Pushpinder Singh Bagga has been a long time well wisher of Yeeeeee, back in 2008 when Yeeeeee was crawling, Pushpinder provided his valuable suggestions as Yeeeeee took shape.
Interview published in Pixiespix
Inspired by the colors and culture of India, Pushpinder has created a vibrant portfolio of people and places. Technology has played a great role in his work. He’s used his other talent in web design to promote his own work and Flickr to network and learn from others.
Pushpinder took some time out from his busy schedule to answer a few questions about approaching strangers for photographs, tell us about the moment he finally got his first digital camera about four years ago and where he took it first and gives a few tips to other photographers who are wondering how to start their own photography website.
LPO: Tell us a bit about your background.
PSB: As seen clearly from my photos, I live in India. Born and brought up in Chandigarh, a city in North India, I was lucky to grow up in the hub of cultural diversity. I did my Engineering in Electrical Sciences and post that, started my career in Software and Consultancy. Currently, I am trying to switch it to Design and Creative Mapping.
LPO: Is there a certain moment you remember when you fell in love with photography? When did you start?
PSB: Yes, there was, thanks for asking!
Here it goes… My mother belongs to Amritsar, Punjab, North India – the city built around The Sikh Golden Temple. Since my childhood, I was always excited to go to my mother’s parental house and eventually to the Golden Temple too. I always wanted to photograph it but at that time, digital cameras were a rarity in India and film cameras were costly. As time progressed, I became more and more desperate for photography, that I switched to sketching (the least I could do to get what I saw on paper). Finally in 2007, I got my first digital camera and I made sure to score my first homerun in Amritsar itself.
LPO: You’ve designed quite a few websites and your own photography site is clean and professional. Any tips or advice for newbies who want to set up a personal site to show off their work outside of Flickr?
PSB: I would say go ahead and start one. If you are looking for no-cost delicacy, go for blogger and search for templates widely available across the internet. If you can afford like $5-6 hosting monthly, I would suggest go ahead and buy a WordPress theme from elegantthemes.com. There a variety of themes available at $20. If you are looking for a unique theme only for your photos, hire a designer. It would cost around $500-$1000 but would be exclusive to your work. You can contact me, we can talk over it for sure! AND – Never go for flash websites, I would suggest, always target people who search for images and are probable visitors to your blog as time progresses.
LPO: Your portfolio includes some great portrait shots. How do you approach strangers to ask for a photograph and forge the connection with them that shows through in your images? Have you ever had a negative reaction?
PSB: Well, this is something that I am always asked for but frankly it’s not that difficult. 20% of the time people shy away or shoo me away and the rest make sure to give me a smile before the shot. I make gestures through my eyes, face and slow movement to make it gradually evident that I mean no harm and am approaching to click a photo for leisure. That’s about it. PLUS – people in India are crazy to get themselves clicked – that comes to the rescue most of the times.
LPO: Tell us about the first time you walked up to someone you didn’t know to ask for a photo. Where were you? Was it a positive experience?
PSB: It was a positive experience. I was in Pinjore Gardens – Haryana India. It was a great experience; again – just smile, be very casual and approach slowly giving them the time to recuperate from whatever they are feeling.
LPO: Tell us a story behind about one of the most interesting people you’ve had the privilege to photograph.
PSB: Well, I also am a photojournalist with the UB Group in India. I had a chance to photograph Indian actor Rahul Bose in a fashion event in India. It was super-amazing to meet celebrities and be someone exclusive to be talking to and clicking them!
LPO: What are your main objectives as a photographer? What do you hope to accomplish or communicate through your body of work?
PSB: My main objective is to bring out the real India which lives on the faces of people in India.
LPO: Which aspects of your photos make them stand out as yours, elements that have developed over time to become your creative “eye”?
PSB: It’s the frame in which a photo is clicked. Angles are always mentioned, but people forget frames. The great thing about frames is that you can click 100 frames from one angle rather than moving around an clicking 100 frames from 100 angles. Just take a good stance close up to the subject and start shooting in different frames from the same angle. As you click more and more shots, improve your stance with zoom, aperture and shutter speed to get the most out of that frame eventually leading to a super awesome photo.
LPO: Where is your favourite place to take your camera and why?
PSB: Amritsar Amritsar Amritsar
LPO: What is the one question you wish I would have asked you and how would you answer it?
PSB: You could have asked how I feel about Flickr and how do I use it for networking and sharing pictures. I would have said – Flickr is one amazing tool that has enabled me to meet a variety of people who have taught me a lot of things about photography and life. It’s nothing like a Twitter or a Facebook or an Orkut – of which I use none… Flickr is totally different, giving oneself a sufficient space to experiment and share.