In the first of these series of interviewing photographers that have done great creative work, we had a chat with Natalia Arantseva, a very creative portrait photographer who is based in Mumbai.
Natalia Arantseva, was born in a small city in Russia called Oktyabrsky. She now lives and works in Mumbai. She loves creative and portrait photography and has held various photography workshops.
Arantseva is also an avid traveller.
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1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself? Where are you from? How long have you been a photographer and what motivated you to get started?
My birth place is Russia , a small country side town , surrounded by hills and forests. I have spent my childhood climbing the trees and riding horses. I have spent my evenings reading books about far away countries and adventures. India was the first country on my list to visit. And here I am for more then a decade. I picked my first camera 6 years back , my new born son was my first inspiration. In a couple of years it became my greatest passion. It has been an Interesting journey and the best way to express myself.
2.You describe yourself as a portrait conceptual photographer. What themes are you exploring in your work? Who and what inspires you?
I admire all directions in photography, landscapes, macro , documentary and etc. But for some reason, most of all , I love to photograph people. All the rest is just a background for my environmental portraits. Conceptual photography is the other direction to express myself. I do this as well a lot of commercial work, which I prefer not to display to public. It’s just what we do behind the curtain and not necessarily from heart.
3. I see you use houses and forests in several photos. Could you explain what appeals to you about them?
A horse for me represents grace , loyalty and strength while the forest is a hide-out , retreat and my personal space. To feel the presence of God, people go to temples. I get the same feeling from nature. I am amazed by the evidence of God in the nature around us and would love to convey it through my images.
4. How much work goes into the preparations of your photography? what steps do you find yourself going through to create the image?
Sometimes I get an idea, the visualisation of my concepts. I see the “final” image, way before I start the preparations. I never invite hair dressers or make up artists on my personal concepts , I keep things very simple. Maximum, one assistant, no pompous atmosphere of typical fashion shoots.
5. Just so that we can find out a bit more about the person behind the lens, could you tell us 3 things about yourself that aren’t related to photography?
Apart from photography , my greatest passion is travelling. I have been to many countries of the world, such remote areas as Papua, Irian Jaya, still inhabited by cannibalistic tribes. I hope to see the maximum of the world before I die. I want to meet the sunrise at the top of Machu Picchu and have my dinner with the lost tribes of Mongolia.
If you have done some creative work in photography and would like to be featured on our blog, please add your details in the comments below.