Living on the Wirral, dentist by education and training, Kolhapur born Vaishali Karanjkar has followed her passion and her heart and has made deep inroads in the world of photography and cinematography. In a free wheeling conversation she tells Rahul Laud about her latest award and recognition she won, her creative pursuits and her professional work….a profile report by Rahul Laud
Today, Vaishali Karanjkar is on cloud nine. Her photography work has recently won international recognition that makes her, the NRIs and the global Indian Diaspora proud. Mother of one university studying daughter and wife to a dentist this resident mother of North West England has grabbed the attention to her work at ViewBug balancing all the household chores as well.
With pride Vaishali explained, “Viewbug is an online platform for photographers all over the world to display their work, submit photographs for contests, learn from other photographers and also sell pictures. I sometimes post my pictures on this platform and also enter contests occasionally. The recent picture uploaded by me has got special recognition for my creativity and good composition.”
This platform is for photographers. Members on this website show case their work and they have a jury. Vaishali had showcased her work on this platform. Through this recognition, Vaishali’s work is now spread globally. She has thus received loads of admiration from her peers, friends and family.
This talented and creative lens woman had earlier won the best short film at Kolkata Film Festival in 2013 for her role as cinematographer and editor for the film Life’s Like That.
From dentistry to becoming a lens woman – why?
I am a qualified dentist from India (Kolhapur) and was in private practice in India for almost 10 years. I then moved to the UK in 2007 with my husband, who is a dentist too and works with the NHS. After moving to the UK, I decided to change my career because I have always loved to do something creative. I had taken up dentistry as a profession only because my parents wanted me to. If I had a choice back then, I would have always chosen art.
Why photography? Is it a hobby, occupation profession what?
Photography started as a hobby, which became my passion and is now turning into a career. Photography gives me peace and happiness; it is like meditation to me. Through my photographs I want to tell stories, I want each frame of mine to tell a story by itself. I want my photographs to portray an emotion and for people to relate with my frames. For me, my photographs are a form of story telling, and I try my best to achieve this in my frames.
How did you get inspired so much to photography?
My inspiration comes from my husband, Pradeep who is also a keen photographer. We started with dental photography back in India. We did quite a lot of cosmetic dentistry, so needed pre and post surgery pictures. Pradeep used to teach me and give me tips and I kept moving to the next level and taking more interest. When I started uploading my pictures on my FB page, ‘My Frames’, a few of my very close friends and some other Facebook friends commented on my pictures, which were quiet positive. These comments inspired me even more to do good work and try to achieve the best frames I can!!
What is your aim and goal in that direction?
My aim is to keep improving my work and try and tell stories through My Frames. I wish to have a soul in my frames. I am trying to put together, a small exhibition of my pictures, hopefully, soon!!! I have started working on it.
Does cinematography appeal to you? What is favourite – still or moving pictures?
Cinematography has always inspired me. I actually started with moving images first and then moved to still photography. I like doing stills and moving images both. Earlier I worked as an administrator for an arts organisation where I did a lot of video production. I was fortunate to film many great Indian classical dancers and musicians: Priyadarsini Govind, Leela Samson, Sujata Mohapatra, workshops done by Kumudhi Lakhia, Rakesh Chaurasia, Lalgudi Krishnan and many more artistes there. .
Do you have any role models in still and cinematography?
I have no role models. Whenever I click it is very instinctive. I watch other artistes’ work and ponder over it. I try and think do I feel a connection with those pictures? Did it evoke any feeling for me? Did I smile, feel sad, did it give me peace or did it make me angry?
Any thoughts on direction in Bollywood – Marathi films?
I do wish to direct a Marathi film. I have assisted two Marathi films with Jatin Wagale. ‘Bandh Nylon Che’ was the first film I assisted. It was a great opportunity, as I worked there with brilliant actors in the film like Mahesh Manjrekar and Subodh Bhave who are wonderful directors themselves.
What’s your attraction TV or big screen?
My attraction has always been the big screen and an inspiration too!! I shall put in my best foot forward to achieve that goal. I am equally happy doing ‘My Frames’.
What role do you think does technology play – creativity versus technology?
Technology is just a tool which helps to add all the fancy frills to your work. One needs to be creative and identify his or her potential and take steps to explore and develop it further.
We have too many choices of cameras these days. Smart phones give us a lot of easy options for moving as well as still images. My choice of camera is a DSLR Camera and I like to work on the manual mode. It is equally true that you may have the best camera in the world, but how and what you capture is important, does your frame say something…
Today you see all have DSLR cameras and they are mostly digital. What’s your favourite? Digital or Manual
Many times I do not have a DSLR with me, or if I do have the DSLR, I may not have enough time to dial in the correct settings to capture that moment so sometimes, the only choice is auto. For me what matters is what have I managed to capture in my frame. Capturing that moment; that story matters to me. The person behind the camera and the frame is what matters to me.
Among the various works what have been your favourite projects so far?
Vibrations: This was my first short film written directed and edited my me, it was nominated for the Mumbai Women’s International Film Festival.
Music India: This was a short documentary for arts organisation in Liverpool, to promote their music school. I have done the planning, filming and editing.
Video Production for Swati Dance Company and a Video Production for Deepa Menon
Vaishali’s works can be found on https://www.facebook.com/My-Frames-762856680432274/