and I welcomed it.
The color easily comes off with soap and shampoo but as far as being prepared for the unexpected, my camera gear was not protected underneath plastic bags as it was by press photographers. I wasn’t too worried because I had no intentions of weaving in and out of crowds like they were doing. I also didn’t want to be chasing the parade either. Instead, I located a spot in the shade with decent ambient light amongst a throng of people and rather than pursue them for portraits, in a way I had them come to me.
View the rest of the Holi Portraits in Richmond Hill, Queens on Flickr.