Here's an article in Digital Photo Pro magazine by the legendary and distinguished travel photographer Bob Krist who writes of his recent experiences photographing in Kerala. Bob tells us he had never been to Kerala, and decided to go to this wonderful part of India on a self-assignment. He describes how he planned his trip carefully, and chose to deal with an Indian travel agent rather than paying the extra commissions on dealing with a U.S.-based middleman. Also included in the article is a list of Bob's gear, and various tips as how he managed to photograph the Puram festival in Trissur.
For further photographs of Kerala (and elsewhere) by a master photographer, visit Bob Krist's website.
The article is timely as I've just concluded the planning for my photo-expedition to photograph the Theyyam dancers of Malabar this coming February, and I certainly echo Bob's decision to use a local agent to eliminate extra commissions. I've hired local travel operators on all my photo expeditions, for all self-assignments and solo travels...and by doing so, saved a bundle for myself and for the participants on my photo trips.