My personal opinion -after having met many such characters- in India; either in Varanasi, Rishikesh, Vrindavan et al, as well as at the Kumbh Mela, is that the majority of them are fake in the sense that they're not dedicated ascetics, but individuals who are adopted a vagabondage lifestyle, begging for alms and food...under the guise of being holy and religious.
This was a really informative article Hillary :) Just wish I found it sooner because just a week ago I went to the Grand Canyon to snap some photos. I didn't have this article to help, but I found a similarly useful article that provided some kind of checklist of things to do before traveling. If anyone's interested, here's what helped me out before I went to the canyon: http://www.adoramapix.com/blog/2016/10/16/photography-101-packing/#.WFH9...
Alessandro Bergamini tells us that he is an Italian travel photographer from Finale Emilia in Italy. He started his photography with an old camera donated by his father, and traveled to some of the most remote regions of the world, capturing the spirit and visual cultures of his encounters. He perfected his post-production techniques to better reflect the atmosphere of the images he gleaned from his travels. During 2019, he offers travel workshops in the Wakhan Corridor (Afghanistan) and Kashmir.
*3. Prices displayed based on purchase of a One-Way itinerary between OAK, SJC, SFO, SMF and HNL, ITO, KOA, LIH, OGG. Tickets must be booked between 4/12/2019 and 4/16/2019. Fares are available for travel from Oakland, CA or San Jose, CA to Hawaii 11/4/119 – 12/12/19 (Monday – Thursday), for travel from San Francisco, CA or Sacramento, CA to Hawaii 8/19/19 – 12/12/19 (Monday – Thursday). Blackout Dates: 11/21/19 – 11/24/19 to Hawaii and 11/29/19 – 12/2/19 from Hawaii. Travel must be on Hawaiian Airlines operated flights only. Fares are not valid on codeshare flights and subject to 1 month maximum stay as measured from departure from fare origin. Fares may not be available over all dates and fares on some dates may be higher. The number of seats available in this fare class during the travel period shown are limited and may change at any time without notice. Fares include government taxes and fees and carrier fees. Fares are non-refundable, non-transferrable, and non-endorsable. Other restrictions apply. Additional baggage charges may apply.
On February 16, 2010, Hawaiian Airlines sought approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation to begin nonstop flights from its hub at Honolulu to Tokyo-Haneda sometime in 2010. The airline was one of 5 US carriers — the others being Delta, Continental, United, and American — seeking approval to serve Haneda as part of the U.S.-Japan OpenSkies agreement.[33] Approval was granted from USDOT to begin nonstop service to Haneda, Japan. The flight began service on November 18, 2010.[34] In addition, the airline is planning to establish a codeshare agreement with All Nippon Airways.[35] On January 12, 2011, Hawaiian Airlines began nonstop service to Seoul-Incheon, South Korea.[36] On July 12, 2011, Hawaiian added Osaka, Japan to its network.[37] 

*3. Prices displayed based on purchase of a One-Way itinerary between OAK, SJC, SFO, SMF and HNL, ITO, KOA, LIH, OGG. Tickets must be booked between 4/12/2019 and 4/16/2019. Fares are available for travel from Oakland, CA or San Jose, CA to Hawaii 11/4/119 – 12/12/19 (Monday – Thursday), for travel from San Francisco, CA or Sacramento, CA to Hawaii 8/19/19 – 12/12/19 (Monday – Thursday). Blackout Dates: 11/21/19 – 11/24/19 to Hawaii and 11/29/19 – 12/2/19 from Hawaii. Travel must be on Hawaiian Airlines operated flights only. Fares are not valid on codeshare flights and subject to 1 month maximum stay as measured from departure from fare origin. Fares may not be available over all dates and fares on some dates may be higher. The number of seats available in this fare class during the travel period shown are limited and may change at any time without notice. Fares include government taxes and fees and carrier fees. Fares are non-refundable, non-transferrable, and non-endorsable. Other restrictions apply. Additional baggage charges may apply.
Aga Szydlik is a professional culture photographer and a doctoral candidate based in South Africa. She tells us that her journey with photography started with Muay Thai (the famous Thai fight style) which she documented extensively. Based in Thailand, she able to explore South East Asia, onwards to Indonesia and South Africa. She is enthusiastic about alternative processes, analogue photography, Lomography and salt/albumin prints as well as mixed media.
Embarking on such photographic projects make me look for relevant snippets of history, social mores and art (for example, the occupation of Shanghai by the Japanese in the thirties, the  Chinoiserie fad of the 18th century, fictional stories similar to that of Madam Butterfly et al). I also learned the aesthetic of the cheongsam (aka qi pao) in its various forms, and the beauty of Chinese calligraphy. I also scoured the internet for Chinese legends, poetry and songs/music that inspired the 2-3 minutes plots of my photo films; as I call these audio slideshows.
These two portraits are of elderly actors; the type that the cinematic world calls' "character actors" (these are generally defined as supporting actors who play unusual, interesting, or eccentric characters). I found these actors to be much more visually interesting than the glamorous divas; not because of their rugged and wrinkled physiognomies but because they had presence...and must've been part of these troupes for as long as they could remember.
In comparison, the religious self-mutilations performed by the devotees during the Vegetarian Festival in Phuket are considered to be extreme and shocking. The entranced devotees who perform these acts of religious self-mutilation are called mah song. They wear elaborate costumes, enter into trances and ask the gods to enter their bodies. Men or women (they are usually celibate) puncture their faces with hooks, spears and knives amongst other sharp implements.
Hawaiian Airlines started HawaiianMiles, their frequent-flyer program, in 1983. Miles accumulated in the program allow members to redeem tickets, upgrade service class or obtain free or discounted car rentals, hotel stays, merchandise, or other products and services through partners. The most active members, based on the amount and price of travel booked, are designated Pualani Gold (fly 30 Segments or fly 20,000 Flight Miles) and Pualani Platinum (fly 60 Segments or fly 40,000 Flight Miles), with privileges such as separate check-in, Premier Club Lounge access in Honolulu, Hilo, Kona, Kahului, and Līhuʻe, priority upgrade and standby processing, or complimentary upgrades.[90] Travel award redemption from the HawaiianMiles program account for 5% of total revenue passengers.
This is a wonderful write-up. My wheels are turning and although you’ve told me just where to start, I feel overewhelmed already. I’ve been shooting for a while now, self taught, but have realzed the several areas I need to streghten, from techincal, to the business side of things. I have so many questions. Ultimately, i feel in love with travel photography when I took my first international and solo trip to the Philippines about 5 years ago. I love to just capture whats happening around me, the people, the culture, the food. And I absolutely love to talk to people about travel, inspire them to try it themselves. I just started taking myself seriously as a photographer 3 years ago. However, I feel lost on how to get the type of clients I want and the type of work I want. In the mean time I just shoot for me. who to reach out to, how to find them, what to say. And putting together that PDF portfolio. Are my best my best? and so on. This one page has already helped and Ill be reaching out to you via email. in the meantime here are some links to my work.
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Unfortunately, due the language barriers I wasn't able to interview either of these two actors to gain an insight on their lives and background. They also seemed reluctant to allow me more than a few minutes to photograph them, either because they were waiting to perform (as in the top photograph) or just uncomfortable with the the attention of a stalking photographer (lower photograph).
The patrician-looking (and rather taciturn) sadhu in the top photograph did tell me that he had a family, had held a managerial position in the Indian Railway from which he earned a pension (now paid to his wife), but had decided to detach himself from temporal life and was currently studying the Vedas. These are the oldest scriptures of Hinduism. He was the embodiment of a real sadhu who had really espoused the Vairāgya, and was far different from the "sadhus" I encountered on the ghats of Varanasi (below) almost 8 years later.
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In August 2012, Hawaiian announced an upgrade to its economy-class inflight U.S. mainland service. Among the upgrades were a new menu, a complimentary glass of wine on lunch/dinner flights and a free tropical cocktail before landing on breakfast flights. This was in contrast to other airlines cutting back on meal service.[99] According to Hawaiian's CEO Mark Dunkerley:
These two portraits are of elderly actors; the type that the cinematic world calls' "character actors" (these are generally defined as supporting actors who play unusual, interesting, or eccentric characters). I found these actors to be much more visually interesting than the glamorous divas; not because of their rugged and wrinkled physiognomies but because they had presence...and must've been part of these troupes for as long as they could remember. 

On the two recent occasions I was in Shanghai, I was thrilled by the abundance of candid street photography opportunities that presented themselves in its old neighborhoods. The narrow lanes crisscrossing these neighborhoods are called lòngtáng (弄堂) or alternatively, lilong (里弄), where whole communities live and sometimes work. The Shanghai lòngtáng can either refer to the lanes that its houses face onto, or to a group of houses connected by them. 
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That's a terrible route. You should be able to fly to Heathrow and then it's only 12 hours to Cape Town. We don't spend 36 hours in the air. Hawaii to Atlanta is 9 hours and then 18 hours on one flight to Joburg. The best time I've ever had is 34 hours door to door total travel time from Kona to Joburg but it's not fun. I've met people on the Atlanta flight that do it every month. They normally work for some charity or in Oil & Gas. With that many miles they get business or first so that makes it a lot easier but I'm sure it still takes its toll. I enjoyed looking at your work. I need to spend more time on the road.
You can offer photography services to any business in the travel/tourism industry at your destination of choice. Opportunities are plentiful, whether you're selling your services or offering a trade. Going skiing in Colorado? Get in touch with local lodges about trading photography for a free stay. Vacationing in Vienna? Talk to the local tourism board about shooting a few photos for a fee. I recently made a deal like this in Cape Town shooting a month-long campaign with their tourism board, which resulted in a promotional blog post and lead to even more work. Remember that a strong portfolio goes a long way, and as it grows, so will your opportunities.
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