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Rhea Gupte

Why photography?

I see photography as a way to share reflective thoughts and the deeper meaning behind fleeting moments. I use it as a medium to create an emotional connect with my thoughts and work. I feel fulfilled in expressing myself through photography and it is one of the mediums I use alongside writing.

What inspires you?

For my creative practise my reflections of the thoughts that float in my head inspire me to create. I try to project those thoughts in a way that is authentic and communicative. The human mind and emotions inspire me — how an individual handles a situation mentally, how they come out of difficult spots in life, how they think to better themselves and their mind. Thought processes and the emotions attached to them inspire me, my own as well as those of others. I watch and listen to a lot of interviews and try to absorb everything from body language to choice of words to how somebody handles themselves. I also read a lot. When I speak to somebody I try my best to be present in the moment and to learn. I am also inspired by other people’s creations be it writing, music, films, more so for the process of what might have gone into creating a masterpiece than the end result or product. Apart from this, consuming fantastical narratives and emotional stories inspires me to day dream and someday create a universe of my own, not through photography necessarily but other mediums too. 

Among your works, which one is your favorite? Why?

I am usually drawn to the latest work I create. Not necessarily because I admire the product the most but because the latest work usually becomes a symbol of my personal and mental growth along with a development in my skill set too. With every shoot, every editing session I see myself getting better at my craft and being more mindful of what went wrong and what could have been improved. What I could get better at next time. Usually after a few years or even months of having created something, I see the growth and development in myself and find my old work rather cringe-worthy. I see that as a sign of both growth and failure. Growth because of how far I have come and failure because I was unable to create something that stands the test of time. I am trying to get to a point where going forward, I see an old work as a classic but I haven’t reached there yet. 

How would you describe your photography style?

I would like to think it is emotive. I like to isolate an emotion and try to portray it in a way I find true to myself. 

How long have you been a photographer?

I am actually rather new to photography and visual art. I’m a self taught photographer and began teaching myself in late 2015. I immediately started taking up freelance photography projects and assignments once I understood the ropes of the craft and still do. However, I began developing my body of work as an artist in 2017. 

What is the most difficult part of being a photographer for you?

I find photography exhilarating and very fulfilling. I approach my work with a lot of planning in advance before a shoot. Usually putting my vision down on paper and making sure everything is in place. The difficulty usually begins when I haven’t seen my vision through and failed to plan out every detail. That is when I find myself feeling unsure and not as creatively there. So I try to put the time, mind space and preparation into a project before the execution and that makes shooting on the day a calm and mindful process. However, on the day of the shoot there are elements that could still go wrong even if you have it planned out to the T and in those times, there is nothing more important than testing your mental strength and growing it to the point where you can stay calm, creative and have an attitude of making most of the situation you are in rather than regretting what couldn’t be; along with taking notes on how to not land up in the same difficulty next time. 

What is the most rewarding part of being a photographer for you?

The most rewarding part to me is the process of creation and the joy I derive from it. It starts with simply being in the mental space where every thought, every conversation, every experience, everything I read is fuelling the creative side in me and furthering me to make. It feels like the possibilities are endless. On any given day I am filled with more ideas than I can execute. I try to put those possibilities into achievable timelines, preparing daily routines for myself and being in the that state of mindful learning or what is also called the state of flow. Being there and experiencing it fully is the most rewarding.

Where can we find you online?

On my website rheagupte.com / On Instagram: @rhea.gupte