India // On Film // India Portrait Photographer

All images by Sachin Khona, India Portrait Photographer

All Mamiya, All Medium Format Film, All India, All January 2014


Two years ago, I went to India for a similar trip to this one. At that point, I had completed my first season as a wedding photographer in London, and was about to move country and start a new life as a wedding photographer in Canada. Lots to think about on that trip.

I used it as an opportunity to test out a new lens, the 35mm 1.4, and I absolutely fell in love shooting with it. I grew 10 times faster than I ordinarily would shooting under regular circumstances at home.

So, fast forward two years to the start of 2014. This time I wanted to have the opportunity to learn more about film and a have large part of this trip to be captured on film. This post is all on medium format film, and mostly from Varanasi (Benares) , an incredible holy city in northern India that sits on the banks of the river Ganga.

Wiki describes Varanasi as ‘one of the olderst continuously inhabited cities in the world and the older in India’. I dreamed of going here for a while and the experience did not let me down. Shooting film in Varanasi in particular was a good choice in that it allowed me to take in more, experience the city by slowing down, using a slow heavy camera that forced me to wait … instead of shooting fast and moving on.

I love film for this. And I can’t wait to see and experience how my personal work will grow in 2014 with film. I have a few more projects in the pipeline to keep my work with film alive.

Thanks to all the people in Varanasi & India who let me take their portraits, to Ravi my Indian brother for coming on this adventure with me and lastly to Rohitbhai for being an awesome guide around Varanasi.

Thank you.

Big shout out to Chris at Caribou Film Lab for their awesome scanning & developing work.

Onto the images..

Varanasi India Lady on the riverbanks of the Ganges in Varanasi India Portrait Photographer, Varanasi Sadhu A stray dog in India Narad Ghat in Varanasi Jain Temple outside Varanasi Woman shopkeeper Varanasi Jain temple Varanasi Benares Sadhu Street Sweeper, India Portrait Photographer India Portrait Photographer Backstreets of Varanasi Rohit and Shopkeeper Varanasi Varanasi portrait photographer Holy symbols, Varanasi, India Temples, Khajuraho Cow portait, India India on film Mamiya 645 film Stray dog, India Bathing on the Ganges, Varanasi Laughing Sadhu on the ghats in Varanasi erotic art on temples in India Film by Caribou Film Lab Black and White film images from India Details of a Sadhu in India Temple details Along the ghats in Varanasi Mamiya 645 The Ganges, Holy city of Varanasi Film Portait Photographer Man bathes at the Ganges, Caribou Film Lab Young child hangs clothes on the steps of the Ganges Boat trip on the Ganges, Sachin Khona Photographer Dr Rave in Varanasi Ganesh Temple The most beautiful seat in the world Temple details captured on medium format film Temple details captured on medium format film Sadhu, Varanasi India India Portrait Photographer India India Portrait Photographer Man stands on boats along the Ganges in Varanasi

I love shooting film, and want to document more on it for 2014.

If you’re interested in connecting with me for a session or otherwise, contact me HERE.

My best of film work for 2013 (excluding these images above) can be seen HERE.


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  • Pim Yanaprasart - Hi Sachin, I found your website randomly from google search keyword – Varanasri by film photography. You photos are —-ABSOLUTELY STUNNING!!
    I just started to use meduim format film camera, I would love to know your set ups of course if you don’t mind sharing. I think the film stock you used was FUJI 400H and Contax 645? I love your style, story and everything about the photos

  • Kristin - Gorgeous as always, Sachin. They have such a soulful quality; you’ve fully captured the essence of each moment.

  • shipra - The best work I’ve seen in the last month right here!! Wow, Sachin. So mesmerizing!

  • Joseph Hall - Top stuff – really beautifully depicted – very refreshing!

  • Adonye Jaja - such a pleasure man.

  • Ananta Loizou - your images are breathtaking.. You have captured the real beauty of India.

  • tim riddick - i mean seriously… mic drop good! just simply stunning work…

  • ed peers - This post is full of awesome Sach.

  • Shahriar - These are stunning mate. Really nice set of images here.

  • David Campbell - Insanely good work Sachin! Make’s me want to book flights to India right now!!!

  • lisa lacroix - The beauty of film shines throughout these images! Thank you for sharing!!

  • Amy Rau - SO beautiful! What a fun experience!

  • Amber Hughes - Seriously? SERIOUSLY!?!? These are ridiculously amazing Sachin. I feel like I just went on a trip to India while scrolling through your blog. Incredible stuff!

  • Rachel - Especially love the portraits — and can’t beat the oranges and reds. Makes me want to travel again. So nice, Sachin.

  • Tomasz Wagner - These look amazing Sachin! Doesn’t look like you have any problems using the 80/1.8 either!

  • Ashlee - LOVE! Amazing :)

  • Shahed - Some awesome shots Sachin- damn I wish I had the patience to use and develop from film!!!

  • Jarusha - Mmmm beautiful!

  • Jessie - The belief that photographers capture people’s souls keeps haunting my mind as I look at your beautiful work. You are so talented and amazing!

  • Anton Chia - Very beautiful and very ‘Nat Geo’!

  • mathias - seriously legit dude. so many images i just stared at for a while =)

  • Mandy - What a beautiful set of images Sachin! The 35 1.4 has a special place in my heart, glad to see you enjoy it! :)

  • Rachelle - These are outstanding! Looks like the trip of a lifetime and you did a wonderful job capturing it.

  • Ravi - Beautiful Sachin, loved each and every one of those images. The tones, texture and feel took me back to relive those few days in Varanasi. I’m glad you made it here and that we took this trip even with all the long bumpy rides, it was so worth it. Can’t wait to see what 2014 will bring…

  • Damian Burcher - Wonderful images. Really like the one of the boys playing in the alleyway.

  • Luke Hayden - Just wow!

  • Delia - Outstanding work, absolutely beautiful x

  • Sinereh Soleimani - Beautiful captures, the first images rocks SO much I’d like to hang it on my wall.

  • Cole - This is incredible Sachin. My favourite work of yours yet (and you have some amazing stuff).

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