Thursday, September 28, 2023

The Self-Taught Photographer Who Weaves Story Through His Camera

Want to access

To unlock this content, please input your email address in the bar below.
You'll instantaneously get access to this content after subscription.

The Self-Taught Photographer Who Weaves Story Through His Camera

Meet Shaswat who creates magic with his camera. He uses his camera as a tool of exploration and a passport to the inner sanctum. He expresses his views through his images as photography can convey an idea in a very creative and artistic manner. Shaswat got his inspiration from his father who was also a photography lover.

His father was very passionate about photography. He would take Shaswat with him in all his excursions for photography. He had won 3 international awards and he was also the first person from Odisha to be a fellow member at Royal Photographic Society, London. So all these things growing up influenced Shaswat a lot.

Once in 8th grade when no one was home, I took my father’s camera and went to the terrace to click pictures. Although I knew nothing about how it works. I started clicking random pictures and then the camera made some noises. I got scared and then kept back the camera to where it was. Later I learned, that noise was because of the ending of the film in the camera.

My father after 3 months gave me those 3 pictures and said that out of those 3 pictures one was good but the other two were crap. After that, my father asked me to figure out why those pictures were crap by reading all those thick books we had for photography. And I could not understand anything then but later in my 11th standard, I did.

Although Shaswat was influenced by his father he never held his hand and taught him about everything. He learned everything by himself as that is what his father wanted for Shaswat, to be self-taught. As that method of self-learning will give immense experience via the trial and error method. You get a chance to explore your talent.

He handles his family business besides photography. But he suggested that one can get financial independence from photography without any outside source. There is a lot of scope in photography currently and whoever wants to pursue can definitely take it as a career option. Besides photography and handling business he also teaches photography. He has around 50 students where he has segregated it batch-wise. Each batch consists of 5 students as he belive that this way he can pay individual attention to each student.

He is a voracious reader besides being a photographer. Shaswat loves spending his free time with books and is interested in mythology and gardening. He is mostly into philosophy, psychology, and astrophysics.

He always gives his 100 percent but he does not run behind perfection. Because he believes that once something is perfect then there will be no room for improvement. As human beings, it is difficult for us to reach perfection but we should always keep trying.

I have certain ideas in mind which I want to execute in the future. As I am into mythology so I want to do a shoot that will be a photographic story, dealing with the epic Mahabharata. Recently, I am also planning to do something related to greek mythology. I will be basically taking excerpts from Odyssey like the Titanomachy and make a photo story out of it.

Shaswat uses photoshops normally for post-processing. Besides that, he also uses a graphic tablet. He has been professionally doing photography for more than 13 years, so he is a pretty experienced hand in his field. His philosophy is to always go with the flow. He does not pressurize himself with future plans. He works with two universities, Sambalpur University, and  VSSUT University. Shaswat got an opportunity to work with them in their photography clubs.

For magazines, he does Boudoir photoshoots. It is basically a photography style featuring intimate, sensual, or erotic images of the models in a studio setting, bedroom, or private setting. It is basically intended for the private enjoyment of the subject. But whenever he posts boudoir photoshoots on his Instagram page he gets a lot of bad comments, people just spew hate without understanding anything. But he has also received some constructive criticism but it was not from Indian people.

There was very little access to things when he started his career. During shoot films, he needed a macro lens but as it was very costly then. He tried to figure out ways where he can convert a normal lens into a macro lens by using cardboard and different items. The amount of preparation he put for a single shoot was very difficult back then. He used to portray all his photographs in Orkut back then.

Everyone used to love my work. But, there was this one person with whom I connected through Orkut, her name was Lisa. She always criticized my work. I used to feel bad that time but later those criticism helped me a lot. In 2008, she helped to make my first international exhibition. She showcased a series of pictures that I had done of rosebuds in the New York gallery of art. There were a couple of people who also contacted me after seeing those pictures. From one of them, I got my first opportunity to do a boudoir shoot.

With time he has inculcated a convincing skill in him. He can now easily convince people to shoot and make them understand the importance of it as well. He mainly shoots for two magazines they are Boudoir Inspiration and the other one is Xolo.

According to him the best part of being a photographer is manifesting the thought process that you have for a particular shoot as it is. There is a peaceful satisfaction that comes with it when you manifest your thought into reality. It brings him a lot of joy and satisfaction.

I always teach my students that whatever you want to bring into picture it should always convey a story. Every photo should have a story behind it. That is how my pictures stand out from the average. As they always have a storyline and a thought process to it.

And I belive that there should not be a caption to a photograph because every picture will have different perception to it by different people. So restricting it to a caption or idea is not right according to me. A photograph is needed to be open for interpretation.

He is associated with an NGO in Sambalpur which is called Mass, it basically deals with water problems in both rural and urban areas. He documents all their work as a photographer. Shaswat strongly believes in the idea of water conservation and rightful uses of water as we are not very far away to reach a water crisis. He is also associated with Bakul Foundation besides that NGO.

Photography has given Shaswat a sense of principle and discipline. Photography gives him a great deal of satisfaction. It brings him a lot of joy and happiness. When it comes to photography he is very punctual and dedicated. Photography for him is a love affair.

Read: You need to be comfortable in your own skin and always enjoy your work

Share :


Related articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here