What struck me most strongly about Bhutan was the generosity and friendliness for the people. We spent most of our time in country exploring the backroads away from the main tourist areas. This is because it has been my experience that in popular tourist spots the locals become jaded and adversely affected by the throngs of strangers. but if you get away from the touristy areas you get to see the ‘real’ people and more importantly experience the ‘real’ people.
So every day, while the other tourist busses were heading off to yet another monastery or temple our bus would head to the countryside and look for villages, markets, farms, anything off the beaten track. Then we would stop, spread out and spend a couple of hours just hanging with the locals watching what they were doing, interacting with them as best we could and enjoying the experience.
Photographically, the secret to getting these intimate portraits is to spend time with the person before you start taking pictures. I would always sit and watch, try to compliment them, just hang out before I started taking pictures. And I never took any pictures unless I had permission to do so. The more time you spend with your subject the less aware and self conscious the person is going to be and thus your images will be more personal and thus more powerful and intimate.
So here are some more faces of Bhutan. I’ll post some environmental portraits from Bhutan shortly. Enjoy!