Swetashree Purohit is a PhD Student at School of Biodiversity and Conservation of Natural Resources, Central University of Orissa, Koraput. Photography remains her prime passion. In conversation with Rhiti Chatterjee Bose. Excerpts.
First of all tell us something about yourself, where are you from, about your family, your childhood, if you have any other profession.
I am based in Bhubaneswar and a native of Subarnapur District in Odisha. I have grown up in Bhubaneswar and have lived most of my life here except for a brief sojourn to Koraput for my doctoral studies. I am working as a part time teacher now and want to pursue academics and research in Ornithology.
How did you start photography? What pulled you to it?
I would credit my father for pulling me into photography, as kids me and my brother were always fascinated by the numerous number of photographs in our house, back then when photos were only taken at studios and hardly people had their personal camera, the sessions of photo processing in a dark room, the SLR camera with various lenses and flashes, numerous photography magazines were all that drew me towards photography as an art. I began serious photography only after the advent of the digital era, even though I was able to make some good photographs in the pre-digital era with guidance from my father but it was too limited as we had limit of clicking, processing and printing. Still a state level recognition when I was in 7th class was a big boost.
How did you teach/train yourself?
My father and subsequently my elder brother have been my best critiques, I try to implement the tips and tricks that I have got or read whenever I have the camera on my hand and try to analyze the photographs whenever I can.
What influence has photography had in your life?
Photography has been a therapy at times and necessity at times. I have been using photography as a documentation tool for my work as well. Creating a soothing photograph has healing effects and at the same time they are also frozen memories that transfer me to the moment the photograph was made.
How do you see yourself as an artist/Photographer in the future, what are your plans?
Well I have not thought of entering into photography as a profession and would love to live with it as a passion. But documenting nature and wildlife will be my key focus.
Tell us something about the style of your photographs, the genre and why did you choose to pick this style?
I mostly do nature photography, love to experiment with monochromes and colour. By giving the reason of picking this style I might sound selfish but my work helps me more to document and photograph nature, rest given an opportunity I would love to try other genres as well.
Any advice for future aspiring photographers?
In the present era photography is a very common habit and every one now has a camera in their hand starting from the small mobile cams to professional ones but everyone is not a photographer. A photographer’s photograph should be an art drawn with light to tell a story to the onlooker.