This story is part of the World Photography Day series – Part III
As teenagers, we all aspire to achieve bigger things. However, adulting happens and as we grow up they often fade away to be replaced by jobs and responsibilities. There are only a few who hold on to their passion and transform it into a profession.
Clicking her passion to glory
Ipshita Dey Belgaonkar is one such name whose undying passion for creative aspirations were too stubborn to perish. Despite being an MBA graduate in Marketing and prominent FMCG companies for over five years, she decided to follow what her heart loved – Photography.
She has etched her expertise in diverse style of photography which includes – Fashion & Celebrity, Food and Product.
Talking about her experience of celebrity and fashion shoots, Ipshita says, “Each celebrity that I have worked with have often inspired me with new perspectives and encouraged me to challenge my own limitations. They are artists after all and it is always delightful to be maturing artistically by working with them.”
Dabbling with different forms of Photography
Amusingly she finds the approach towards processes of all three forms of photography to be the same. However, she believes that the styles of lighting and gears vary for fashion, food and product photography.
She further elaborates, “Like there is a team of make-up artists, hair and fashion stylist, creative director among others for fashion photography, it is similar for food or product shoot.”
Women as Professional Photographers
While there are a lot of women taking up photography professionally, the number is still considerably less. Talking about the challenges, Ipshita points out that women in any job is expected to be a multi-tasker and is expected to be resourceful not just professionally but also as a home-maker.
Ipshita further talks about gender discrimination where most consider women not being technically sound or there is disparity in her remuneration, ideas or concepts or opinions are overlooked.
She adds, “A woman is often labeled as a negligent home-maker due to inconsistent work hours, branded as disreputable professional since largely the mindset in our country is that photography is a child’s play. In short, it’s warfare for a woman every day, where she has to deal professionally and personally.”
Ipshita admits to have faced gender discrimination while pitching for projects and quoting fees. However, that has not stopped her, rather fired her up to aim even higher.
Want to become a Professional Fashion Photographer? Here is what it takes
For people who are looking to become a professional fashion photographer, Ipshita says, they need to have a good aesthetic sense and perspective.
She adds that one should be constantly experimenting to develop their individual style and they should also explore various modes and styles of lighting. Breaking the ice with the subject or the model helps them being comfortable and enhances their productivity.
Lastly, Ipshita says that it is essential to be a team player as a fashion photographer. “It is important to have clear communication and be considerate towards the professionals you are working with. This will help in executing the shoot effectively and amicably,” she adds.
Busting myth around Fashion Photography
Shadows are bad – this was always conveyed to Ipshita during her initial days of learning. However with experience up her sleeves, she feels that shadows play a vital role in making an image look captivating, it adds a surreal charm to the story and mood. “One should know how to experiment and play around with it,” she adds.
Professional Camera vs Phone Camera
Ipshita usually shoot with Canon 6D and Canon 5D mark IV and primes like Canon 100 mm, Canon 24 mm, Canon 50 mm, Canon 35 mm and telephoto Canon 70-200.
She thinks that debate around the professional-phone camera is never-ending and she will always pick the former for the kind of profundity and precision she obtains, which is unique and unmatched.
She says, “While the phone is a great platform for encouraging amateur photographers and hobbyists and also transpiring into a new genre of the profession, professional cameras will stay.”
“Both have their own set of pros and cons and are designed to meet the suitability for the purpose they have been designed. It is always the art and the artist that matters and not the medium,” she adds.
Citing clarification, she says, “Comparing them with each other is like trying to choose between a television which is specifically designed for entertainment with a laptop which clearly has more multi-faceted utilities over TV, including entertainment.”
Most Memorable Photograph
Ipshita does not consider any photograph of her to be the best. She believes that every time the new work is a better version of her previous work. She also believes that as an artist, there is a lot to explore, experiment and accomplish.
She however picks up her most special photograph, a shoot done for Bollywood superstars from yesteryear Asha Parekh and Waheeda Rehman.
She considers herself fortunate enough to have received a chance to work with them. Recalling the shoot, she says, “They were extremely warm and gracious and it was a dreamlike experience. Every minute spent with them was really special.”