In our popular series 'In the Spotlight', we bring you another inspiring interview with Sammya Brata, who is an Street photographer who loves Cloudscapes from Kolkata but explored different parts of the world.
1. About you: Tell us about the place, where you were born; your education, and profession.
I was born and brought up in the city of unprecedented joy, Calcutta; the city that I refer to as the “Soul City”. I studied Engineering at Jadavpur University and currently working with one of the Big 4’s of consulting.
2. Your photography experience: Tell us since when you've been taking pictures. When did you start taking photography seriously?
- My passion for photography is a recent development, I developed this knack since Arunachal days back in 2011-2012. I was posted at Itanagar for around 6 months and had to travel into the interiors regularly for work when I started to grow a strong inclination towards photography. The road-trip from Bomdila to Tawang completely changed my perspective; I was absolutely blown away by the richness in Natural beauty and started to lead “a life through the view-finder”. I had a mere Canon A2200 point and shoot camera back then- that didn’t stop me from making some memorable photographs.
3. What are your key areas of photography-travel/street/
landscape/wildlife/wedding/ portraits/commercial? What makes you click?
- I am primarily a street-photographer but I love clicking dramatic cloudscapes as well. I look around for stories on the Streets of Calcutta and I intend to capture those ‘decisive’ moments through my lens. I have always believed that photographs speak much louder than words; I intend to create such impactful images when I step out on to the streets. The urge to extract meaningful stories out of the mundane visuals has been the driving force.
4. What have been your biggest achievements so far? What camera/lenses do you use and why?
- I won’t talk about the accolades that I’ve received by participating in various competitions; as far as I’m concerned, setting up the first and the largest Instagram community of Calcutta (Calcutta Instagrammers) has been my biggest achievement so far. We have a member-count of over 50,000 as a part of the community. We have successfully hosted a number of popular events and knowledge sharing sessions in the city apart from the fact that we are now the largest repository of Bengal images on Instagram.
- I have recently upgraded to Nikon D750 just a week back; I still love my Canon EOS 550D and the set of wide angle lenses that came alongside. I’m a huge mobile photography freak too.
5. What is so special about your city/country and its life/culture? Has photography changed your outlook/vision about your surroundings?
- Of course. Your surroundings, the environment, the lifestyle of your city has a huge impact on your style of photography. I’m fortunate enough to be a resident of Calcutta, the city has absolutely amazing visuals- it presents a rich concatenation between the old and the new.
- Photography does change your perspective a lot; you tend to see things differently. And I have been no exception.
6. What are your sources of inspirations? Do you have some favorite photographers? How do you keep yourself motivated? How do you approach people for their pictures?
- I do not follow any specific photographer, but I check out a lot of photographs on the internet every day. Instagram has been a great platform in this regard since it is not restricted by geographic boundaries. One should definitely view a lot of pictures to grow as a photographer; however you should be cautious about the fact that you do not end up copying someone else’s style of work.
7. What piece of advice do you wish to give to aspiring/budding photographers, fans, and readers of the post?