FO2 Stage | 062 | Teesta Chattoraj

My love for travel and photography goes way back to my childhood. My parents used to send me to travel at least once a year. It could be camping, community service from the school or just anywhere new to explore. They always wanted me to experience different things and places. They were thrilled that I loved it too and bought me a Cybershot camera to document my travels. In no time, I’d fallen in love with photography and it felt like a part of me. I didn’t know much about the technical aspect of photography before going to college. For me, it was just a souvenir from the moment I once lived.

I got my undergraduate degree from NIFT Patna and the best part was that photography, as a subject, was a part of our curriculum. For my graduation project, I even wanted to include my love of photography and travel. So as a part of my project with the Ministry of Textiles, I made a photo book of all my travels within Jharkhand, whilst documenting their local arts and crafts to write folk tales based on their mythology. It is part of their archives now.

I always believed that you must learn the rules before you break them. I learned photography in college, but I always kept myself from using reference grids on my camera’s screen. I wanted to learn the symmetry on my own and after a fair amount of practice, I have come to a point where visual balance comes naturally to me and I truly try my best to capture images as I see them, in my mind.

Every art form requires practice and I’ve spent a lot of time developing mine. Even during the lockdown, I used to take my cycle and explore many places that most people aren’t aware of. It’s ironic that I travel a lot to other destinations but it took me a pandemic to make me explore my own neighborhood.

In fact, it feels good when people visit certain places just because they saw my pictures and they share their experiences of the same place with me. It motivates them, as well as me, to keep exploring. That’s why I love travel photography, there’s always something new to share.

However, even after spending so many years doing travel photography, I’m still not convinced to take it as a full-time career. But, not every story is going to be about how a passion turns into a profession. Regardless of that, I actively photograph my travels and invest most of my money in new adventures. From my childhood to now, a lot has changed. I really enjoy my photography as a passion, but at the same time, it provides a much needed break from my real life. Even though I am a full-time digital media executive, I get excited every time I plan my trips. I always look forward to where I’m going next and I can’t wait to get there.

- Teesta Chattoraj

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Blog by Shashank & Harshita