Kolkata based Arindam Mukherjee is an award-winning freelance photojournalist who has worked with advertising agencies, fashion designers, graphic designers and NGOs. Passionate about street photography, Arindam has also authored a book about the tsunami, titled ‘The Wave that Shook the World,’ produced by Hope Foundation.

  • Walk slowly, rather wander; it allows you to observe. Strap all your stuff with your backpack so you don’t lose anything.
  • Portrait photography is an interactive art. Landscapes, cityscapes, buildings, transportation remain constant. Only the emotions of people and body language changes. That’s why, photographing people is very interesting.
  • Can you imagine a city without people? Or can you imagine a city full of people without any structures? If people are your subject the surroundings give you the context. A photograph without context is boring.
  • If you stand at a broadway crossing from morning to evening you will find how the emotional landscape changes. This is something which fascinates me. Every city has its own characters at different times of the day. So shoot both during day and night.
Indian people celebrating Holi at Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan. Holi is the Hindu festival of colours. Every year at the begining of spring this festival takes place throughout India.The biggest celebration takes place in Banke Bihari temple Vrindavan.

Holi Festival – Vrindavan

Effect of globalisation is now getting strong hold in rural Bhutan as well. Arindam Mukherjee

A Bhutanese man in western outfit surfs his mobile at Ura valley, Bumthang.

While travelling, carry light equipment. High speed lenses are important for low light situations. Set your camera according to the light of the day before you start walking—you don’t want to miss great moments. Walk slowly, rather wander; it allows you to observe. Strap all your stuff with your backpack so you don’t lose anything.

A sadhu (Indian Holy Man) changes his clothes at a ghat in Varanasi.

A sadhu (Indian Holy Man) changes his clothes at a ghat in Varanasi.

Experience new things, meet new people. Try to trigger a conversation with the locals. I listen to them; try to understand their point of view which helps me bring layers into my picture stories.

  • A boy watches pigeons in flight from his rooftop in Old Delhi

A boy watches pigeons in flight from his rooftop in Old Delhi

Monochromatic pictures focus on the emotive part of photography. I feel comfortable with black and white as too much of colour surrounding the main subject may distract the viewers. A photographer should know what he/she wants to make their viewer “feel”. Monochrome and colour photography are different ways of looking at the same subject. Practise how to see things in black and white when you shoot.

A tip I always share is to be safe when it comes to copyrights and illegal photography. Do not shoot private places without prior permission. You can shoot anything and everything in public places without hurting anybody’s sentiments. Don’t forget to look for “Photography Prohibited” boards around you. And do not underestimate common people’s knowledge.

Above all, go with the flow and enjoy clicking pictures rather than making it an assignment.

Arindam Mukherjee spoke to Aarohi Roy