BANGALORE: Portraiture often equips a photographer with the means to capture the soul of a subject. Portraying a strong sense of emotion and life, portraits have an enigmatic aura surrounding any image.
By altering perspectives, creating unique points of interest and introducing elements of randomness into imagery, photographers explore several possibilities with moods and lighting today. Likewise, all these elements can be used to photograph children, thereby making it an experience
of a lifetime. “Kids always tend to display different moods. As a photographer, you need to build a relationship with your subject. Hence, it is best to get candid shots of kids reacting naturally to a situation rather than forcing them to pose,” said Ambica Prakash who has photographed 45 children living with Autism Spectrum Disorder as a part of ABA India’s photography campaign titled Beautiful Moments.
The photographs were displayed at Gallery Time and Space recently. In conversation with City Express, Ambica tells us about her experience with the project and future plans.
Characterised by innocent smiles, mischievous eyes and charming personality, the monochromatic images strike a balance between simplicity and beauty. Each of these photographs is defined by warm undertones, smooth texture and ‘strong’ composition.
Experimenting with innovative frames and lighting, Ambica has managed to capture the innocence of childhood with
her creativity. “When ABA had approached me initially with the project, I had no idea what autism was. So, I decided to read up on the disorder. Later, when I visited the school, I realised that there’s a world of difference between what you see and what you read. This was the first time that I was interacting with autistic children and it was an incredible experience. There’s some spark in them which you tend to miss if you are not looking. I was overwhelmed by their reaction to everyday life. We ignore the little things that give them pleasure. In fact, they teach you to look at things with a different perspective,” said Ambica. What entices Ambica about photography is the element of uncertainty involved with the art form. Mastering the art of displaying moods, facial expressions and creating frames of interest is what this photographer wishes to further delve into. Aside from dabbling with frames that gives an image depth, Ambica strives to create a dramatic impact with her photographs.
“I think it is extremely important for photographers to build some amount of interest for the viewer. For instance, side lighting can create different moods and highlight powerful features. It also helps to create a ‘story’ within a ‘story’. You need to draw all eyes to a point of interest in the image. I spent almost ten days with these children and took hundreds of photographs every day. I saw their moods change with each frame and I found that fascinating. I realised that there might be something beyond what you see, after all,” she further added.
With objects ranging from ice cream cones, slides to bubbles, Ambica weaves a tale of mischief and innocence with her photographs. Transcending all limitations that would seem inherent in this field, she wishes to capture images that go beyond the conventional norms of photography.
“Today, contemporary photography as an art form is in its nascent stages in India. It is beyond clicking a picture. I think younger generation is more open and receptive to exploring new ideas. They aren’t sticking to old school photography anymore. New subjects and genres are being explored regularly today and I think that’s amazing,” Ambica signed off.