Darshana Banthia, a 23-year-old Kolkata-based visual artist deals mainly in self-portraits and fashion. Her passion led her to join the International Institute of Photography where she polished her skills for a year. Though she has been pursuing photography for almost two years, the switch to work full time as a freelancer was made recently.
She initially tried to figure out what she liked most and kept exploring with her very first DSLR camera. Self-portraits is what made her fall in love which is also therapeutic as it helps her to discover herself, says Darshana.
Banthia describes self-portraiture to be a reflection of emotions and not just pictures. ‘It is an outlet which helps me to document moments of my life and explore different feelings. Through self-portraiture I can communicate things without expressing them through words’, says the photographer.
This form of photography also helps her to understand her inner self along with experimentation with technique and composition!
Every frame in the Photo Series has a different story and each picture reflects a different emotion. The thought process behind every picture might be similar but it also helps her communicate what she’s been feeling.
Darshana uses a Nikon D750 with a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G lens along with a tripod. She used to make use of the self-timer earlier but now she uses a remote or Wireless Mobile Utility (WMU) App which helps her connect to the phone and lets her take pictures remotely via Wi-Fi.
The self-portraiture photographer seems to have come across a few limitations, whilst using the self-timer or remote, she had to run back and forth to set the focus and frame. It was time-consuming but now with the help of WMU, it is much easier to shoot.
Another challenging issue is how people do not understand the difference between a self-portrait and a selfie!
She mentions how selfies are basically flattering pictures to showcase outer or physical beauty whereas self-portraiture is an experimental field where the photographer depicts inner self in front of one’s own lens.
Frida Kahlo and Vivian Maier inspire Darshana Banthia. She says photography inspires her to look at things in different ways and ultimately broaden her horizons.
The constant effort to photograph and express herself drives her to shoot more. The idea works out sometimes and sometimes the failure leads to evolving into something completely different. ‘It all results in valuable experiences that help me to expand my capabilities’, says Darshana Banthia.
Words by Harpreet
Photo Series by ©Darshana Banthia
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