Vasanth talks Photography and FaceTime Shoots!

I am either creating aesthetically pleasing art through pictures or travelling to various places to watch the sunset.

Vasanth Kumar

The pandemic has brought about quite a few changes in our lives, from how we work to how we spend our weekends. Vasanth Kumar, a photographer and artist from Chennai, garnered a lot of attention recently for his innovative FaceTime shoots. Stuck at home and unable to travel for shoots during the pandemic, he connected with models all over the world through FaceTime and the results are nothing but a treat to the eyes. Creativity has no limits and Vasanth has proved it with his innovative shoots. In a little chit-chat with Vasanth, we learn more about him and his journey and of course the FaceTime shoots!

Chennai Insider: Tell us a little about yourself

Vasanth: I’m a visual artist from India who has a penchant for patterns, symmetry and muted colour palettes. I am either creating aesthetically pleasing art through pictures or travelling to various places to watch the sunset.

Chennai Insider: When did you begin photography? Tell us about your journey.

Vasanth: It all started when I was in the 11th grade, a friend of mine owned a Sony Cybershot 7.2 pixel camera and I was quite fascinated with it’s working mechanism and the engineering behind it. That is when my interest in photography began.

Chennai Insider: Your recent FaceTime shoots garnered a lot of attention. Could you tell us how you came up with the idea?

Vasanth: I got the idea of shooting remotely from an Italian photographer named Alessio Albi. He was doing his shoots over a webcam and I improvised on that, as FaceTime had better clarity and made the shoots more straightforward. That provided a new platform for me to create art globally without any boundaries whilst leaving a minimal amount of carbon footprint.

Chennai Insider: What is the process involved in FaceTime shoots? What are the challenges you face while shooting online?

Vasanth: It’s quite similar to the normal shoots that are done in person. You communicate to the model on how to pose, emote and execute. Be it FaceTime or in person, it’s pretty much all the same. But it proved to be quite a hassle when it came to the communication part because of the language barrier. I used Google translator to type out the message and played the audio to them. It worked fine after a few tries.

Chennai Insider: Who are some of the photographers that have influenced your work? Have you ever tried to incorporate their style into your work?

Vasanth: I highly admire the works of Steve McCurry and Damon Baker. I always make sure to work on my own style and not try and incorporate any other style into my work.

Chennai Insider: What type of photos do you enjoy taking the most? Why?

Vasanth: I enjoy taking pictures with natural light because according to me there is nothing better than natural sunlight.

Chennai Insider: Most of your portraits are brimming with emotions. How do you connect with your model? What is your process?

Vasanth: I try to make conversation with the models before the shoot begins and get to know them as a person and their perception of the shoot. This helps a lot to create a very comfortable and conducive environment to work with.

Chennai Insider: From what do you draw inspiration? Do you find it challenging to keep being creative with your shoots?

Vasanth: I draw inspiration from the place and setting where the shoot happens. It also depends on the model, the costume they’re wearing and the atmosphere that is there at present. It has never been challenging to be creative during shoots since I try to work with what is already there.

Chennai Insider: What are your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing when you are not shooting?

Vasanth: I enjoy watching sunsets and finding new songs from various languages. I become most creative when there’s no work pressure from the clients and when I’m on my own.

Chennai Insider: What are your future goals? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Vasanth: I’m not usually a guy with a plan. Starting an art school would be one of my major long-term plans. I’ve been working towards it for quite some time now. The destination will be the same, but the path I take might be different as we cannot control everything within our vicinity. So we cannot plan, but rather just be prepared for anything in life.

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