Anushree Fadnavis is a photojournalist based in Mumbai, India. Capturing the day-to-day images of her hometown she brings about an emotional quality to her work. The nostalgia and fondness she finds for her home, Mumbai, is evident in the way she portrays everyday scenes in a certain warmth and affectionate light. Instances of inspiration, harkening back to her childhood memories, now find themselves as subjects of her photographs. She discovers not only the current present but the memories of her past as well. During her daily travels she finds instances of her childhood immediately recognizable to her even today. Join her as she takes us on her #traindiaries adventures!
Tell me a bit about yourself- How did you become a photographer?
Anushree Fadnavis: I am a photojournalist and I have been living in Mumbai, India since my childhood. I work as a staff photographer with the news agency Indus Images which is based in Mumbai, India.
Photography just happened to me out of nowhere. I used to work as a software engineer with L & T Infotech for around 2 years. I started taking photography classes on weekends (without a camera). Soon I fell in love with this medium. Journalism was something I always wanted to pursue and through photography I found my calling: Photojournalism. I quit my job to learn about photojournalism and here I am now.
I want to show the world and people a story, however small it may be, small moments that make you happy and stories that move you or touch your heart.
What makes a good picture stand out from the average?
A.F.: There are many things that are considered while shooting a picture . A good picture for me is the one in which there is content, emotion and moments which can be cherished. Composition and colour are the elements that help us to compose pictures but content always matters.
How do you capture the person, environment, time and place in your photograph?
A.F.: Well when you click any picture it tells a story. I feel the environment, time and place including the subject helps us convey that. I look for interesting subjects and I look around to check if the place I am in helps me to convey some message or I wait for different elements to come so that I can juxtapose them. Time is very important in photography, to get a particular moment sometimes the photographer has to wait for a long time so that he/she can get a perfect moment. If I am on assignment and while travelling to the place if I see something worth waiting for then I stop and wait till the time I get the picture.
What would you cite as your inspirations behind your work?
A.F.: I find inspiration in everything around me: dance, music, people, nature and anything that makes me smile. The small joys of life are worth living for and when I see any such moments they inspire me to work harder and strive for better.
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Which photographers’ work do you admire?
A.F.: There are a lot. But to name a few : David Alan Harvey, David Guttenfelder, Daniel Berehulak , Lynsey Addario , James Nachtwey and of course my mentor Arko Datta. Also, I love a dear friend Ritesh Uttamchandani ’s work. He has taught me a lot and it has helped me improve and given me more confidence. His initiative – The Katha Collective gave me a platform to tell my story – ‘#traindiaries’.
Exactly what is it you want to say with your photographs, and how do you actually get your photographs to do that?
A.F.: I want to show the world and people a story, however small it may be, small moments that make you happy and stories that move you or touch your heart. I do it by including small moments in the pictures, pictures that tell a story- of a place, of people. I talk to my subjects sometimes, find out more about them and it always helps to tell a story. Knowing the background of your subjects helps you in understanding more about them and in a way helps in story-telling.
What would you say is your favorite piece of your own work and why?
A.F.: I don’t have a favorite piece of work as such. The photographs that I make are like my babies and how can you pick your favourite child. Though I would like to talk about my story – “#traindiaries.” Train Diaries actually started unknowingly: I captured memories in my childhood,some of them are still fresh in my head and now I use a camera (mobile phone camera). As a child and a college student I have travelled in trains a lot and most of us from Mumbai do so because it is the simplest and fastest way to travel in Mumbai. In this journey of 2 to 3 hours in a day, we forge many relationships with other commuters and we also develop a relationship with the environment. I wanted to capture the essence of this travel, the relationships, my own visual affair and most importantly, the people . This is how the ‘#traindiaries’ project started. My project #traindiaries is a visual, virtual photo diary that I maintain where I document, photograph, and note memories and experiences. Sometimes my own and sometimes others.
All picture credits to Anushree Fadnavis