It was my father who got me interested in photography. He just gave me one of those Kodak Kroma camera for my first outstation school trip & I really got hooked to it. He gave me one film roll and asked me to be very selective about what pictures I would take and not go about taking pictures of anything and everything.
Although I partially listened to him and went on to use three film rolls on that trip, I didn't do half as bad as he thought I would and that was all the encouragement I would need.
I don't think I have a style yet, as my photography is still evolving. But I do have preferences when it comes to doing a shoot. I love using natural light, I love shooting outdoors & I love photographing men & sooner than later I want to completely dedicate my time to photographing men and shooting menswear designers.
My friend Vona and me just wanted to do a playful, colorful shoot combining textures and textiles which would say India but in a cool way.
The entire team was left stranded after the third look as we had to move from the location we were previously at. So mid-shoot, half the team started walking around to look for a new location to park all our stuff. And it was a hot, sunny day. After a couple of makeshift locations we finally found a friend who lived in that area who allowed us to use his space for changes. It was a nightmarish one hour before we resumed the shoot. Definitely taught the entire team a thing or two about production planning.
I feel Asia brings a certain level of creativity to the global platform in terms of design and technique that the rest of the world strives to match.
Case in point being Rei Kawakubo, Issey Miyake, Manish Arora, Kenzo Takade, Dai Fujiwara, Yohji Yamamoto, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Junya Watanabe, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Guo Pei, Xander Zhou. The list is endless.
Even Asian designers based in the west have a very unique sense of fashion which have made them famous around the world. We're all familiar with Jimmy Choo, Vera Wang, Jason Wu, Alexander Wang, Prabal Gurung, Naeem Khan, Phillip Lim, Nicola Formichetti, Elie Saab etc and their breathtaking work.
Appreciation of fashion and design and those creative minds behind a collection has grown immensely in the past few years in India. We looked towards western fashion for inspiration and wanted clothes from those designers about 2 decades back, but that is barely the case now.
While we take extreme pride in our culture & tradition and that reflects in the garments designed by designers like Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Ritu Kumar, Tarun Tahiliani etc, there's also a new wave of designers who are responding to the consumers constant need, of something new, with bold, fresh & quirky designs. Huemn by Pranav Mishra and Shyma Shetty, NorBlack NorWhite, Masaba Gupta, Kanelle, Anavila, Shift by Nimish Shah, Miuniku, Bodice by Ruchika Sachdeva, DRVV by Dhruv Kapur, 11.11 CellDSGN, Karleo by Karan Berry and Leon Vaz, Sailex, Ka Sha by Karishma Shahani Khan, Lovebirds are a few (or maybe a lot) of my favorite new brands.
I personally feel that the north eastern part of our country is a brilliant place to get inspiration from. There's a whole lot of culture & a whole lot of flora & fauna packed in those seven states and it feels like a little universe of its own.
I moved to Mumbai only a couple of months back and have had the privilege of meeting & working with some talented creatives. I want to continue in this trajectory, although I want to focus on some personal projects as well.
One day, I want to be able to shoot for inspirational brands like Gareth Pugh, Ann Demeulemeister, Commes Des Garçons.
May sound really cliched, but I really believe in the saying of 'Live & Let Live'
Photographer: DEBARATI SANYAL @noircarnival
Stylist: VON ROBERTA @vonaroberta
Associate Stylist: SANDY MANGWANA @sandeepmangwana
Stylists Assistant: NEHA SUSARIA @nehasusarla
Hair & Makeup: TASHI DOLMA @tado55
Model: VIRKEN RAINA @ Inega Models @virkenraina
Location Courtesy: BIRDSONG CAFE, Bandra, Mumbai