Photography, is the art of viewing the world through the eyes of the person behind the shutter with an array of captured emotions, faces, landscapes and many more aspects contributing to it. Hold on, this is the generic definition of photography, let me now introduce to you, a photo series on animal portraits, aptly titled Animals, by Mumbai-based photographer Sushant Kadam who brings to us the wilderness we’re constantly surrounded by, but fail to observe.
All these animals are captured living their daily lives just as much as we live ours in a mutual cityscape, same shared sphere of air, but in an absolute visually enticing perspective.
After spending an entire day going through the entire collection of the Animals photo series, I got the opportunity to have a rendezvous with this young talented photographer himself.
He is an IT graduate and worked after graduation for a period of 10 months. He subsequently left his job and took a break in which he pondered upon the thought of taking up photography seriously. “I’ve always been inclined towards photography from before but realized it very late,” he says, “I was just going with the flow before, enjoying college and school then to the 9 to 5 life of a job.”
He says he was never serious about IT; he simply thought man-made things are easier to learn. After his junior college, he decided to get into IT. But now, it’s all about photography.
So when did his fascination with animals start, we wondered? “I was very fascinated with owls when I was a kid,” he discloses, “I used to hear it every night outside my window in Bombay. But I was told it was a bad omen to look at owls in the dark of the night. Now after 15-16 years I rarely an owl in the city.”
His series Animals was shot initially for Motherland Magazine for their Bandra issue. All the animals that he has photographed are the local ones in Bandra. “I continued the series and focused on shooting animals photos and portraits, giving importance to each creature,” he tells us, “I used speed lights, sometime off camera – just the way people shoot portraits!”
It allowed him to spend more time on each creature and study its behaviour for which he avoided using a long lens. The duration, he reveals, ranged between 2 days to weeks of work as it’s very difficult to isolate or even to find them in the right spot. “There are very few creatures left in Mumbai,” he says.
I never wanted to shoot animals in zoos or parks, only the one’s that we notice on regular basis but still ignore most of the time.
But, surprisingly, he’s very afraid of animals! Every picture that he has clicked has a story behind it, he tell us, the most astonishing being that he is extremely scared of animals; it’s more like a phobia. “I still run away from my house when I see a rat!” He admits, “It’s the same story with any animal. So this way, through photography and my animals photos, I get to be close with them and document my brief encounters.”
Before we parted ways, we asked him what he is keeping himself busy with these days. Will we get to see more amazing photographs being added to Animals? “I am in New Delhi as of now and I have stopped shooting for the project for a while,” he says, “Once I’m back I’ll continue with it.”
Just as we live on the search for such exuberantly talented people exhibiting their creative sense of being through different genres of art and other terrains, we hope Sushant keeps feeding our creative wilderness with such powerful imagery. You can find Sushant on his website and blog.
Check out some more amazing works from his series Animals here: