One of the most interesting places in the world to photograph people & candid life moments is Kolkata on the eastern part of India. From Victorian architecture & engineering marvels to life in its most pristine forms, Kolkata provides all the various flavors that any professional travel photographer would ever desire to shoot!
The articles on Children of the City shows numerous candid portraits of children & people in & around Kolkata. This article has travel photos from various places in & around the city.
Most of the photos here are within miles from the heart of the city. The popular places for great candid photos of people & children lie along the Ganges river. Early mornings or late afternoons are the best time to shoot, although in the afternoon the sun would be directly on your face, so having a good lens hood would help.
Nimtolla (also written as Neemtolla) & the way along Ahiritolla & Bagbajar extends all the way to the Howrah bridge & has several bathing ghats where interesting candid photographs of people could be taken. It is usually a good practice to ask for permission to avoid problems later on.
Personally I never pay anyone for taking their pictures, but I would often help out the families & sometimes the kids who I photograph with books they could use or something in kinds as a courtesy for their time.
Time permitting you could also make arrangements with the local fishermen at these ghats to board their fishing boats when they row out to the middle of the river & cast their nets. Some would willingly welcome you while some would ask for a small compensation for their time.
Either way, if this is your only opportunity to photograph the unique lifestyles of the people of Kolkata, this could be a great opportunity to get a glimpse of the lives of the fishermen.
There are several places just outside the main city of Kolkata that could provide professional travel photographers with a completely different view of the people & their lifestyles. Bantala & Rajarhat are 2 such places which has a lot of opportunities for off beat photo opportunities.
Although right within the ranges of the most hi-tech center of Kolkata, Bantala & Rajarhat has fast vanishing traces of what life around Kolkata used to be some 20 years ago. Fragmented farm lands, fishing ponds & poultry farms are abundant in these areas.
The city is expanding at lightning pace & very soon all the green around the city would be a matter of history & the traces of simple people who used to be the life & essence of this great city would be a matter of the past!