Hello Vineet Vohra! We are honored to be able to interview you for our Featured Photographer format on Street View Photography.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself to begin with.
Born in Delhi in 1973, I spent my childhood under the guidance of my father & my father’s elder brother, they are the biggest source of inspiration for me, they both taught me what I possibly couldn’t learn from any school or college. One being a applied artist & the other a noted sculptor so I got the best of both the worlds.
Have you been involved in the arts in some form other than photography?
Well I did my formal training in applied arts from the prestigious Delhi college of arts & did one year specialization in photography.
Seeing your remarkable work I am curious where your creativity comes from?
Being surrounded by artists in my family I was always intrigued by how they saw & perceived things differently, how they saw faces in the half eaten apples & how there was some one boxing in the clouds, I wanted those moments to be captured permanently, as I evolved looking & freezing those moments I took another step because I was seeing fleeting moments happening around me & they used to give me goose bumps & gradually I starting waiting for these moments, it gives me great satisfaction when I believe something is going to happen in that surrounding & “IT DOES “.
Could you share with us how you first became interested in street photography?
It happened around 10-12 years back, I like any budding photographer started with fashion because of glamour, then came wildlife for a year or two but in the back of my mind I wasn’t settled because I was clicking what I was seeing, but I was always interested in something that was more than just a visual treat & the viewers have their interpretation & make a story & I never looked back, street is the most satisfying area for me.
I noticed you are one of our most showcased photographer on Street View Photography India, how did you find the experience of working with our platform and what do you think that Street View Photography can add to the community?
Before answering I would like to thank each & every admin of the SVP team for believing in me & my work, anybody who’s right now reading this interview would most obviously believe that SVP is by far the biggest platform on the social media & I am not talking about the “QUANTITY” of people enrolled, it’s the “QUALITY” of the work which is featured here, the feedback group of SVP too is a blessing for everyone, because at times we as photographers fall in love with our own pictures & believe they are the best, but with feedback group around it helps us to learn & rectify our mistakes instantly.
What equipment are you using now, with what did you get started and why did you change it over the time?
I started with Minolta, shot with Nikon for 5-6 years, moved to canon & then realized one day that typewriters don’t write story on their own, so when fuji X-pro1 came, it was small & perfect for street, right now I am shooting with X100s & iPhone 5, my D800 Nikon is feeling neglected for last one year now.
Can you tell us about your work flow from the point you first step onto the street until you showcase the developed picture?
I walk very light, no camera bag, just a extra battery in my pocket, at times I am looking for interesting backgrounds & at times interesting faces, but “LIGHT” is the biggest area of interest for me.
In many of your images it seems that you are exactly on the right place at the right time. If we would split the street photography community into two categories, one is the roamer who walks around in order to find as many subjects as possible, and the other one is the camper who rather focuses on one place and camps out to wait until the right subject walks by, what street photographer would you be?
Both I would say, if I see lot of people I believe action will happen & at times I just camp myself & wait.
I feel that your work differs from other photographers in a way that you seem to mange to frame very different subjects without getting your images off-balance. What can you tell us about that?
I believe in the school of thought where there should be at-least two three stories happening & everyone should be involved with themselves but most importantly there should be a connect in between them, i.e clothes, limbs etc.
I was surprised about the candidness of your subjects. How do you manage to stay invisible?
To be honest there are times when you are invisible but then there are times when you can’t & you have to take the “wrath”. My suggestion to everyone would be your clothes, your bags & your big cameras are the reason you get noticed, get rid of things which get you noticed, a small camera is ideal.
Do you see your personality reflected in your work?
Every photographer would say yes to this I believe, how sensitive or how emotional you are, the colors that makes you happy, the moments that move you.
Among your works which is your favorite?
This pic from Kashmir is very close to me, I was in Kashmir for a workshop with kids & ventured out with my brother & one of the teachers of school & after 1 hour we got a call telling us to rush back to school as there was a bomb blast very close to school and after walking for 10 mins I saw these three old people sitting under the lamp post & having a very candid conversation about the blast. So I named this image “serene blizzard”.
What challenges and opportunities lay in shooting the streets of India and how do you tackle them best?
People are very comfortable getting “SHOT” here :) no difficulties so far.
What would you say are typical elements in Indian street photography and how do they differ from other places?
Typical elements would be kids, I love shooting kids & they just love being themselves, they are least bothered about anyone’s presence.
Tell us your funniest or most awkward street photography story.
I was kept in custody for two hours because I wasn’t following the rules when the prayer was held in mosque, I had no idea that I was doing something wrong, now I do a complete study before I enter a sacred place, I don’t believe in hurting anyone’s sentiments.
What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from shooting on the streets Indian streets?
Smile ! & it’s done.
What would you tell a newcomer who asks for your advice on how to get started in street photography?
Be yourself & believe in yourself.
Thank you very much for this interview Vineet Vohra!
Follow this link the find more of Vineet’s work.
This content was created from the community – for the community.
Interviewer: Silver Stalin, Administrator of Street View Photography India.
Editor: David R. Prasser, Executive of Street View Photography.