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Hanging Nighttime Portraits of Mumbai’s Cotton Sweet Males


Throughout his journey to Mumbai, India, London-based photographer Jon Enoch captured eye-catching portraits of native sweet floss retailers posing in the midst of the evening.

Enoch makes a speciality of creating uncommon however hanging portraits. His earlier challenge passed off in Hanoi, Vietnam, the place he captured motorcycle riders carrying various loads. It was greater than only a portrait challenge — the sequence additionally highlighted how town authorities plan to ban bikes from town centre sooner or later, affecting the livelihood of those that depend on this cellular type of transport.

“I’m interested by folks, what they do for a dwelling and the way modernity is altering our cities,” Enoch tells PetaPixel. “Partly I need to seize photos that may not be potential in 10 years.”

In an analogous method, Enoch captured the sweet floss — generally known as cotton sweet in the USA — avenue distributors of Mumbai, one of many nation’s largest monetary centres and residential to Bollywood stars. Having all the time had an curiosity in establishing a photograph sequence in one of many India’s massive cities, Enoch started researching the realm after studying articles concerning the rising weight problems downside within the nation. He additionally discovered concerning the points with an unlawful dye added to some sweets and sweet floss and was wanting to know extra.

Mumbai candyfloss vendors

“Once I learn that the will to create the proper eye-catching vibrant pink sweet floss typically results in unauthorised colouring brokers being added to the combo, I believed it’s the proper metaphor for the ills of our time,” he says.

Taking pictures at Evening for the Final Gentle Management

“I spend a extremely very long time planning my private initiatives and scoping them out earlier than I’ve even booked my airplane tickets however when it comes to planning there’s solely a lot you are able to do from afar,” Enoch says relating to the beginning of every of his private initiatives.

“I’d go for one week or longer however solely shoot for a few days on the finish as soon as all of the areas and topics have been discovered. You’ll be able to’t beat boots on the bottom.”

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Enoch determined to {photograph} his topics at evening, giving him loads of alternatives to manage and experiment with lighting. It additionally helped him keep away from working with the noon Indian solar, which he says might be an “uphill wrestle” in any other case. Having flown from the UK, Enoch discovered the late hours simpler to work as they’re nearer to his time zone, which additionally meant much less jet lag.

“One other consideration is that it was simply so busy all over the place in Mumbai — it’s a vastly populated metropolis so it’s very exhausting to discover a place that isn’t full of individuals,” he provides. “After all, I all the time appeal to consideration after I’m doing photograph shoots with all the package and lighting and a workforce of individuals however we have to keep away from precise crowds!”

 Taking part in the Political Sport

The town additionally got here with its fair proportion of authorized obstacles. In Enoch’s expertise, the native powers “love a little bit of pink tape” with all of the totally different restrictions and guidelines set in place.

“Completely different folks management totally different elements of town — be that police or native politician,” he says. “There are individuals who will simply see you and sense the chance to make some cash so it’s important to hold your wits about you. It definitely ranks extremely on the stress ranges.”

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The now completed photograph challenge not solely is a novel addition to Enoch’s intensive portfolio but additionally helped him study extra concerning the disparity in working and dwelling circumstances.

“It’s a cliché however actually the huge divide when it comes to poverty and wealth was an actual eye-opener,” he says. “The sweet males are promoting sweet floss for just a few pence; some dwelling in slums with open rivers as the one sanitation level; just a few metres down the street from inns with rooftop swimming pools.”

Extra of Enoch’s work might be discovered on his website and Instagram.


Picture credit: Photographs by Jon Enoch.




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