The Visual Advocate Blog

The story behind the image

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If you ever get a chance to go to New Delhi, India, you have to visit Dili Haat at least once. It is a well-known market where people from all over India bring their wares to sell. I have been there several times and always enjoy looking at the crafts and interacting with the artisans.

I made this particular image during one trip to Dili Haat last summer. Upon seeing this group of men together in their booth I knew right away I wanted to photograph them. Of course as soon as they saw me they began to peddle their wares, but having overdosed on scarfs the first year I visited India I had to decline buying any from them.

When I got the courage to ask them if I could take their picture, they immediately smiled and a look of honor came over all of their faces. As I was getting ready the eldest man in the background of the picture above was very clear that he wanted me to photograph the young boy. Sheepishly, the young man sat up straight and looked right at me as if to say “Ready when you are”.

Of all the images I made of them that day, this one is still one of my favorites because it captures how I felt about these men. It was clear as I watched these men interact with each other and with customers that this boy was being trained in the family business. So when I went to make this image I really wanted to highlight this young man in the foreground and the rest in the background to symbolically represent the family ties these men had and how they were all looking to this young man to carry on the honor of the craft that was obviously a vital part of their lives.


Author: The Visual Advocate

Joe Murray, The Visual Advocate, is a Humanitarian and Cultural photographer based in Decatur, Georgia. Joe began his photographic career as an adventure and landscape photographer, but a month-long trip to India in 2009 deeply impacted him and proved to be a turning point in his life and photographic vision. Today, Joe is dedicated to using his craft to create and share compelling images and stories of the lives of the peoples and cultures of the world. While Joe loves and appreciates all the peoples and cultures of the world, he has a particular vision, passion and love for India and South Asia. As both an experienced photographer, public speaker, recruiter and advocate, Joe's goal as a visual artist is not simply to create awareness, but to move people to use their lives and resources to be a blessing to the world's most poor, abused, displaced, stereotyped and overlooked peoples.

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