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India photo diary: Ania Milczarczyk

We were lucky enough to have the wonderful energy of Ania Milczarczyk on hair & makeup for our Bengal campaign shoot. Ania, a bundle of fun and dubbed the ‘queen of highlights’ shares her India travel diary with us…


It was no secret how much I wanted to go to India. When Tigerlily got in contact with my manager about the possibility of us shooting the Bengal campaign in Jaipur, no one at my agency had told me until it was all 100% confirmed in case it didn't go ahead and I died of a broken heart. On the first leg of the flights, somewhere inbetween Sydney and Singapore, my phone had somehow been liquid damaged and the screen went completely dead. I just want to point this out because all the photos attached to this post were taken blind on a black iPhone screen. Once we arrived in New Delhi our flights to Jaipur were cancelled for what I remember to feel like 5 hours. Which to me is part of India's charm, you shouldn't expect anything to go a certain way as she makes her own rules.

At the gate when the cancellation was announced we realised 90% of the team happen to be on the same flight and we waited together - our model Jessica, our stylist Bridie, the photographer Emily and myself on hair and makeup. Brydie was on what I think was her 40th hour of straight travelling and at this stage was also utterly unaware her suitcase had been left somewhere in Russia and she would spend the entirety of the shoot with no belongings.

Once we reach our destination we meet the rest of the Tigerlily girls and share the most amazing candle-lit dinner on a rooftop getting to know each other and chatting away into the night. This sets the vibe for the rest of the shoot as each hard days work was rewarded with group dinners fit for a king (the thali was seriously worth flying back for) and night swims.

We shot and stayed in Samode Palace, one of the most magical places I've ever seen and won't bother trying to explain because words will never do this 475-year-old wonder any justice. Basically, Disneys Indian Princess would have lived here.

The palace was situated on the top of a hill in a small village where we also shot some images. Samode Village was made up of small laneways lined with animals of all kinds and speckled with brightly painted houses full of curious kids who I swear, could all grow up and work as spies! They always seemed to know where we were about to pop up and would be there waiting for us with huge smiles on their faces. With help from the locals we were lucky enough to shoot in some of the most incredible and ancient hidden locations.

Nothing about the Bengal Campaign was 'your average shoot' for instance, I can't say I've cried of happiness at any other job before - like I did when hugging an Indian elephant beautifully painted for a festival. This for so many reasons was one of the most special, unforgettable and colourful trips of my life. India is unlike anywhere I have ever been, you think you know what to expect but nothing can ever prepare you. I talk about this shoot every chance I get. I'm immensely grateful to the ladies at Tigerlily for the memories and am extremely excited to share some of my photos for you here.

x Ania