Interview and words by Shristi Jaiswal
An amalgamation of feminine essence and serene natural ambiences, Aishwarya captures unfiltered photographs that reminds us of summer days and easy moments. Based in Chennai, India, the photographer loves to shoot fleeting instances of beauty and grace that highlight women in their best light. During our conversation she talked about her journey, inspirations and her love for documenting people caught in their regular rhythm of life, be it sipping a drink or breaking into easy laughter.
How drew you towards photography?
I’ve always been drawn towards creating or saving things that reminds me of a particular day, person or a memory that I’m scared will fade off my memory. I have a memory box where I collect leaves, shells, dried flowers and lots of other things that remind me of people I love or memories that are close to my heart. I think that’s what it was with photography as well. The idea of getting to save a few moments of someone’s life through my eyes is a gift I think I’m lucky I have.
Your pictures carries the most beautiful unfiltered lights, is there a particular reason why you chose to focus on the same?
I shoot only in natural light, not because I have anything against using artificial light, but because I’ve always worked with the bare minimum equipment. I don’t like carrying around too many things. I usually go to shoot with one camera body and a maximum of two lenses. I started working with sunlight and the more I shoot the more I realise how magical it is. There’s always so much to learn from light and the more I shoot the more I realise how it defines everything.
Are there any other art forms that you practise other than photography?
I paint sometimes. I feel like it’s one of the only times when my mind isn’t thinking about anything else but colours and textures. I find it very calming just to see colours blend into each other. I spend a lot of time just mixing colours on my palette.
I’m glad I get to experience, see and save moments when women are completely themselves, lost in the middle of a song or caught while they’re trying to hide a little scar or mid-sentence when they break into a giggle.
You portray women in natural resonances and thereby give a truly raw and real perception of them. How does that coincide with your impression of feminine beauty?
I think my perception of how I see the woman I shoot has so much to do with who I am as a person and how I see myself. I’m glad I get to experience, see and save moments when women are completely themselves, lost in the middle of a song or caught while they’re trying to hide a little scar or mid-sentence when they break into a giggle. You don’t always get to witness moments as real as those so closely and I think that’s one of the things I consider a big privilege that comes with the job.
Do you like to experiment with your style or like sticking to a consistent style that you have created?
I don’t think I have a style that I’ve stuck to intentionally. I try to stay true to things that I believe in and I think that forms my style. For the kind of work that I do, I think it’s important to be able to have conversations with the people I’m shooting couple of times before I shoot them so it doesn’t feel new and intimidating to have me in their space. I also make sure I try to understand what they’re looking for to make sure we’re on the same page.
Do you think clothing plays an important part in determining the beauty of a photograph?
I think it does play a part in making them feel comfortable. We usually plan the clothes based on what works for both of us.
What does your typical shoot day look like?
Depends on what I’m shooting. If it’s a commercial shoot for a brand, I usually have the location and everything sorted a week in advance. If I’m shooting personal projects then it’s completely different. I don’t usually plan too much. I like to just see things unfold on the day of the shoot.
I shoot only in natural light, not because I have anything against using artificial light, but because I’ve always worked with the bare minimum equipment. I don’t like carrying around too many things.
What subject would you say is your personal favourite to photography?
Women. I think that’s what truly made me want to take this up as a full time job. There was nothing else I enjoyed as much. I started photographing my friends in college and they were my first and most favourite subjects. I still continue to create more photos of women than anything else. Most of my favourite photos are from shoots where I simply drop by at a friend’s place and we have something to drink, maybe listen to music and I get to document them in their space.
Who or What would you say inspires you a lot?
I don’t know if I can pick one person but one thing that I’m always inspired by is leaves and the rain.
How does your environment/ location affect the way you shoot?
Sometimes we plan the location based on the mood of the shoot and sometimes it’s the other way around; depends on who and what I’m shooting for. It definitely does play an important role because locations directly determine the kind of light I’d be shooting in since I work only with natural light. If I’m shooting indoors I prefer shooting in places that allow light to enter through windows or balconies.
What season would you say compliment your photography style the best?
I’ve been shooting a lot in the rain lately and I think I’ve been really enjoying it.
Any quote you want to leave us with?
I don’t know where this is from but it’s something I’m always thinking about – We are our memories.