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Can Photography Move You to Tears?


Can photography move you to tears? It seems like human emotions are difficult to unlock as a photographer, especially in our oversaturated world of Instagram; as of 2018, a staggering 95 million photos and videos are uploaded onto Instagram every single day. It’s more difficult than ever for a photograph to have an impact — we’ve all debated it before, and we’ve probably seen still photography as a dying profession.

Yet, despite this, certain photographs still have the power to astound.

A few days ago, I met a woman named Anchi at a local cafe in Gangtok, India. We talked about life and photography in general. While look at some of my photographs from India, all of a sudden she burst into tears.

It made me curious to know what exactly happened and how photographs can have this kind of huge impact on a complete stranger, so I turned my camera on her sharing her thoughts and feelings.

Her words were the biggest compliment I’ve ever received for my photography, and I believe they capture the power of photography and its connection with human emotions.

Here are a few of the photos she was looking at prior to this video being recorded:

After years of traveling to distant places, this was my first visit to Yamuna Ghat in Delhi which is very nearby to my home. It has left me wonderstruck and has become one of my favorite places to visit in my hometown. As the sun sets, Mr. Ramnath who resides on the bank of River Yamuna near Nigambodh Ghat feeds thousands of Seagulls who travel more than 10k km and visit Delhi every year between October to March mainly to escape from the harsh Siberian winters.
A monk from Leh. At fifteen she wears different clothes. At fifteen she prefers a different hairstyle. At fifteen she plays different games. At fifteen she communicates in a different language. At fifteen she sees a different World.

The annual Holi celebration for widows in Vrindavan. The women danced, threw flower petals, and smudged colour on each other in the Maitri ghar which was decorated with balloons and flowers. Meeting these strong women has actually left me in awe.

It’s encounters like this one with Anchi that make believe in the power of still photography more and more!

About the author: Saurabh Narang is an independent photographer based out of Delhi, India. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Over the years, Narang has worked with Fortune 500 companies, renowned NGOs, and government organisations all across the world. You can find more of his work on his website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This article was also published here.