Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pin It


That's Life. Street photography in India.

That's Life is a collective of street photographers who capture life on the streets of India in fresh and unusual ways that tell interesting and sometimes humorous stories. That's Life was set up not only to showcase the work of these photographers but to promote this real and honest genre of photography.

Street photography is an emerging art form in India. While extremely personal and subjective, it is probably the hardest to do. It is an unadulterated documentation of life … history if you will.

If nothing else, the images in "That's Life"  will prove that there is so much happening around us at all times, so many fleeting but special moments which often pass by unnoticed. Hopefully "That's Life" will open your eyes and your mind to the amazing possibilities unfolding on the streets of India every day.

©Arindam Thokder
Hi Kaushal, tell us few words  about your new street photography collective, "That's life". How this idea came alive?

Hi Andreas. I have been shooting on the streets of India for a few years, but it took a long time for my work to get noticed. Gaining confidence from some prominent international street photographers like David Gibson and Richard Bram, and with a nudge from my friend and fellow street photographer Eric Kim, I decided to try and form a collective. There are a lot of talented street photographers in India who continue to shoot in a bubble and often go unnoticed. As a collective we can wield more power and gain more exposure.

  ©Kaushal Parikh

What is your purpose as collective, I mean what do you think you could achieve better  as collective than as individual photographers.

India is a diverse country and the streets are very unique and different from the West.  In fact the streets within India are very different when you go from the larger cities to the small towns.  As a collective we hope to showcase work from across India in different personal styles and expressions that will add interest to the fascinating scenes that unfold in the streets on a daily basis.  With a group of like-minded people, all passionate about street photography, I am sure we will be able to promote the amazing work created in the streets of this diverse country.

©Prantik Mazumder

You started this group only four and now you are seven. What is your plan for the future?

We currently have 7 very talented photographers, all with a very personal style and mostly from different professional backgrounds.  I think there are only two full time photographers. 
To start with we hope to reach at least 10 members in the next few months.  The search for talent is on but we want to keep membership very selective to maintain a certain standard of what we think is good street photography. 
The future has many possibilities and some of the ideas that I don’t mind talking about presently include participating in international photography festivals like the LSFP, having That’s Life exhibitions, and conducting workshops etc. to increase the awareness of street photography.

©Suyog Gaidhani

Is there any prerequisite  in a style of  a photographer to be member in your group or is it enough to be a good street photographer shooting in India. I mean do you after a specific style,  aesthetics  or in the opposite you ask for  different styles in your group?

I think the most important thing is to be a good street photographer.  As far as style goes there is no fixed aesthetic we are looking for.  In fact the more diverse our members, both geographically and aesthetically, the better.  And what is cool is that if we have two or three members from the same city but with different styles it will give viewers different viewpoints of the same city that can be very interesting.

 ©Prashant Godbole

When most of the people think of India they think of a place with strong juxtapositions and very crowded. Do you want as group to make this image stronger or show something else?

When shooting in India it is very hard to avoid juxtapositions and crowds, but at the same time if someone can show a different side to the streets of this country we will welcome that point of view.  In fact the existing portfolios already showcase a mix of busy images, quiet images, images that emphasize light and shadow, juxtapositions, humour, b&w and colour.  We don’t want to force any particular style.  The only thing we are adamant about is good and meaningful imagery.

 ©Mark Carey

Why a street photographer must come and shoot in India's streets? What makes India different than the rest of the world in your opinion.

If by the rest of the world you mean cities like NY, Paris, London which are the home for street photography, then India is a world apart in so many ways.  The streets are crowded and not very clean.  There is excessive poverty on the streets.  These things make it very challenging to create an aesthetically pleasing image but also offer the possibility of creating work that is fresh.  Having said that photographing on the streets of India is far less stressful because the people are a lot warmer and more open to being photographed.  In all my years shooting on the streets I can barely remember a few instances where I was asked not to make an image.  Of course the key is to maintain a respect for your subjects and not exploit underprivileged people in unbecoming circumstances.  A sincere outlook and a smile on the streets of India go a long way.

 ©Amit Chakravarty

I have seen many pictures from India from dozens photographers. How easy or difficult is to be unique as a photographer in such a scenery as India is.

To be unique in India is probably as difficult as being unique in Cuba, Turkey, the UK or any other extensively photographed country in the world.  That is where you can separate the good photographers from the street snappers.  The good ones can isolate a scene in a crowd and capture it in a way that is reflective of their personal expression.  People see things differently so the challenge lies in translating your view of the world onto film.  If done accurately then it will most likely be unique.

©Arindam Thokder

Is there anything else you'd like to add about your group ?

I would just like to thank you, Andreas, for giving us this platform to talk about our collective.  That’s Life will hopefully become the default site that anyone will visit when they want to view street photography created on the streets of India.
Visit us at www.thatslife.in.

Thank you very much, I wish you all the best and I'm looking forward seeing even more interesting things from India and your collective.

No comments:

Post a Comment