Shovona Karmakar : In conversation with a Photographer / Artist

 

A Fine art Graduate from Kala Bhawan, Vishwabharti University, Shantiniketan and with a Foundation in Design from MIT Pune, She has well practiced in the visual media Specifically in Photography along Textile design and Graphic print. She has mixed up her sensibilities quite depicted in her Concepts,Food,Portraits and Cinemagraphs….

Along being a photographer she has worked as a Digital Artist in Wacom India, an internship with Vogue India, Documenter for Tata Tanishq and others…

She believes in an endless ongoing process to evolve and expand her capabilities as an artist and being ..

 

Why are you a photographer?
Photography and trying to make a living out of it, I personally feel is a mere play of my destiny .. which I guess had planned for me.. I was always into sketching and painting since childhood.. and after I gave up the plan to go for Indian Civil Service, I was planning for Animation and though I got through a design college.. I left to pursue for traditional painting. as I wanted to make something more personal.. but gradually I felt for a camera and digital illustration and art.. and finally after all those trials and errors of making life worth.. I found this medium of making Visuals..called photography..

I come from a family where parents give up their dreams to let their children live theirs.. it was a mere surprise for me to find my dad into photography in his 20’s and 30’s with a agfa click 4 film point and shoot camera.. and my mom being a self taught classical singer and dancer.. I guess I got their genes which helps me think creative and make it large every next day..

Do you remember any decisive moment when you felt ‘I want to be a photographer’?
Coming to the plan of being a photographer.. was one of the most interesting evolution I can ever think can happen with me or anybody.. bored of the very outdated techniques taught in my art college.. I brought a digital camera.. and while then I came across the idea of 365 project , I thought to do something but with a personal touch.. I just randomly planned to do a 365 self portrait which I named DESI INSIDE.. PARDESI OUTSIDE.. clicking myself for one complete year .. and shared it over various social media platform and it so happened.. that people started following me and I got the niche to move on with it … Then a life turning factor came.. and I believe self blessed to have it… Ritam Banerjee, an internationally known photographer .. saw my work and gave me an opportunity to come down to Mumbai..and helped me to see the industry in more practical terms..sure his guidance all these years has helped to make various logistics involved become easy to deal with.. He still plays an important role to help me become a better Photographer both Personally and Professionally…

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
I belong to an industrial community where being an Engineer or Doctor is meant important in life.. anything else is a taboo.. my parents wanted me to pursue any of the above as they were aware how to go about it.. but they were at the same time very supportive about what I want to be and where my interest belongs.. Beside my Dad and my mentor… being an art history student ..I came across and studied various national and international artist from various mediums like painting to graphic print to sculpture… understanding the way they lived their creative life, struggles and how they came up with what they came up is important in terms of understanding its own evolution..

Who was the most influential personality on your career in photography?
I somewhere felt free and got the gut to think differently when I came across one of the best photographers internationally ,Erik Almas.. his personal struggle for 20 years to get his big break into this industry still give me the Lift when I feel Blue.. sure his works amazes people.. but his personal struggles is something amazes me above all..

How has photography changed over the course of the last couple of decades? Is execution/art direction more important than it used to be?
To be honest I am just a starter into this industry.. still having those baby steps.. But if u ask me to talk about it.. Photography in India.. has changed since the Camera companies has started marketing it immensely and the reasonable prices have made it reachable to every individual now..Sure Having it digital is the biggest Revolution into this field.. Though the positive aspect I feel.. is the Respect now as a Professional Photographer gets, but still indians has to understand the good work from the bad.. as every one is becoming a photographer its giving a tough fight for the one who deserves.. as in India.. involved Logistic Quantity Dominates over Quality..

What do you think of the current state of Print Advertising photography in India? Is it at par with the work done worldwide?
India is Growing.. the evolution of internet has made the world small.. coming aware of whats happening abroad is not a surprising factor anymore.. Sure Indian Creative industry concerns more over Quantity than Quality, few Indian photographers have proved they are at par with international standards.. Still a lot of awareness about the Quality has to be done in creative Institutes and other.
I don’t feel we lack anything.. If one is given a freedom of expression… taking care what the concept demands.. sure We can give a tough competition to the west.

Where do you get your inspiration?
WWW.GOOGLE.COM

How did you get focussed so much on food photography?
I am a big foodie… as I lost 20 kgs during my well admired project of 365 self portrait, I became quite a health conscious person.. As I live alone and i spent my quality time beside my working table ..is in kitchen.. trying to come out with something healthy and simple, Thanks to my dietician.. 😀 .. so being a photographer .. trying a hand over this topic was not a surprise.. it again helped me to share what I like with people. Initially I remained terrible with it.. but gradually as I studied others work, I started coming up with decent images.. enough to call clients like restaurants and cooking hobbyist to photograph and document their product respectively…

Cinemagraphs are still a new medium. How did you start creating them?
Cinemagraphs, or living photographs is something will force you to see things differently.. Came across these simple GIFS while I was Googling..researched about the technicalities involved.. and gradually I started observing these Frames with mere actions in my day to day life..

My very first cinemagraph was about two carpenters working in their factory…

Initially you don’t get whats happening .. but as you start shaping the image to a living image.. it just becomes an immortal movement…

Though this medium has some restrains.. but above all.. its sometimes somewhere speaks more than a photographs and I like that factor.. the production of a seamless cinema graphs has its own challenge which one can come out with proper planning..

Was there any time when you wanted to quit photography?
Well I have just started.. so this question doesn’t imply on me now.. but for sure.. creating visuals is something I guess I will not get bored off.. not so soon I guess.. as I keep on trying to incorporate other mediums to make it larger than what it remains.. and yes making a living out of it.. requires a lot of patience and input in-terms of hard-work and lots of homework to make clients believe what you are capable off.. which is sometimes frustrating..

Any current work in Indian Advertising that you find exciting? Especially Print?
There are many whom I admire and get inspired a lot from.. Old is gold.. Nirma.. Lijjat papad and latest Vodaphone and Fevicol are some which are anytime amusing.. I admire the Indian Flavour Amul Print Advertisment has carried all the way all these years..

Whats your dream project?
Talking about dreams projects.. I will like to say SURPRISE projects.. :D.. my first 365 self portrait 2010-2011, project which I just started randomly was a Surprise for me… that I did..then last year.. I planned to discover Chattisgarh, India and it surprised me with its beauty.. discovered some amazing landscapes to getting an unexpected entry to open coal mines.. going all the way 150feet deep down the earth and discovering the FIRE OVER WATER factor and then the portrait session of Coal Employees.. coming from various part of INDIA working harmoniously keeping aside all the cultural and religious differences aside.. was quite an learning experience for me
Presently I am doing my second 365 days.. 🙂

looking forward for more surprise projects which will help me discover myself…. 😀

Who would you want to spend a dinner with?
Back home with my family..

Whats on your iPod?
Though I carry a transcend as it fitted my budget over IPOD.. I love to have those pop music and instrumental.. forcing me tap my feet and rock on hard…

Mac or PC?
I started with a PC.. but now I find self addicted to Mac 😀

 

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6 thoughts on “Shovona Karmakar : In conversation with a Photographer / Artist

  1. Robert Walker says:

    Great interview! Excellent art!

  2. Amphu Terangpi says:

    I like the conversation. 🙂 Hope that your dream will be successful !!! Excellent photographs and specially your shadow photograph gave me a feeling of a work of art… very much…touchy….Keep it up my cute friend!!

  3. saumya says:

    I liked your food shots the best.

  4. Durgaprasad Bandi says:

    Great going on…

  5. Sushmita says:

    You are awesome!!!

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