We recently caught up with Tanuja Sethi – a very versatile photographer from Bhubaneswar.
Her Facebook page has a quote which says “I feel Photography comes naturally to me, as I realized that even when I dont carry a camera I keep framing whatever I see. I mentally crop images, see colors, edit and enjoy it that way.”
Read on to find out what she had to say to our Pheel Photographer.
How and when did your journey with your camera begin? What are you currently doing?
My journey started with my reel (analogue) camera. I used to click photos with the analogue camera during family outings. The most readily available subjects at that time were sceneries, monuments (during family outings) and people.
When I became more fascinated with the camera, around 2008 I borrowed my sister’s Sony digital camera (it was a very hi-fi thing then). I experimented a lot, taking many photos of home and surroundings. I also traveled to many places in rural Odisha and photographed for her (she was working on a documentary then). More exposure to places, experiences and the zeal to capture moments kept growing and then I never looked back from it. Later I somehow convinced my family to get me a Canon SX10IS. It helped me learn and grow more.
My work has been exhibited twice. Of them one was a solo exhibition and the other was a group exhibition. I have also worked in various documentary projects for textile industry which went for publications, among which one was for Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
I am glad to be supported by my sisters, parents, photography guru and best buddy Udayan and many other close friends.
I am currently working for a software firm as content writer for earning but of course my dreams lie elsewhere.
You are a very versatile photographer, but there are always certain genre’s which fascinate us more than others do. What are your favorite subjects to photograph?
I am still experimenting on a lot of subjects. Clicking people when they are in their usual environment has always fascinated me. What I mean is clicking them without disturbing them or making them notice me. I group them into street photography, documentaries and travel. Besides this I also love butterflies and birds as subjects of my photography, for record purpose, knowledge and simply love of them.
Photographing people from animals or birds is in fact very different. Both have their own charm and different levels of patience, timing, reach, and probability. As per my experience, even after spotting birds or butterflies, capturing them beautifully depends upon sheer luck and anticipation. Of course one needs an eye to photograph these genres still I have found butterflies challenging to me.
Fashion Photography and Advertisements, with proper models, props, crew and settings.
How was the photography scene in Bhubaneswar when you started? Is it any better now? What according to you should be done to improve it?
When I started I knew some fellow folks who were into photojournalism in usual. I hadn’t seen anything creative out of it or maybe I had a limited circle so I knew less. Through social networking sites, I met few people who had the same interest and sharing that helped me expand more. I somehow feel at that time we were still skeptical about taking photography beyond a hobby.
Now! Now everybody is a photographer and obviously the scenario is much better. I see DSLRS with school kids. I see everyone affording it and parents have become quite liberal about it. I see more of young people in events and occasions which I hadn’t seen earlier. I have many friends who are earning decently by pursuing it as a profession.
Bhubaneswar has grown so much, but Photography needs a bigger market in terms of exposure, money and fame which I guess isn’t far.
Any tips to the young photographers reading this?
Yeah, get out of Facebook and hit the streets. It is important that one goes beyond creating FB pages, likes and comments. Be in the real world more, get into your feel and keep clicking for practice.
Photos Courtesy : Tanuja Sethi
You can find more of her work here Tanuja Sethi photography