Capturing the emotion


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FREDDY HANDA, “Photographer of the Year” at the MIMA, talks about the euphoria and challenges that led to the creation of his award- winning photograph, on the cover of the March feature titled ‘Bombay Bar’

On winning the award

Getting recognition for hard work is everyone’s dream and winning Photographer of the Year at the MIMA awards made me feel special. Working day and night for 3 years has finally paid off, it was also teamwork and loads of planning that led to a successful shoot. But this is just a beginning, the pressure is still on.

On the judges picking the visual I guess the project was something special and its always will remain close to my heart. Apart from being so special, it portrayed a transgender event, which is uncommon. The shot which was picked by the judges had the expression, the emotion and it brings about the character which made the frame so special.

On the shoot

I still remember the event, it was dark and all the faces were new for me. Being a photographer surrounded by the transgender community can be challenging as they feel shy and sometimes they don’t want to share their private life with anyone else. Thanks to the TIT staff and event organiser for allowing me to cover the event, and to the performers who supported me in capturing glimpses of their life. From a practical perspective it was challenging as the location was dark and filled with red light, and the South Asian community were all under one roof performing Bollywood shows, with each one getting better and better. I understood that I had to shoot something which would capture the emotion and not use the flash, so using the available light on a full frame camera with some fast aperture lens, I was able to nail the show.

On the award-winning visual

From an artist’s view, the frame has to speak for itself and capturing the right emotion will always let the visual appeal to its audience. An artist needs to make sure he is able to connect to his audience, and I guess I was able to touch the human chord through the Bar Bombay visual. About working with The Indian Telegraph team It has been a fruitful association so far. 4 months and 4 events, and we are like a family now! I’m blessed to have so many creative people around me, who are also the biggest critics of my work. They all have an eye for story and artwork. I would like to thank Inder, Kartik and Arijit for being so supportive and patient

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