Ishita Singh enjoys the adventure of wandering where her camera and peripatetic nature take her even as she tries to balance her pursuit of art with more commercial projects.
“What really drew me into portrait photography was the time I experimented with self portraiture in school,” – she says. “Since I didn’t have other subjects around me all the time, I experimented with the camera on myself and ended up discovering the ability to converse and express without words. Being a quiet personality myself, the fact that I could create expressive and emotive portraits of myself and then of others without verbal interaction is what attracted me to this genre. I don’t believe that some people are photogenic and some are not – I think there is a great portrait of every single person on this planet and it is up to the photographer to envision and create it. And that challenge is something that always excites me.”
Ishita talks about balancing the pursuit of art with commercial practice:
“I don’t think I have found the balance yet – at times the basic esthetic of the images may be similar and might reflect my style, but the purpose of creating them and the way they are projected to an audience is always extremely different. I have reached a point where my art works and commercial works are almost having a dialogue on my website, with one contradicting the other at times! The website acts as a work on its own where these categories are separated but locked together. For me, they are moving parallel to each other, at their own specific pace with separate achievements and obstacles. But when it comes to creating new work or starting a new series, I have to detach myself completely from the other practice and dive into the chosen space. This detachment comes with its own set of drawbacks, whether they are monetary or personal, but that is something one has to accept and move forward by focusing on a bigger picture!”
The Light, she believes, is behind any brilliant shot:
“It is all about that light. Whether you mould it yourself, or work around the existing conditions, it is how one plays with the light that makes or breaks a photograph. As frustrating as it may get when I don’t achieve the light condition that I set out to create, it is still one of my favorite technical aspects of this craft. I feel that once one has mastered the art of designing, controlling, molding and cutting light, he/she instantly becomes 100 times more powerful as a photographer.”
Ishita feels that photography while part technical, is largely an artistic craft:
“When it comes to pursuing photography professionally in a commercial space, it is essential to understand the product/space/emotion the client wants you to depict first. Only when you understand the core theme of the subject completely, can you portray it in the right way using the technical knowledge. Photography is almost never about the equipment; it’s more about the essence of the image you create.”
Read this story in POOL 84.