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Posts tagged “India

Dalai Lama House, Dharamshala

Dalai lama House_McLeod Ganj_India_Tsuglhakhang Complex_Travel Photography_Dharamsala_Silvia Tomarchio Photography

One of the things i have learnt over the last 30 years of travel is to go with the flow, yes of course a plan but always flexible, those unexpected detours, destinations have often been the best journeys and memories. Earlier this year while in India with purpose to shoot for Alongsiders Org, I made sure I included a few extra days in-between shoots, My intention was to go up to North and greet the mountains! Chatting to a few peeps from Alongsiders, turned out that a one of the guys in Visakhapatnam was from Chandigarh which was half way to my destination, how awesome, they asked if I would change my second shoot from Delhi to Chandigarh!!!! Ummmm yes, they were amazing I was picked up from Delhi airport, thank God for that, too much city for me and would not visit otherwise, a 5 or so hours to Chandigarh. So I met a very cool pastor and a few others who more than happy to help, given only a couple of days I have to make a choice, I love that he looked at me and said “Dharamshala! you will love it, there are so many hippies” how did he know lol. They were amazing, organised my bus and dropped me off at the station.  6 or so hours later!!! But I met one of the most sweetest young ladies on the way, with a story to share……I love that complete strangers can share what they might not share to those closet to you, including myself…..What I didn’t know was that The Dalai Lama has a house and yes he was in the house, I did go up the the high security doors to see if I could meet him of course I knew I needed an appointment! hey if you don’t try at least the answer will always be no! A very cool young taxi driver who saved the day a few days earlier, dropped me off, I had a few hours to kill before my bus back for my 3rd unexpected shoot, a humble village in Punjabi…..and the journey continued, So very blessed, especially when things turnout better than expected!

Dalai Lama_Silvia Tomarchio_Dharamshala

All oiled up after a massage, yes that hike left me a little stiff, oh look there he is, I asked if I could take a photo, climbed up on the chair, trying not to fall, the ultimate selfie!!!!


Love is…

Silvia Tomarchio Photography_Alongsiders

“Love is always patient and kind. It is never jealous. Love is never boastful or conceited. It is never rude or selfish. It does not take offense and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins, but delights in the truth. It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.”

And these are the moments for me when I know I am on the right path, I may be behind the lens but the love connection touched my soul. A precious moment between big sister and little sister. Just one of my favourites while shooting for Alongsiders International in India. I have been working towards using my professional skills for shoots just like this….I am so grateful for the opportunity. In the back of my mind, deep in my heart lies my truth.

Photography is all about story telling and I am so grateful to be part of people who want to share theirs.
Alongsiders International

Sunset at Triud

birds_Triud_Silvia Tomarchio Photography

14km hike to Triund, India. Creating my own mix of sunset and sunrise, permission to create my own canvass. Well that was a hike to end all hikes for me, going from nothing due to my ankle injury 7 weeks earlier, My guide decided to add 2kms to my hike without my knowledge, not impressed, barely giving me time to rest, i felt like a mule, only thing missing was a slap on the arse, 8 kms up, easy, moderate to you have got to be kidding me, but hey it took me 5 hours but I did it, he was only giving me about 15 minutes to enjoy the view to then make our way back down, one I know i wasn’t physically capable, two, Im not leaving after a hike like that, not really prepared I chose to stay over night, so as you can image it was a little cold once the sun went down. I really didn’t need a guide but thought it might be the safer option, meh i could have done it on my own. I rarely take tours but sometimes it’s insisted, I only had come in the night before, not much sleep made a snap decision in 15 minutes to take off. Im glad i did as it took me nearly 3 and a half hours to get down 6kms, the terrain is rough and sometimes slippery. If the guide didn’t carry my gear no doubt it would have taken longer and i may have pushed him over the edge, he kept yelling at me, ‘you must make life hard” I so was going to bitch slap him lol well his boot camp style was rough but I did it with minimal stops and a shit load of water, bastard! So bitching over, it was absolutely amazing to face the mountain, watch the sun go down and rise again, sleeping 3 metres from the edge…..freezing!!!! To his defence he did help me on the way down. my hips were about ready to pop, thank God, I made it just in time. You can purchase your copy here or contact me directly.

Little Sister.

Silvia Tomarchio

Just one of the “little sisters” I met while photographing for Alongsiders in Visakhapatnam, India.

Just as cute as a button. A full day with 20 big brothers and sisters and 20 little brothers and sisters, ending our day down the beach. huge smiles, lots of fun and laughter……

We keep our love in a photograph.


What is it that has made the world photography mad?! Lets face it anyone with a recording device is a “photographer”. Occasionally I question myself as to why I am a photographer and why it’s so important to me.

What is it that compels us to snap in that moment? Recording a precious moment, fear that it will pass and fade into our subconscious? Love? Sharing our joy? Creating long lasting moments for those we photograph for? In that moment and for future generations.

This is a photograph of my mother, pregnant with me, it is one of my favourite images I have, well, why do I love it so? The moment was taken by my father with the camera he won at a fair and paid the difference to have it. It was our family camera for a long time after that and all my childhood photos were captured with it, blessed that my father gave it to me as a gift and it is well loved by me.

It was the beginning of my life, a life yet to be lived, my father has shared so many stories with me about his childhood, growing up in Riposto in Sicily, how he would sneak into farms to eat fruit, some turned a blind eyes understanding they were hungry and some chased them away, he told me how he would set up nets as a boy, catch birds and that was food for the day. My mother told me that when they were migrating to Australia, there was many obstacles for my family to travel together, that she and my siblings would be left behind and come later, she was afraid that they would not be united……she told officials that she was only 6 months pregnant but in reality she was further along. As fate would have it, they embarked on their journey to Australia, together, me being born early, I was born on the Galileo Galilei, Arriving in Australia at 19 days old. lol see I was born travelling….

Why do I love this image so much?

Her smile breathes hope, hope of a better life, what every human being should have, a home, food on the table and clothes on their back, family.

I see a woman having her 5th child as joyful as if it was her first.

If i look at this image long enough, i can hear sound and the moments before this image was created….the love that lives. I am so grateful I have this photograph, it is so much more than that…..

I have taken thousands of images in my lifetime, while the personal ones are easy to explain to myself the randoms can sometimes cause a struggle within, I know why I take them in that moment but I struggle as to what to do with them, I have been asked many times will I sell them, I don’t want to exploit anyone, it is the moment that shakes my soul to photograph people, the love of diversity and culture, share with you what it gives to me, that connection in that moment that creates a feeling of “one” I have hundreds of portraits from my recent trip to India, of culture, colour, life, souls and I don’t know what do with them, although I know I would love to give each and every one of them a photograph of themselves for allowing me to connect in that moment, and just for them and their families.

Sand Dunes, India

You can purchase this image here.sand2-1

You can purchase this image here.sand2-2


You can purchase this image here.

The more i listen to people, the more i realise how much i value my humble life.

I adore simplicity.

Big Brown Eyes, Kolkata

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There was something about those big brown eyes that had me in a trance, for more than just a moment, long before I clicked the shutter, time stood still, he appeared as an unfinished painting, blurred, and everything around him disappeared even sound. A sense of Deja’ vu or was it an image I have already seen locked in my subconscious mind? I was so fixed on his eyes I didn’t notice the driver until I uploaded the image on my laptop, we really do see what we want to see, what captures our soul and delights our heart in the moment.

I love those cars that flood the streets of Kolkata.

After 19 hours of travel time I was a little spaced out, who knows, I only got to spend about 5 hours in Kolkata, the plan was to spend a day at the end of my trip. It’s so easy to get lost in India, going with the flow, moving every few days by train that I nearly ended up in Pakistan! With only a few days left it was easier to get back to Delhi to fly to Kolkata to fly home, I knew I had to catch that flight book or i would have got lost for longer.



Smiles change everything and is the beginning of inner change, the ultimate exchange next to hugs.

It’s hard not to return a smile, how fast do you see a shift, I love the reaction the spontaneous response, smile loud, smile proud. Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, I never photographed a person that has has caught my attention and visa versa without smiling first. Smiles gives you permission to connect.

Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India


The White Palace


The Fort


Sometimes you just go with it, then you realise, huh? 25 hours?! train from Varanasi to Jodhpur which actually turned into 29 hours, but what an adventure it was!

I finally figured out which carriage I was in and as I stepped into towards my booth, I hear “Hey!!!!!!” a very excited polish guy who was happy to see another foreigner, for a moment I’m thinking do I know you? I just laughed, I hear you. It didn’t take long before we got chatting, sharing tips and tricks of travel and just basic chit chat. I can’t remember if this train was delayed from our starting point or not, it all seems like a bit of a blur now, what i do remember is there was a fruit stand right outside my window and I’m thinking I really feel like a banana, so i ask the guy “how much for a banana?” well I think I could have got 12 of them for that price, you gotta laugh, so I said “I just want one”, but no, he wouldn’t budge, next thing I feel is a tap on my arm from David and turn to see a lovely lady pull out some bananas and offers me one, huge smile on my face as i graciously accepted, with a big smile, laughing, so i I call out to the fruit guy, ” “hey dude”, look and wave the banana at him through the window, the look on his face was priceless but he couldn’t help but join in with our laughter. 29 hours on a train, you will see lots of people coming and going, at one point I woke up to find someone asleep on the floor in the middle of the seats, it’s doesn’t take long before it becomes the norm. Another lovely moment was when a group of children then later the woman joined in, just standing at my window, we just smiled at each other, some asked for a selfie with me and once little girl was just so happy looking at me, I couldn’t help but put out my hand and touch her face, “Beautiful” she just repeated, “no you are”, i said, “very beautiful. And she really was, bursting smile with so much joy, I was just taking my phone out to take a pic and as the train starts moving, all at the same time they start shouting and waving bye, bye, they were so excited following the train waving us off, my whole soul lit up, the energy I felt from them was just incredible.”

There is way too much to write about this train ride, It was long but highly entertaining, even managed to get some sleep in between.

I finally arrive at Jodhpur and 2 kms away a tuk tuk ride to my guest house run by The KK Family, The staff are friendly and helpful, a quick walk up to the roof and large bottle of water that went down in seconds,  went to my quirky room and basically crashed out.

These images were taken on my last night, I didn’t see the night view of the fort when I arrived as they turn off the lights around 9.30pm but I did see it at sunrise, and blown away just gorgeous. What a perfect way to start the day, they provide a great breakfast and the view just speaks for itself. Up bright and early off to explore the town.


The end of life as we know it can still offer beauty if you look through eyes of love.

A wonder through the streets in the Blue city, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India_dsc5934-editsilvia-tomarchio-potography_silvtom67gmail-com_taylors-hill_wedding-photographer_jodhpur_rajasthan

You can purchase this image here, or contact me directly.