Meet Amit Paul from West Bengal is a self taught photographer who is very passionate about Photography. He has never been to any Photography school nor has he received any formal training in Photography from any school or professional photographer. He is very famous for his Concept Photography Shoots where he portrays a different world altogether. His shots represent a vibrant and magical visions of a parallel world which is untouched by the vices of mankind. We have a beautiful and inspiring story lined up below of this amazingly talented Photographer for our readers.
In a conversation with Amit Paul :
Tell us a bit of your educational background?
I’ve completed my Graduation in English Hons with a first class rank. Later I cleared, IBPS PO exam. I was called in for an interview and that’s when I realized, I don’t want to work for someone else. I didn’t want anyone to be my boss. I told the interviewers that I just realized I don’t want this job and rather I should join my father’s business.
Did you go to any school of photography or received any formal training?
Not really. However I did a small Multimedia course in an institution ‘KTA’ in 2008 in which there was a small segment on photography. But after that I began studying a lot about photography, photo manipulations and videography on the internet. Youtube is our friend and a very good teacher which has provided me with some invaluable lessons on Photography and till date I am learning a lot from it.
When was your first exposure to photography? Who were your main early influences?
When I did the multimedia course, my mentor Suman Saha taught me photography. He was successful in igniting the zeal in me to see beyond the ordinary. He had a great influence on me that time. That was the first time I held a Digital SLR camera. But soon, the course was over and I had to satisfy my thirst for capturing moments using my small multimedia phone. That time, there were no touch screen high end phones with 13mp cameras front and back. It was a small mobile phone with a VGA camera. But it was all I needed to capture moments. Soon touch screen phones came into existence and it was easier than ever to click photos and edit them later into what I imagined in my own mind. I’ve been clicking photos since 2008 now and now I use a DSLR for my shoots.
From when and why did you start considering yourself as a photographer?
I cannot tell the exact day when I started considering myself as a photographer because when I first held a camera in my hand, I felt this art of capturing moments and giving life to my imagination, flow in my veins. It doesn’t matter if I have my DSLR or my phone camera with me or not, whenever I see something or imagine something creative, I frame it in my brain and if possible, I later compose it.
Do you consider photography as passion or a profession? Or a profession out of passion?
Photography is more like an Oxygen for me. I have a Business as my main profession which I love to do. But I breathe Photography. I know its a very unusual thing to say but photography for me, is not merely clicking photos and sometimes I don’t even need a phone to click a photo. I feel as if the surroundings or the subject gets imprinted in my brain. I just use my camera and other photo editing tools to show it to other people what I see.
How did this act as a turning point in your life?
My point of view towards life has changed. I always find a new meaning to everything that I see or feel. In my childhood I used to sketch whatever came in my mind. Now, I use my creative mind to enlarge life and bring out things that are beyond our normal eyesight. Everything that I see, i always try to find a story in them. Nothing is boring if you choose a different perspective.
What is the most important, challenging and interesting part about choosing your subject?
For my creative ideas, I don’t sit with a pen and paper to think about my subject. Ideas come to me in the least expected way. Usually, when I wake up from sleep, that’s the time when my head swirls with new ideas. I try to develop those ideas that are common to people but beyond their eyesight. The most important and challenging part is editing and manipulation part. I have to make sure to convey my ideas correctly to my audience and don’t bring in extra unnecessary objects in my photos.
What type of cameras do you shoot with? What is your favorite photography accessory other than your camera?
I shoot with my Nikon DSLR with its lenses. My favorite photography accessory other than my camera is obviously my mobile phone. Other thing is my desktop which is my main toolbox for editing my photos. However its not a photography accessory but it plays a great role.
Do you have a team? What kind of shoots are you and your team into?
No, I don’t have a team. I usually work alone in these creative shoots. However I have some helpful friends.
What were the struggles that you have come across and how have you overcome them? How do you feel today about them?
Yes, I have crossed a few hurdles in my life but but with the support of my family I could easily surpass all of them. They have always encouraged me to go higher and work harder.
What has been the most memorable project and why? What has been your favorite image that you have shot?
Every project that I have done has stories and memorable moments attached with it, so its hard for me to specify a certain project. There are some of my favorite images which I am sending you.
What would be your dream project?
My dream project would be working with Brook Shaden and Nicolas Bruno on a big project.
What advice do you have for somebody who wants to pursue photography and choose a path of passion rather than convention?
Photography is an art form and manipulating it makes it more conceptual. To those who want to pursue this art, must always find other ways to see things and let their imagination run wild. If you want to shoot and create things what others can’t see, you must think out of the box. Whatever may be the hurdles are, you should always strive for something better.