Home Court, a recently launched coffee table book features exclusive photographs of Basketball community in India. With text by Manan Dhuldhoya and photographs by Rohan Shrestha, the book is an interesting collaboration between Shrestha and National Basketball Association (NBA) league from North America.
It features a black-and-white visual journey across Dharamshala, Mumbai, Gangyap, (Sikkim) and Periyakulam (Tamil Nadu) and New Delhi; with 30 images from the capital city alone.
Shrestha, in a conversation with The Morning Standard, talks about his experience of photographing Delhi, his association with NBA and combining both his passions of photography and basketball for the book among other things.
I’ve been following basketball since I was young, and to work on a project with the NBA has been a great opportunity for me, especially since it’s related to the game I am passionate about.
While basketball is still in a nascent stage in India, the aim was to dive deeper and bring out communities who are truly passionate patrons of the game. We brainstormed on ideas to bring out the best of these basketball cultures in India, and a curated coffee-table book seems to be the perfect way to showcase the stories we wished to tell.
Please share with us your experience for shooting the images in Delhi.
New Delhi’s Karkardooma experience was a special one considering we were working with differently-abled kids and adults.
To see them push boundaries and play basketball on wheelchairs was overwhelming and truly inspirational. Every player played to their competitive best not thinking about how or when they would possibly clash with each other. I also had a chance to meet the principal of the school (Amar Jyoti), who is such an inspiration.
She runs the institute with her mother, and speaking to them about their journey made me want to do my bit and give back to society
How was this assignment different from your other projects?
I’ve always used the camera to capture my love for various sports, landscapes, natural elements and all aspects of human expression. When Home Court came into play, I was really excited to shoot the images and travel across pockets in India, where basketball was played ever so passionately.
This project was definitely a new challenge for me. It was different in terms of the way the images needed to be shot. You don’t need to wait to get the perfect shot here, like we do in a fashion photoshoot, but capture the larger story through each image.
Any tips for photographers to create their market in this highly competitive area of photography?
A few things photographers should keep in mind while working is patience, understanding of the subject, being open to new opportunities and prospects. One should always look at competition as something that helps you improve your craft.
Could you tell us how and when did you take up photography?
Since childhood, seeing my father Rakesh Shrestha who is also a photographer, I’ve always been inspired to take the camera into my own hands an experiment with what the lens shows me. This grew into a passion as I grew up and eventually started off with assisting photographers and getting hands-on experience in Mumbai from 2004-09. My first break was with L’Officiel India and Filmfare in 2010.
What are your upcoming assignments?
I’ve currently taken up a project in Saudi Arabia for a magazine and I am also shooting an underwater campaign in the Lakshadweep islands.