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Introducing Divya Dugar, Emerging Photographer from Rajasthan

Retro Kolkata : First of all Heartiest congratulations for your selection in Retro Kolkata Magazine Green Edition. Please introduce yourself. Tell us about your background.

Divya : I am Divya Dugar based in Jaipur, Rajasthan. I have a Bachelors in Photography from Symbiosis School of Visual Arts and Photography. I specialize in Fashion and Fine Art photography. Working as a freelance photographer, I love to experiment and bring out something new on the table with every project.

To me every little thing which often gets unnoticed in our busy lives motivates me to highlight it through a unique setup to bring forth the question-

‘Do you see what I see?’

Retro Kolkata : How important is photography to you? How did you start photography?

Divya : For me, photography is the way I want to perceive the world and vice versa. It is about pouring my inner representation through the pieces of work I create and making everyone experience my thoughts without narrating them. It is equally important for me to affirm the art I create as the more connected I feel with my photos the more people will be in awe of it.

Initially I started photography as an amateur hobby and was capturing images every now and then just to learn from the results. I still remember how empowered I started to feel by capturing photographs and felt my best self in the overall process. Slowly and gradually I started developing an undying passion and love for it which helped me become better and better each passing day and the process is still on.

Retro Kolkata : What motivates and inspires you as a photographer?

Divya : I get inspired from very simple subjects or situations which are often overlooked or avoided in the hustle of our lives. I believe that the best stories are always present around us and we just have to focus our attention to figure them out and understand their depth. Everything happening in our usual day makes a significant impact over our beliefs and values and once nuanced, can become beautiful concepts to motivate the audience.

Apart from it, I love seeing other artists work in various art fields and connecting with people to understand the different perspectives which help me enhance my knowledge and apply it across my art.

Retro Kolkata : Which genre of photography do you like and What inspires you? Which masters of photography have inspired you in your photographic work?

Divya : After exploring all the different genres of photography for a few years, I selected fashion photography as my forte, as it provides me with an immense sense of satisfaction seeing my work becoming distinctive and getting so much appreciation and love from the audience.

I get inspired from the work of my fellow photographers who are doing some great work in the fashion industry, at the same time I get inspiration from reading about or practicing other photography genres to help me to get an offbeat vision.

There are a lot of wonderful photographers who have significantly motivated and made a deep impact on my photographic journey like Sachin Chandane, Tarun Khiwal, Victoria Krundysheva, Arjun Mark, Tarun Vishwas to name a few. I always look up to their work and it motivates me to continue working harder and reach my potential.

Retro Kolkata : What type of camera, lenses and lighting equipment do you use?

Divya : Usually I work on a Canon crop frame body, 700D with two kit lenses, 18-55mm and 55-250mm and 50mm. According to the needs of my projects, I keep on hiring the required cameras or lenses. Talking about the lighting equipment, I love using natural light for my projects with some fillers due its unmatched feel on my subjects creating some phenomenal results. For artificial lights, I keep on renting out my equipments or use other creative ideas in accordance with the visualization to achieve the final deliverables.

Retro Kolkata : What subjects inspire you and prompt you to look for the shot?

Divya : I always look for subjects which are often not talked about much, so I can portray them from my point of view. Usually, whenever we think about being creative our mind automatically goes towards finding out-of-box complex ideas but I believe the most creative ideas are simple ideas with our own creative outlook - it's very challenging to make simple subjects look different and unique and that is what people love to witness. At last, the shots which I love freezing in time are the ones which cannot be replicated again and will be forever etched in your memories like that.

Retro Kolkata : Your projects are a collaborative process. Tell us what it's like to always work with new stylists, models and designers.

Divya : With every passing project I work on I feel very delighted to meet my beautiful team members who always help me land towards my visualized results. Working with different designers, stylists, models, makeup artists etc. creates an outstanding opportunity for me to improve my work and add on more value to it. Integrating their suggestions and ideas I develop fresh perspectives to advance my project. Lastly, it feels wonderful to create life-long connections and share this part of our lives together.

Retro Kolkata : How important is communication during a shoot when working with a model?

Divya : Communication with a model is very essential before as well as during the course of the shoot. Being a photographer to get your results right you have to explain everything in detail to the model. We also need to discuss ideas during the shoot to enhance their character in the photographs. For example, if a pose is not working, their expressions, where they are looking etc. As a photographer I would act as their mirror. It is also important to make them see how the photos are coming along to motivate them and if needed improve on their role to add more charm to the frames. At last, being open and mindful to express any challenges I am facing or concerns we are facing helps us achieve the best results.

Retro Kolkata : What is the best project you have worked on and how did you get involved with it?

Divya : I find all my projects amazing and they have all helped me learn more about myself and my abilities. But I would especially like to mention ‘The Other Side’ which was a self initiated project on sexual harrassment. The project took inspiration from the Nirbhaya rape case incident and talks about the issue with the help of photographs to spread awareness about the cause. It also points out a few assumptions made about the victims of sexual assalt focusing on the real problem.

The project was built on my visualization of using the pink trumpet flowers which bloom once a year and how they completely change the atmosphere around them and relating that to a victim’s identity which turns completely upside down after any such incident. The project was my small effort to spread awareness about this issue which is so prevalent in our societies and highlight the plight of the victims and help people understand how deep the consequences are. Interestingly, we shot the project on 8th of March which is International Women’s day adding another layer of celebration of women to my project.

Retro Kolkata : What qualities make a perfect shot for you?

Divya : Speaking of a perfect shot I believe I still haven’t reached perfection but yes I have grown in my skills. A perfect shot need not necessarily have the perfect exposure but a good balance to deliver the essence of my visualization. A perfect shot is wholesome and doesn't need anything to complement. For me, a perfect shot simply means the one which conveys the story I imagined while capturing it.

Retro Kolkata : Could you please share the happiest moment in your photography life?

Divya : The happiest moments in my photography life is when I get the shot I desired for, when I see all my hard work paying off. It is also seeing the smile on my client's faces once the project is completed as they come to love the final results- that is one of the best feelings I am left feeling and am always grateful for.

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We are thrilled to announce the upcoming 'AURA 2024 - The International Photography & Art Exhibition and Grand Felicitation Ceremony', following the resounding success of last year's event. This prestigious gathering will be held at Kolkata's renowned 'Nazrul Tirtha' Art Gallery (Action Area I, Newtown, Kolkata 700156) from January 13 to January 21, 2024. The event promises an international stage for artists and photographers handpicked globally to display their masterpieces alongside the mesmerizing works of esteemed artists from over 25 participating countries, all under the spotlight of national media.

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Step into the boundless world of art with Retro Kolkata Magazine - The Global Edition. Beyond a magazine, it's a collectible tome celebrating the global tapestry of creativity. Delve into seven chapters unveiling the wonders of artistry across different mediums, uniting readers in a rich conversation that transcends borders. Embrace this cherished keepsake, a luminous narrative of human expression and interconnected art forms.

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