If not for photographs, the world would be robbed of innumerable memories and milestones. Serving as a peek into the days gone by, photographs are so much more than just an instrument of nostalgia. It is an important tool in the preservation of history and an effective mode of storytelling that transcends the boundaries of languages and time. Therefore, it only seems fitting that a day is set aside to acknowledge and honour the magic of photography.
World Photography Day is observed on August 19 every year, across the world. The day was chosen to mark the purchase of the patent to the daguerreotype camera by the French government, which made it free for use by the entire world. It is a day to celebrate the magic of cameras and photography and bring people together to share a passion for photography and also raise awareness about this art form around the world.
TC46 connected with the founder of Good Food Clicks, an inspiring platform for food photography enthusiasts, Vanisha Rodrigues to answer a few questions about the photography dynamics in India for female photographers.
1. What prompted you to take up photography as a profession?
Since childhood, I loved capturing moments and eventually with a love for food couldn’t stop myself from having a click or two before anyone took a bite. Back in 2015, Instagram was slowly picking up. The idea of travelling across the city to savour food and click pictures made me feel exhilarated. That’s what prompted me to create Good Food Clicks and share my food experiences with everyone.
2. What was your vision when you took up photography?
I was in my 2nd year of Computer Engineering when I started doing Food Photography and took it up as an extracurricular activity at first but as and when I deepened my knowledge of lights and shadows and the idea of “one eats with the eyes first then the touch of the tongue” kind of led me to an epiphany that still stands. I am always eager to learn and develop my skill in this segment.
3. What has been a turning point in your career?
During 2017-2018, I took part in a food photography competition of India’s biggest gourmet fest, World On A Plate Season 3. Out of the many who had participated, I was awarded Best Food Photographer by none other than Michelin star chef Marco Pierre White. That was when it dawned on me that if I can win amongst all the other fabulous contests then surely there is something more to this journey.
4. How did you find your unique photography style and who influenced you the most?
I did practice a lot during my initial years and took up assignments for free just to try my hands at them. That helped me build up a portfolio eventually. I am still in the phase of seeking inspiration and a learning spirit. There have been a lot of national and international personalities that I have been following. The kind of novelty that they bring with every click is what I aspire to bring someday.
5. How do you manage to narrate each and every small detail through your pictures?
For me, with every click of the item, there is to be a story narration happening within the picture. That’s the beauty of it, you don’t have to speak a thousand words when your picture can do that for you.
6. What are the challenges of being a female photographer in India?
Well, I can say out loud proudly that this field has its hands wide open without any gender discrimination. The only thing the customers seek is your uniqueness and out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to hiring any food photographer.
7. How can we encourage more women to take photography as a profession?
If you are creative and love taking pictures, you should totally give it a try. No one knows what new avenues it might open up for you. It would be great if you have some knowledge of using artificial lights and the way you can play around with them. I wish I had that knowledge when my venture started.
8. How has the world changed for photography since the pandemic?
I would say the demand has tripled. Since everyone is taking their business online and had to turn it over to a digital framework. And this could only be possible with one having pictures of the items they want to sell. The food photography industry doubled in its value and has been the same to date.
9. How do you think photography will evolve in the future for female photographers?
I suppose I have the liberty to say this being a woman and having experienced the work of others first-hand. I believe that women have God-gifted creativity and the spark of making things beautiful in them. Every one of us needs to discover it and this will lead to an evolution in food photography thus chasing an entity of an entirely new spectrum of possibilities.