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Smoke.
Incense.
Spices.
Garbage.
Diesel.

The predominant smells of urban India assault my senses full force. It’s exotic. Disruptive. Foreign. Intoxicating.

Northern India (Delhi and Rajistan, in particular) in March is phenomenal. It’s at the tail end of the cool, dry season, as the temperature just starts to rise again but monsoon season is still a couple of months out. The festival of Holi adds immense color, Delhi is lush and green, and airline tickets are less expensive.

I haven’t seen Rick and Kirsty since their wedding in Scotland in 2009. I’m enjoying every minute of their hospitality and generosity, and even the broken elevator and five flights of steep stairs to get to their place which is located inside the fortress of the British embassy in New Delhi. To get into the compound, we pass through armored gates, our vehicle or person scanned and searched for explosives by Nepali Gurkhas (military on loan to India), and we get waved in. I find that many places employ this technique–or at the very least body and bag scanning–everywhere from shopping malls to hotels to local markets.

I have one of the best meals of my life (Bukhara) and stay in one of the best hotels of my life (Vivanta by Taj in Jodhpur) and produce one of the most epic shoots of my career (international bellydancer Bella Jovan).

Here are a few of my favorite moments, in no particular order.

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