Miami, Florida based photographer Edin Chavez first felt his passion for photography in college when he took a six-month Photography 101 course. As Chavez tells it, that was about the only aspect of college life that he enjoyed. Chavez, who is dyslexic, always appreciated working with his hands as opposed to having his nose in a textbook. This hands-on and accomplish anything approach to life would be the base for a successful, 50 employee painting company that Chavez founded.
But, like most of us with creative wiring, Chavez felt something was missing. He picked up a camera again, after years of neglecting the art, and immediately realized where his true passion was. Soon, the artist had given up his painting business and social life and found himself spending his savings on trips around the world. He sought to not only improve his photography but tell stories about the experiences and people that he would meet along the way.
One of those early adventures took Chavez to the southern coastal state of Kerala, India. Being the 13th largest state by population in a country of over 1 billion people, there was no shortage of opprotunities for Chavez to document the lives and the rich culture of Kerala. In talking to Resource Travel, Chavez expained his thought process before he left, an how it all changed when he arrived.
I had it in my head to create a series about the people before I got there, but I was going to make it black and white. The truth is I did not see Kerala in black and white. I saw the incredible locations, people, and scenes as colorful and full of life. There was nothing gray about it. I quickly realized this and adjusted the story that I wanted to tell. Besides the vibrant colors, I couldn’t believe how much the people smiled. No matter where I pointed the camera there was always a smile on the other side of the lens.
I did edit some photos in black and white, but in reality, I saw India in full vibrant color. I think this photo essay is a fair representation of all the people that make this such a great place.
Chavez provided us with some of his favorite images from the experience, and it’s safe to say that Kerala, India is a perfect place for budding travel and documentary photographers to hone their craft.