Travels in Rishikesh, India

Photos & Video by Shay Spaniola // Text by Erica Wedes


Often times at the end of yoga we say the phrase, “The light in me honors the light in you” to recognize the beauty within others. This quote makes me think of photography.

Wandering the streets of Rishikesh, Shay and I found ourselves in a novel circumstance: Indian people everywhere were stopping us and asking to take our picture. Skittish as first, we were quick to oblige.

This afternoon, we contemplated these interactions over chai.

Maybe a photo is a way of telling another person that we think their light is beautiful or foreign, or both. The act of taking a photo is a way to capture another’s presence and give context to a moment so that we may relive it later on. Nostalgia. We save our images - on cameras, in boxes, on walls - to give our experiences reality and concreteness and to light our life with the presents of a colorful past.

We have asked many people to take their photos - a herbal medicine shop owner, a bone thin beggar, a woman in a sari, a snake charmer.

The light inside and out paints the faces we will frame to remember our experience in India.