My name is Anuj Arora. I am a Delhi based contemporary photographer. I have been doing it for four years. It is not only a hobby for me; it’s more of a way out or a vent which helps me to connect with my surroundings. It keeps a part of me alive inside, like a new purpose of life. Basically, I try to capture moments through which I can describe a particular action.
Actions like daily people rushing in busy lanes, preparations for festivals or a religious activity; the human element adds more power to the frame. There’s a story in this picture. I waited for someone to come out. I waited for more than 15 minutes then suddenly, as I was leaving with an empty frame and lost hope, I heard “Mummy, going for tuitions!” She jumped and I clicked.
In the Shade
Before photography I was introvert; less open to people around me. But, after getting into photography more seriously, I became more open. Well, I had to because taking portraits without permission is hard for me. I can’t make candid frames. This picture was hard to take as this guy was already feeling irritated because of the saturation of photographers in the area. I had to convince him by cracking jokes and sharing information about each others’ lives.
Making motion frames is what I love doing in this field, like stopping time just for a second, so that a viewer can see and feel that particular moment where I get a moment which can never be re-written.
We are imprisoned in the realm of life; like a sailor on his tiny boat on an infinite ocean. Everyone can have their own opinion about the deep thought that the subject is thinking in this photo.
“Seas shore love” is what I call this one.
Hands of Blacksmith
This was a series I wanted to do for a long time, inspired by a French photographer. It was the harshest environment I’ve ever been in. No oxygen, I was breathing in the chemical air, then I asked this boy who just turned 12 to show me his hands. Then, I thought how this environment would be to them.
Cold Sunrise at Red Fort, Delhi. One of the serene scenes is seen here during winters. It was the warmth that attracted me to this scene and the rays falling from the tomb. I waited for some people to stride by.
I followed this lady for at least 16 minutes in order to align her with the peak of the background. Rajasthan, India is full of color full frames and moody environments – you just need to look for them. Such frames are always lovely to shoot and create an analog mood as though shot straight from film.
It was covert. I look for interesting subjects with unusual features like clothes, eyes and expressions. Most importantly, I wait and look for their gaze. When I get that perfect gaze, the shutter goes down from halfway.
I saw the rays falling on the floor and the contrasting shadows, hiding from metro guards. It was a perfect moment. I was anxiously waiting for a person to move to a more desired position. It was indeed an ecstatic time-lapse.
So far through my journey as a photographer, I have seen a variation in my style. Every time I go to shoot, it gets more complicated because I see similar frames in the city. I try to make new compositions and change the angles of the same frame. That’s what keeps me going; the reason why I keep clicking. One day such a perfect frame will come and it will fulfill my destiny. But I don’t really want that moment to come so that I will still have a reason.
Lately, pursuing commercial work in photography has made me lose my street sense and spirit. I don’t want to do that for much longer, because it cannot be like that. It’s not just me. Everyone should give priority to the personal side of their photography. It can be any genre: street, abstract, portraits. Whatever makes you feel more comfortable and less pressured.