ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Photographing a Gypsy's Story

Updated on June 24, 2013

A project involving one of the most misunderstood groups of people or gypsies is challenging in its own right. Even if you happen to live in a region where they normally move about they tend to be quite private in all of their endeavors and will rarely allow an outsider to enter much less photograph them.

However, with kindness and respect as well as perhaps some form of payment this can usually be arranged.

One must approach them first and ask to be allowed to record their images, not doing so will more than likely be taken as a sign of disrespect. And not all gypsies are the same. Their customs and relationships vary from country to country.

"The Romani are an ethnic group living mostly in Europe, who trace their origins to the Indian Subcontinent. Romani are widely known in the English-speaking world by the exonym Gypsies(or Gipsies).

They are known collectively in the Romani language as Romane or Rromane (depending on the dialect concerned) and also as Romany, Romanies, Romanis, Roma or Roms.

Romani are widely dispersed, with their largest concentrated populations in Europe, especially the Roma of Central and Eastern Europe and Anatolia, followed by the Kale of Iberia and Southern France." Wikipedia

We are not referring to photographing them while they are in public places perhaps conducting a performance. We are talking about recording images on their own turf; where they live, how the interact with each other, how they dress and generally the theme focuses on photographing people while they are themselves instead of performers.

Barring the opportunity of locating real gypsies, then you can re-create their habits and clothing styles with costumes and props but this is almost never the same. Do this as a last resort since nothing is better than an original.

You will notice that most have a flair of personality which is very unique as well as a carefree spirit which is envied by many. These two qualities are what makes photographing them such a pleasure. Finding them and gaining their trust is the challenge.

You will probably have to take a trip to Europe and actively seek them in order to properly conduct the project and record true images.

Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0 | Source
Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0
Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source

Regardless of how you approach the shoot or how you photograph them you should attempt to show a different view of their lives.

Everyone is familiar with or have an image of how gypsies dress and everyone is aware that they mostly make a living by doing street performances in exchange for donations.

But what everyone may not be aware is that they are very religious and strong in their fervor and that they also have very strong family bonds, most treat possessions as belonging to the community, are free spirits and always find a way to make a celebration out of anything.

These are the most important factors that you should try to capture with your images. Not doing so renders your images as just part of the bunch; more of the same.

Another important factor is to try to showcase various denominations.

They may go by the different names; Gypsies (North America), Gitanos (Spain), Gitan (France) or Romani (Eastern Europe, parts of Asia and the official United Nation's name or clasification), live their lives in similar ways but each clan is distinctive and nationalistic in their ways, their beliefs and their traditions.

Representing them in their true fashion is part of what will make your images different from the usual and will help in making your images sell that much easier.

With that point made, aim to submit your photos to specialized photographic publications much like National Geographic.

Other possible venues to which to contact with your photographic gypsy project are fine art galleries, book publishers and any commercial entity which has as a goal to showcase the differences in cultures that make our planet home.

Off course always a good bet is to submit your photographs to most of the major photographic stock houses.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Richard-Murray 6 years ago

      Wow! I was just commenting about the Romani on another post. The EU did a study of the Romani two months ago, did you know?

      They are a very mistreated people in Europe and in my view had and have a far worse situation than Europeans of the Jewish faith in Europe. But, they have never had a class of fiscal aristocrats to help them through dark times.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Beachlife: Thank you

    • profile image

      Beachlife 6 years ago

      Great photos,interesting article

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Suelynn: Thank you very much

    • Suelynn profile image

      Suelynn 6 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Fascinating hub, Luis! Gorgeous photos... voted up, interesting, beautiful and useful.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)