I would say, get confident with your craft first. Everyone has its own unique style, explore it. Collaborate with photographers of varying styles to have a diverse portfolio. Also at the same time don't shoot something which you aren't comfortable with.
RK : First of all, thank you for accepting our invitation for an interview as our Guest Photographer. Let's jump into the past. What first attracted you to photography? At what point did you realize that photography is what you wanted to do as a career?
Sudhanshu : Smartphones. It's amazing that you can capture any moment any time now. I too started taking random shots with my smartphone around 6 years back and also joined in photowalks in Delhi (where I was living at that time). Once I moved to Bangalore, I started shooting quite often as there were many opportunities to shoot at events and clubs. But after shooting fashion, I realized this genre is what I like doing most and is definitely worth pursuing something you love as a career.
RK : What photographers from the past or present have influenced you the most?
Sudhanshu : Some photographers who influence me and do the kind of work which I aspire to do are Marie Bärsch, Taras Taraporvala, Madhu, Tarun Khiwal.
RK : Your projects are a collaborative process. Tell us what is like to always be working with new stylists, models, and designers.
Sudhanshu : It's a great collaborative and learning process working with different talents and minds. Every shoot gets more interesting and unique with inputs from each of the creative team. Everyone gets better at their crafts.
RK : You’ve clearly worked with a wide range of models, what tips can you recommend to people looking to expand their portfolio?
Sudhanshu : I would say, get confident with your craft first. Everyone has its own unique style, explore it. Collaborate with photographers of varying styles to have a diverse portfolio. Also at the same time don't shoot something which you aren't comfortable with.
RK : Tell us what you do to elicit the moods from your subjects that are communicated in your photographs?
Sudhanshu : There's nothing technical about it. It's just what I feel how the mood of the photos should be and convey that to the model. From there it's all work of models which elevate my work.
RK : What type of camera, lenses and lighting equipment do you use?
Sudhanshu : I use been using Canon 5D Mark IV, 50mm 1.8 prime, 24-70mm lens with yongnuo 560 III speedlite since 3 years now. For my studio shoots I have an octabox and a reflector. It's not much but I am happy with having less :)
RK : To you, what are the qualities that make a perfect shot?
Sudhanshu : For me, the first thing I notice in a photograph is the composition and then the lighting. Then depending on what type of shot it is whether editorial, beauty or fashion I see for the mood, sharpness, color tones etc.
RK : From conceptualizing to post processes, how much planning goes into a shoot?
Sudhanshu : This differs largely on the types of shoots. Some days I do an impromptu just to get out of a creative block. This mostly pans out like a model has a nice outfit or I found a nice location, we just go shoot and improvise on the spot.
For client shoots, portfolio, editorial etc there is a detailed planning from location, styling, mood, time of day to shoot etc.
RK : How important are colors to portray the real sense of an image?
Sudhanshu : Colors are very important to portray the sense and mood of the image overall. BnW photo allows you to focus/highlight the subject better. And elements of color theory attracts the eyes when used effectively. Same photographer can be colored differently and each one will set a different mood. For commercial fashion shoot, we should get the exact colors to depict the dresses as real as possible. Editorial shoots have some liberty to play with color grading to set a story mood of its own.
RK : How would you describe your photographic vision? What kind of feel do you try and create in your photos?
Sudhanshu : This is quite hard to explain in words. Over the years my style has changed in terms of compositions, how I take the photos, what post processing I do. I still like to create dramatic photos and that's why I generally shoot outdoors to get the surroundings in my frame. I am also very peculiar about expressions in the photo. I spend most of my time in shortlisting photos to get the right expression I wanted from the shoot.
RK : What kind of impact do you hope to make in the fashion world in the next 10-15 years?
Sudhanshu : That's a hard one. In today's time where people are shooting editorial on smartphone, I don't know how much technology will have advanced in 10 years and how relevant the current style of fashion will be. I just plan on continuing to create better work and if somehow my craft inspires others, it's a plus :)
RK : Could you please share Happiest Moment in your Photographic Life?
Sudhanshu : I shot my pre wedding in 4 countries. It is very special and feels personal to me. I don't think I would have had the same feeling if someone else had shot it. Especially the pictures from Iceland with the love of my life were among the many happiest moments with her.
RK : We (Retro Kolkata) are trying to build one single stage for all the artists, because we believe that artists are the most beautiful creation of God and geographical boundary can never break their unity and harmony. Please say something about our initiative and any special message for your followers.
Sudhanshu : It's a great initiative to bring together artists. Art is what connects and know no boundaries.
Some of my followers have been with me since the start of my photography journey. Some photographers message me of their shoot pictures which they got inspired from some of my work encouragement goes a long way in shaping one's success and I am grateful for them.