Years ago when her father used to take her to trips around the country, never would Dimpy imagine that one day the little girl would grow up and make travelling a big part of her life. Years ago when her father bought a camera, little did he know that she will one day grow up to take up photography seriously as well as professionally. Meet Dimpy Gogoi, a 24 year old full-time dentist and a self-taught photographer. ‘The world runs on sharing and unless we don’t feel, we can’t share. My photography helps me in doing just that and much more’, says Dimpy whose art has now become her identity.
Dimpy started off with the same passion that many young photographers have today, however, many budding photographers sadly give up once they are unable to find an audience for their photos, but Dimpy’s story has been an upward trajectory ever since the ‘old camera days’.
EN: What got you into photography?
DG: My father has always been keen on travelling. As a child, I used to accompany him. He used to take me to places and we would just surrender ourselves to the serenity of nature. The whole experience used to move me and I started feeling an urge to go through those memories again and again. I would have maintained a journal but as we all know Northeast is so beautiful, so soothing, I would have always fallen short of words.
Thankfully, my father had a camera. It wasn’t digital like today’s cameras and one could only see what she has captured after the post processing. But this whole process got me fascinated and captivated my mind and I started experimenting with my father’s camera. Also, because I feel I have always had my own perspective on everything, like everyone else. And I just wanted to express it. Interestingly, as I grew up, I realised that there’s a difference between having a perspective and having an opinion – and this realisation is fun.
EN: How did you learn the nuances of photography?
DG: By practising. Simple.
I am a dentist. I was in Jamshedpur, studying in a medical school. There was no way to learn the art except for learning it on my own. I am doing this for years now since I was a child. So I was always aware of what I feel and how I feel. Photography is basically all about that. And then photography is about expressing what you feel. While I was exploring this, the internet happened. I used to search for tutorials and things and follow a lot of photographers and pay close attention to their work.
Also, once during a vacation, I came home and attended a photography four-day-workshop in Guwahati. I think that has a big role in moulding me as a photographer. I learnt that to be successful, you really need to push your limits and keep yearning to take your skills up a notch over everyone else.
EN: Who and what inspires you?
DG: I am a big fan of Auditya Venkatesh. He is a Bangalore based photographer and his works are famously known as Audi photography. He started his page when he was a student and swept lakhs of people off their feet with his art. I have keenly followed him. He inspires me to never give up.
Apart from him, there are a lot of artists and their art is available on the Internet today. I believe the main advantage is that these guys don’t just inspire us for the art, but the way they transform their knowledge and understanding to a photograph, just to make the audience feel what and how they might have felt is what fascinates me. They inspire to teleport the audience to that essence of the moment and just being able to that, I think is brilliant. It’s priceless.
EN: How has been your experience so far especially managing it with a full-time job?
Yes, I am a full-time dentist and as you know, there could never be an off-time for doctors but I manage time. I have to. Just that there’s no rest on weekends now but that’s okay. After years of pursuing this interest, I am finally getting projects now. People are recognising my work. Especially in the clinic, my seniors and colleagues are very cordial and cooperative. In fact many times, they introduce me to patients as a budding photographer from the region. It’s an overwhelming as well as encouraging feeling. So, it’s been fun.
EN: Any moment of despair so far?
DG: As someone who indulges in photography, I feel we do need to understand the reason behind why we are indulging in photography. It could be your passion or a medium to make a living out of it. It could be anything to one’s everything. But with that, we also need to understand the potential of the art. It could be used to bring out a message or tell a story. Every photograph is a fascinating story for the photographer whose pen is her lens. I think it’s important to understand the why of what you are doing. This understanding doesn’t come easily.
(After a long pause) I do a lot of landscapes. And I have been travelling since childhood. There are a lot of places when I visit now, I find them littered. The picturesque of the places are getting tarnished. It’s good that tourists come and enjoy the beauty but why spoil it for others and locals? This makes me deeply sad.
EN: What are your next plans? Are you planning to take up photography full time now?
DG: My father always wanted me to become a doctor. So I am a dentist now. And I love my job. But, I would also love to explore photography. I would now love to learn the nuances of photography, to study the art, to learn the craft.
I think I might take a break and do a course on photography and cinematography. I recently went to Dzukou and it was an amazing experience. Many of my photographs from there are getting published now. But you know what’s interesting? It’s how with more and more you exert yourself into the art, you realise how much more is the scope of learning.
EN: What advice would you give budding photographers?
DG: I am myself a budding photographer. I do my job professionally, although I feel I still am an amateur.
But there are few things that one should keep in mind and these are from my own experiences. One, never stop taking photos. Take as many as you can. Two, find a genre and create your niche but also keep experimenting. You will learn more and more about yourself. Three, ask for reviews. Do not feel shy to show your work. Be your own critic. And lastly and most importantly, do not get discouraged. A lot of people will try to pull you down but stick through it. All good things to those, who wait. Perseverance pays.
EN: Where all have your work got recognised?
DG: So far, my works have been published in Discover India Travel magazine, Inspiron India Travel magazine, Smart Photography magazine, Discover India’s Northeast magazine and in The Northeast Today magazine.
I have won are the first prize in Photo of the Month in Web India Online contest, Pastym Online Contest under the travel category and in the XLRI College Maxi Fair fest contest under the street category. Second prize in Team Nature contest and in Mentor Choice Award in Camarena Academy. There are more but I can’t remember right now.
EN: Lastly, where are you from and what camera do you use?
DG: I am a native of Nazira. It falls in the Sibsagar district of Assam. And I prefer Canon.
By: Pritesh Gupta