This British photographer’s incredible images have offered an insight into the daily lives of the indigenous people of Kashmir. Stunning shots show people posing for the camera as one man smokes a cigarette while others show shepherds rounding up a herd of goats. Other striking snaps show the beautiful mountain region the people live in, guides tending to their horses and mules and a fire being lit for warmth and light. The eye-opening photographs were taken in Kashmir by Scottish photographer Daniel O’Donnell (26) from Glasgow.
Kashmir is the northernmost geographical region of the Indian subcontinent. It is currently a disputed territory, administered by three countries: India, Pakistan, and China. “My images offer an insight into the traditional way of life of indigenous people which some might not have known still exists in the world,” said Daniel. “Many of these types of cultures are fading away over time. Many of the youth don’t continue the traditions of their elders and now tend to move to the larger cities where they can make more money and not do as much manual labour. To see these people still living by their traditional methods is a privilege for me, and it’s a really fascinating subject to photograph.”
Daniel, who took these photographs with a Nikon D610, is a self-taught photographer after he found some of his deceased grandfather’s cameras languishing in an attic. He has been travelling through Europe, North Africa and Asia and explained why Asia intrigued him so much. “Asia has always appealed to me even from a young age,” said Daniel.“It seemed so otherworldly and surreal to me so it was inevitable that I would one day travel and photograph this beautiful continent.
“I’ve always felt more comfortable and at ease photographing in rural, mountainous areas,” said Daniel. “Since Asia has many of its true natives still living amongst the mountains, it only seemed fitting for me to do a project on the indigenous folk in their typical habitat. During this shoot I had no problems whatsoever. If I saw any of the natives that I wanted to photograph then I would approach them and politely ask if I could photograph them after greeting them by saying ‘As-Sallam-Alaikum’ meaning ‘Peace be upon you’ in Arabic. Every person I asked was happy to let me photograph them. It just shows the kind and gentle nature of the Kashmiri mountain dwellers.”