Mumbai Fishing Villages
PRIVATE – $300 payable in advance. Please be advised that trip cancellation insurance is recommended as this is a non-refundable workshop. A signed copy of my terms and conditions form is required at the time of payment.
GROUPS - $240 per person, payable in advance. Please be advised that trip cancellation insurance is recommended as this is a non-refundable workshop. A signed copy of my terms and conditions form is required at the time of payment.
You choose the date.
1) DSLR/mirrorless or point-and-shoot camera (cell phones okay but not advisable)
2) Comfortable walking shoes
-Three Locations: Worli Fishing Village; Chimbai Village; and Danda Village. The workshop begins at sunrise and ends before 12:00pm.
-Transportation between locations (you provide your transportation to and from workshop). Starting point: Sea Corner
My Mumbai-Koliwada Street Photography Workshop includes three locales in the itinerary. Worli Fishing Village., Chimbai Village., and Danda Village. I offer private visits and groups from between 2-7 people. You choose the date - subject to availability. I'll be running these workshops for the duration of 20I9. Please contact me with your questions and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. This particular workshop’s itinerary is set. You can also contact me for a custom photography workshop tailored to your needs if you have other locales you'd like to explore with your camera.
Koliwada is a term for a colony of Koli fishermen native to India. The Kolis were some of the original
inhabitants of Mumbai, their shared history easily predating colonization and conversion to Catholicism by the
Portuguese in the 16 Century.
My Mumbai-Koliwada Street Photography Workshop covers three distinct Koli villages, all located relatively
close by for easy exploration. I consider them among some of the warmest people I’ve met in Mumbai, and
many of them do speak a little English or are even fully fluent. This makes it a unique experience for foreigners
like myself who don't speak the local languages but still like to talk and make connections with people
whenever possible. This open communication with your subjects, as you may know, makes all the difference
when photographing strangers.
Below is the itinerary. I’ve also included notes at the end to better inform you if this workshop is a right fit for you.
Worli Fishing Village - 7:00am
The work Fishing village can easily be overlooked by tourists because the guidebook may only reference Worli Fort. What may be omitted from the pages is the village itself and the small fishing port at the end of the peninsula, where the majestic Bandra-Worli Sea Link bridge can be seen quite well in the morning sunshine. For me, the Fort is just one attraction, and the lesser of the three photographic areas, namely the lanes of the village and the actual fishing dock area.
What to expect
Ideally, we meet at 6:45 a.m. to make the trek through the village to Work Fort. The light will be too dim and too few people about to take shots, and this isn't the point of meeting so early. What's to see is the fort itself and the often spectacular sunrise that usually cuts through the fog and pollution and casts golden beams across the bay into the village. For me, it's a race against time. We get to the fort set up tripods, and ready ourselves to follow the sun as it rises from behind the distant buildings and illuminates the city.
I only recently embraced this strategy and now make use of a mini tripod (like the Gorillapod) and set it up on the fort walls to ensure steady shooting. They're easy to transport as well and mine fits securely in my small shoulder bag. After capturing sunrise shots at Work Fort, we'll explore the main village path down to the informal fishing port and dock. Here, we may see fishermen readying their boats to depart or coming back in from an early morning outing. We can still make use of our tripods (although optional) to capture the many different scenes of the bridge and village. There will be a few residents up and about by now and we can even set tripods up on the paths to capture people going about their daily routines.
Once we're through photographing the fishing locale, we'll backtrack through the village itself and get lost in its many meandering, colorful lanes. It will be bright enough now to shoot without a tripod and we'll be able to capture portraits of residents and their homes and other buildings. If you're familiar with Mumbai, you'll probably marvel that old and laid-back Work Village is part of the modem hustle and bustle that is Mumbai!
Chimbai Village - Approx. 9:00am
Chimbai Village is a smaller version of Worli Fishing Village, although just as interesting and as distinct as the other Koliwada regions spread across Mumbai and India. We’ll begin walking at St. Andrew's Church and cover the short distance to the village.
What to expect
There are two sections of Chimbai worth noting. The one section is the beach and Chimbai Bay, where local "East Indian" fishermen still make a living. Some of these residents do speak English and will appreciate a good conversation. I’ve made friends with a couple of them and I frequently stop by to check up on them. During monsoon season it's a particularly interesting place to visit and a trying time too for the locals, who
must plan well in advance for the surging sea with every high tide.
The area used to be a trash-laden cesspool. Garbage and debris used to be commonly knee-deep for much of the beach and walking it was a true test of courage and common sense! But recently efforts have been made to clear the beach so passing through the area to take pictures of the fishing boats and homes is a lot easier to do. But improvements may be considered very relative to many foreign tourists. It's still far from a clean area because of the problem with so much debris already choking the Arabian Sea around Mumbai. But it's still worth a visit if the tide isn't preventing access. Life is quite different on this side of the village.
The other side of Chimbai really comprises of two roads crossing through the village. Here you will find many of the same business stalls and residents going about their morning routines as you witnessed in Worli. There are also a couple smaller lanes dissecting private residences, which is also worth a visit. Expect to spend 45 minutes to an hour in Chimbai. Time will vary based on what you're photographic interests may be.
Danda Village - Approx. 10:30am
Danda Village is our final stop. You'll find it's closer in size to Worli Village, with many more meandering and colorful lanes to explore. By the time we reach village life should be in full swing. The markets will already be set up with crowds surging both in (customers and clients) and out of the place (mainly school children and commuters).
What to expect
Danda is unique in that it offers the photographic opportunities of village life coupled with a more grand look at the fishing industry, which is very much accessible by two major docks and a host of fishermen who seem to always frequent the place. There's also an access bridge that connects Khar West to south Juhu Beach.
By the time we reach in the late morning the light will be bright enough in the lanes to capture portraits with relative ease. Expect to make conversation with many of the residents here, who are usually curious about what foreigners and locals alike are doing photographing their village.
If the first two villages were only any indication of things to come, you will continue your photographic exploration being able to explore the same themes, whether those be more people-orientated or architecturally and culturally inspired. If there's time and you're up for a walk across a mile or so of beach, we could opt for a walk through Juhu to Juhu Chowpatty, although the light will be by now too harsh to capture anything but contrast black-and-white shots. At the very least, I will show you my favorite boat in all of Mumbai at the end of the village, where new construction threatens its existence since foundations have currently been dug right up to it. Either way, we'll end at Chimbai Village with a rickshaw out or via Juhu, depending on your preference.
"I did a workshop with Craig in December 2017. He is an excellent photographer and guide and was really helpful in showing me around the city of Mumbai. His local knowledge is second to none and he knows some excellent locations to help capture some really great images of the real Mumbai." – Paul Reynolds
“I had a workshop with Craig on Wednesday Morning. It was an enjoyable session and took in the sunset at the Worli Fort, it’s an interesting part of Mumbai with a view one the old and the new. The people are especially approachable and welcoming. We visited the Bandra and Juhu fishing villages where life has continued for years in spite of the changes that continue with Bandra.
Craig’s local knowledge is a key asset with the workshop and he is able to retrace his own footsteps though many of the Mumbai streets and fishing villages. Craig’s easygoing style not only ensure a good workshop, but also a good interaction with the people of Mumbai. If you’re interested in Street Photography and want to get some unique snaps from Mumbai out site the tourist areas then Craig’s workshops are essential part of your itinerary.” – David Kolb
“I happened to be staying in Mumbai on business and had a few days free. I'm a street photographer by hobby and thought it would be good to meet a local photographer and get a view of India from the inside. Craig was such a great guide, showing me parts of the city that a tour group would never have taken me to. Being just one on one was a definite advantage, I could follow my eye and move where I saw great images, Craig was committed to getting me the shots I wanted. As a collaborator as well, Craig was fantastic, always willing to give input or camera technique advice. Having someone like Craig with you while shooting will only make your images better, whether you are a beginner or advanced shooter. I highly recommend seeing the city of Mumbai and shooting on the streets with Craig!” – Rob Krauss
“Thank you, Craig for a very interesting and informative workshop. I appreciated your input on how you approach street and travel photography and suggestions/guidance on how I may be able to apply these to improve my photography. Your local Mumbai knowledge of some of the out of the way spots also resulted in some great material. Again, thanks and I will keep in touch.” – Phil Duval
When I first started exploring Mumbai seriously I too was looking for photography workshops, and more specifically street photography workshops. I knew the city well enough to get the shots I wanted for my personal projects but there were still a few spots where I wouldn't mind the help of a photography guide to steer me in the right direction. But what I found, much to my irritation, was that one or two of the slim pickings of photo tour companies out there were not publishing their itineraries. One of them even mentioned that they didn't publish their itineraries to prevent other companies from stealing them. I thought to myself, if this is the kind of dodgy shit I can expect right off the bat then they're
not getting my business. I shouldn't have to contact anyone (and wait for their slow or no replies) for the basic outline of a photo tow!
My point is, you have my full itinerary - and you are free to run it through its paces
I realize there are a lot of Mumbaikars (and foreigners too) out there who wouldn't be able to afford my workshops. I get that. And if you've run across my website for the first time I don't want our conversation to end if you don't want to pay for it. I'm making my itinerary
available for free. And I want to hear back from you after you take it - and I want to see the spectacular pictures you got out of it!
But if you want to make use of my expertise in Mumbai as a full time photographer, I'm offering my workshops to those who want to maximize their time and for those who may need help with camera settings or street photography techniques and challenges. If you love candid photography, I'll help you get the shots. If you're into street portraiture, I know where the interesting people are: I even know a few of them. I mainly cater to working professionals, passionate retirees, the adventurous, and those of you who are inspiring and accomplished street photographers who are looking for a unique photographic experience. I can honestly say that you won't find anyone else out there running this kind of street photography workshop. Likewise, you won't find anyone else offering to give it away.