I have long been fascinated by nomadic pastoralists, their cultures, their transitory way of life, and the rugged harshness of their existence. Over the last three years, I’ve gotten quite a few opportunities to visit the Changpa people of the Changthang region of Ladakh.
Over the course of these visits, I was often requested to return with copies of the images I took so that the subjects would have something to be remembered with after they died.
While my usual shots with the Changpa were more documentary and travel oriented, I realized that these weren't the prints they wanted. So I started taking formal portraits, lit with a softbox, and with dark backgrounds. Everyone I shot wanted to dress up and look good for their picture. Invariably, everyone also got out their mani, the prayer wheels that are an important part of Tibetan Buddhist life, because they wanted to be remembered as pious. That is the genesis of these portraits, which I now call Nomad Studio. It is a work in progress and is now covering ethnic groups in Ladakh and Central Asia beyond the Changpa that I started with.