Shooting from the lip

Updated: Apr 11, 2020, 12:13 IST | Dalreen Ramos | Mumbai

A new platform hosts online talks by noted international and Indian women photographers

When photojournalist Saumya Khandelwal landed her first job in 2014, she found herself being conscious of how the industry was biased about a gender. There was then, and still is a clear disparity reflected while looking at those who get to be behind the camera in the field. "In a country like India, we aren't conscious about having that diversity of experience," she says. Thus, this period of distancing proved to be a good time for the 29-year-old to think about a platform that brings together noted international and Indian women photographers for online talks, spreading awareness about their work and also giving people an opportunity to learn from it.

Through an Instagram page titled Talks by Women Photographers, that was set up in four days with the help of friends Geetika Bhandari, Anjali Lohia and Gurpreet Kaur Longani, Khandelwal has hosted talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning Stephanie Sinclair and Vietnamese-American documentary photographer Daniella Zalcman. This Sunday, there will be a panel discussion featuring Indian photojournalists Ruhani Kaur, Smita Sharma and Anushree Fadnavis. Khandelwal states that curating a line-up of people with varied experiences was the key to the platform. "As a young photographer, it was good to speak with the doyennes of the industry but it was also important to speak with younger people, because when they would talk to me about what they had achieved, I would think that that is achievable for me, too," she explains.

Saumya Khandelwal.  PIC/REUBEN SINGHSaumya Khandelwal. Pic/Reuben Singh

The sessions have a limited seating of 100 people, and Khandelwal informs that the past two sessions have been full. The duration averages to an hour and a half. The audience, she says, primarily comprises photographers who are in the early stages of their career. "What is working is the fact that our speakers answer questions generously; some of these included how you capture subjects with sensitivity, and how you approach a project without budgets. These technicalities are very important," she says.

Log on to @talksbywomenphotographers on Instagram

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