World famous photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt once said, ‘The important thing is not the camera but the eye.’ Any fool with a camera can click pictures but only those with the eye know where to zoom and what moments to capture. Born in Imphal, Manipur, Ranadeva Singh has certainly got the eye and therefore is slowly and steadily creating waves in the international circuit. ENe finds out more about this rising star in the fashion industry.
Tell us a little about yourself, about your journey from Manipur to Paris. Why did you decide on Paris in particular?
As a child I grew up loving science, nuclear physics specially. I discovered art late, only during my teens when I was studying in The Air Force School in Delhi. Then, I was interested in writing and had hoped to become a novelist. Almost at the end of my engineering days in Bangalore, I had started writing a collection of short stories, but then, I ran out of new ideas. So I went for a backpacking trip in Ladakh, taking with me a borrowed camera from my cousin. This trip changed everything. So when I came back, I knew exactly what I want to do for the rest of my life. What better can it be other than Paris, the city of light to start my dream – Photography. And Paris being a fashion capital, it’s the perfect choice for a fashion photographer.
Share with us details about your work and accomplishments.
Well, I love shooting fashion portraits. Strange desolate locations attract me. My works have been published in online and print magazines alike – for example The Fashionisto, Cote Paris, Vogue Italia, Le journal de la photographie etc. I regularly shoot for model agencies. My works are available with Art+Commerce and Millennium Images. And I also have some exclusive fashion editorial projects coming up soon.
What is the best and worst thing about being a fashion photographer?
The best part of being a fashion photographer is that you get to create a dream, a story; an image that you have in your mind. Its creative and you have to reinvent yourself again and again. The worst part, I will say there is none, except that you become more and more demanding. We say – There is no small detail, every inch in your frame is as important as the rest.
As a fashion photographer, how feasible do you think it is to take up photography as a full-time career in the Northeast or for that matter, in India?
We live in a society where we see and share images more than ever. Every brand or a product requires an image and an identity; that is when we photographers come in. You need to create a story/ a dream, to sell/promote something. Fashion Photography is everywhere; it’s connected with cinema, art, music and the like. It’s all connected, it grows with everything. So yes, fashion photography is a full time job and it is feasible. The only thing is that it’s demanding and highly competitive. It is a 24/7 job. You work even when you are sleeping! In India, Mumbai and Delhi is where most of the things related to fashion happen. Bangalore is also catching up. I am pretty hopeful for Northeast also, with the development of the regional film industry, and of course the young designers.
Any words of wisdom you would like to share with amateur photographers?
In this digital age, people tend to shoot lots of pictures. My suggestion is to take a step back, look and shoot one good frame instead of 5. Always try to analyse your own picture with a critical eye. Apart from that, one should also look at other photographic work, to analyse and learn from them.
As told to Meeta Borah