All images © Sonia Bendre. All rights reserved.
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Sonia Bendre is our third Featured Photographer. She is known for her keen artistic eye, and for the highly stylized and colorized images she has shared on PhoozL, with some being selected by judges as winners in various photo contests. Let’s find out more about Sonia…
PHOOZL: Where is home? Where do you live? Have you always lived there?
SONIA: I was born and brought up in Bombay, India, and that is where my home currently is. I was a psychology student and wanted to be a counselor, but life had other plans for me!
Q: How long have you been involved with photography? What got you started?
The year 2012 was when I found my deep passion for photography. I started clicking pictures at home and in my garden while I was exploring how my new Nikon P500 camera worked. I would click random pictures of ordinary subjects, edit them, and everybody liked what I did.
My husband and my father-in-law gave me a lot of encouragement to follow my passion.
I have been married into the family of renowned Indian artists (family name: Bendre). I was greatly influenced by the art environment of the house: seeing my grandfather-in-law’s paintings, father-in-law’s abstract works, graphic designs by my husband, and jewelry designs by my mother-in-law. I started to appreciate art, and that gave importance to my inclination towards photography.
Q: How did you get your photo education? School or self-taught? Workshops? Books? Internet? Or…
I am a self-taught photographer, and with experimentation and following a trial-and-error method, I learn something new every day. I educate myself from the Internet and with the comments and critiques on PhoozL. I enjoy the learning process as these are the building blocks to a bright future.
Q: Do you have a photo speciality, or what is your favorite type of photography? Do you have a style?
My pictures have a little mystery and abstraction. Keeping the images fascinating and mystical, I rotate the viewers direction and keep them interested with Shade, Textures and Forms. I am not afraid to experiment and allow my thoughts to be put into action. Keeping the balance with detail and pushing the colors to an expressive level is my forté.
I click a lot of random and ordinary subjects and then try to make them extraordinary.
Q: How does photography fit into your life? Is it a hobby? A passion? A career?
Photography is my passion and a career as well. I had three exhibitions in 2012. Here are the details:
My first exhibition was “Drawing With Light” at Out of the Blue art gallery in Mumbai (India), where I displayed my photographic work for sale and did quite well!
My second exhibition was “Art in the Family” at Mantra art gallery in Ahmedabad, India. This was a group show, and I had the opportunity to display my works along with my grandfather-in-law’s (N.S. Bendre), grandmother-in-law’s (Mona Devi Bendre), and father-in-law’s (Padmanabh Bendre) paintings. That show had a lot of sentimental value for me, with excellent response, great media coverage, and articles in local newspapers. I also gave interviews for a TV channel and was honored by the C.N. College of Fine Arts in Ahmedabad. All in all, it was an excellent and memorable experience.
My Third show was “Fashion and Photography” at The Dressing Room in Mumbai. It was quite a glamorous show where I displayed my works along with clothing designs by a famous Indian designer. Indian models and actors were present for the preview, and there was a lot of media attention and articles in papers. It was a different and enjoyable experience for me.
My year 2012 was very fulfilling, and I am hoping to do more gallery exhibitions in near future.
Q: What equipment do you use? And how do you do your image-editing?
For cameras, I use Nikon d70, Nikon D3200, and Nikon p500. My favorite lens is a 18-200mm. I edit my photos in Photoshop CS5.
Q: Who or what has inspired or influenced you and your photography?
The photographer I admire most is Edward Weston, who photographed ordinary subjects but made them wonderful. He was very innovative and a master photographer in the 20th century.
The person who has inspired me most is my husband Chirayu Bendre (I know – difficult to pronounce!). He is an extremely talented and creative person. He is always very enthusiastic about creating new things. He does wonderful vehicle graphics, is an excellent animator and a great interior designer. He has taught me quite a lot about computers, which is very important for what I do. He’s a strict teacher, but excellent at the same time. His aesthetic sense is wonderful, and I really look up to him.
My father-in-law Padmanabh Bendre’s abstract works and his sense of choosing colors and his experimentation with different styles really inspire me.
Q: Do you have any advice for others who want to improve and evolve their own photography?
Yes. See things in a different way, have a sense of adventure, and don’t be afraid to try something new. Use your eye to compose and make the picture. Experiment, play, and enjoy the process.
Watch for more of Sonia here on PhoozL, and follow her on Facebook.