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 IndiaLady on the riverbanks of the Ganges in VaranasiIndia Portrait Photographer, Varanasi SadhuA stray dog in IndiaNarad Ghat in VaranasiJain Temple outside VaranasiWoman shopkeeper VaranasiJain temple VaranasiBenares SadhuStreet Sweeper, India Portrait PhotographerIndia Portrait PhotographerBackstreets of VaranasiRohit and Shopkeeper VaranasiVaranasi portrait photographerHoly symbols, Varanasi, IndiaTemples, KhajurahoCow portait, IndiaIndia on filmMamiya 645 filmStray dog, IndiaBathing on the Ganges, VaranasiLaughing Sadhu on the ghats in Varanasierotic art on temples in IndiaFilm by Caribou Film LabBlack and White film images from IndiaDetails of a Sadhu in IndiaTemple detailsAlong the ghats in VaranasiMamiya 645 The Ganges, Holy city of VaranasiFilm Portait PhotographerMan bathes at the Ganges, Caribou Film LabYoung child hangs clothes on the steps of the GangesBoat trip on the Ganges, Sachin Khona PhotographerDr Rave in VaranasiGanesh TempleThe most beautiful seat in the worldTemple details captured on medium format filmTemple details captured on medium format filmSadhu, Varanasi IndiaIndia Portrait PhotographerIndiaIndia Portrait PhotographerMan 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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This is incredible Sachin. My favourite work of yours yet (and you have some amazing stuff).

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

Outstanding work, absolutely beautiful x

Just wow!

Wonderful images. Really like the one of the boys playing in the alleyway.

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…

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

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

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

Very beautiful and very ‘Nat Geo’!

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!

Mmmm beautiful!

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

LOVE! Amazing :)

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

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

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!

SO beautiful! What a fun experience!

Theresa Furey

Freaking rocked it dude! So incredibly beautiful. Certainly looks like you had an amazing time!

The beauty of film shines throughout these images! Thank you for sharing!!

Kasia Nowak

Amazing photographs Sachin!

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


These are stunning mate. Really nice set of images here.

Chatti Brown

These are beautiful and soulful. I’d love to connect with you more about film and traveling. i’m going to cambodia in may and wonder how easy it is to travel with a medium format camera. lovely work!

Melia Sorenson

really wonderful. takes me back to Varanasi especially. and am I wrong or do sadhus often have great style?

This post is full of awesome Sach.

Adam Denomme

Great Pics! Looks like National Geographic could use another photographer. Great story told in writing and pictures. Good work.

i mean seriously… mic drop good! just simply stunning work…

Noi Tran

this is just absolutely amazing and could not have been told beautifully if not for your vision and film!!! Wonderful!

Ananta Loizou

your images are breathtaking.. You have captured the real beauty of India.

such a pleasure man.

Top stuff – really beautifully depicted – very refreshing!

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

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

Ed Graham

Hi Sachin. I really love these photos, and I like that you say slowing down helps you enjoy the travel experience more. I have found that to be the case as well in my own travels. What kind of film were you using on this trip? I also have a Mamiya and I love the look of these. Thanks and take care.

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

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