Flower Men A photography project by Ken Hermann

In a Kolkata market, proud vendors are posing alongside their delicate and colorful flora.

Flowers are a hugely important part of Indian culture, used in everything from temple rituals to festivals and parties – and Malik Ghat flower market is the largest of its kind in India. Located in Kolkata, next to the Hooghly river, it attracts more than 2,000 sellers each day, who flocked to peddle their blooms amid frantic scenes.

“I became fascinated with the place, and the flower sellers in particular captured my attention. I really liked the way they transport their flowers; sometimes it almost looked like they were wearing big flower dresses. I also liked how these strong, masculine men would handle their flowers with so much care, as if they were little, precious things.

There are a lot of superstitions and religious beliefs surrounding flowers in India. For example, I wasn’t able to photograph some of the flower sellers because their flowers were holy, and they would lose their “power” if photographed.

I shot the portraits on a plain and simple background so the flower sellers would really stand out. I like how each man poses with his flowers in a different way, but all of them with a shared gentleness: the masculine man and his beautiful flower.” —Ken Hermann

– Flower Men is published by Kehrer and available here.

Monthly Photo Contest

color photograph a man on the Yamuna river in india is rowing a boat surrounded by birds
© Saurabh Narang

2021 Street Photography AWARD Deadline: 30 September 2021

"It’s not the streets, it’s where the streets lead you that’s important." - Bruce Davidson

Extended Deadline: One of the most exciting and influential forms of photography, in September we are on the lookout for the best images capturing the pulse of the street.

From candid and unexpected situations to meticulous geometric scenes within the urban sphere, at home or abroad: we want to discover how YOU see the streets!⁠


1st Prize: $1000 · 2nd Prize: $600 · 3rd Prize: $400

Submit Now