Kolkata photographer Raj Chakraborty trains his lenses on four urban models
A design student, Raj Chakraborty has always been interested in the concept of angle, perspective and framing, but coming from a business family, he struggled to find the time to pursue his passion. “Things changed after marriage when my wife Paloma motivated me to pursue photography a bit more professionally. That’s how Charcoal Marks was born and I became a photographer,” a very humble Raj recalls.
His interest in photography was sparked in 2006 when Raj got his first camera phone. “It was a Sony Ericsson model and since then my journey with Sony began. The first photo I clicked was of a cat sitting on the stairs of Dakshineswar temple. Social media was not so active at the time and the physical sharing of images with close friends and families was the way of sharing happiness. I garnered a lot of appreciation and it motivated me to pursue photography more seriously,” explains Raj, who now uses a Sony Alpha 7 to click photos.
Interestingly, Raj never learned photography professionally, but learned the nuances on the job. “When I started I was just focusing on capturing small moments, moving objects and all the unnecessary stuff that played a big part in my film, but for the technical part like shutter speed, aperture, focal length and other important terms I have gone through a few books In fashion photography, composing a frame, highlighting the subject, and highlighting the outfit at the same time is a difficult task “Professional models are adept at playing with moods and expressions, but in the case of amateur models, I prefer to highlight the eyes. I always prefer natural light, rustic backgrounds and busy streets to artificially constructed installations” , he tells us.
Of the models whose photos he submitted for this column, Raj thinks Prakriti Sengupta’s eyes are very expressive while Arika Gupta has the most powerful looks, a chiseled and toned face and powerful eyes. “Medha’s height, her sharp features make her a perfect muse and Anushka has a charming personality. They all have their own individual identity which makes them very special,” says Raj, who admires Prabhuda Dasgupta, Rafique Sayed, Joseph Radhik, Aditya Venkatesh and Dani Diamond for inspiration.
Prakriti Sengupta | 21, height: 5 feet 2 inches
A student at Presidency University, chef at her cloud kitchen, singer, and amateur model, Prakriti is the perfect example of a multitasking genius. “I prefer comfort with style and I like boho chic clothes. I like kurtis, one-piece dresses, tops and jeans with unique printed patterns that are true to my personal style. I like to buy things from local sustainable brands and I love black and white and all things cotton and Ajrakh prints,” she tells us.
For occasions, she loves saris. “Weddings mean traditional kanjivaram sarees from my mother’s wardrobe and I like to accessorize the look with bespoke silver or oxide jewelry. chokers. Makeup means smoky eyes and keeping the rest as natural as possible with shades of nude brown on the lips,” she concludes.
Instagram: @prakritisengupta 5ft 2in
Archika Gupta | 22, height: 5 feet 3 inches
Apart from being a classical dancer, singer and theater enthusiast, Archika also loves modeling when he is free. “I like experimental clothes that will inspire others. For summers, I like all oversized outfits because they are roomy and comfortable. I also like joggers and t-shirts. For winter, I like pairing sarees with balzers. My favorite color is black and I love comfortable fabrics like cotton, linen and khadi,” she tells us.
For occasions, she likes to pair sarees with jackets or shirts with big oxidized earrings. “Makeup is always light with dark kohl and lips done in nude shades of pink,” she adds.
Medha Nandi | 31, height: 5 feet 6 inches
Active woman, fitness enthusiast and cook, Medha enjoys modeling in her free time. “Casual comfort clothes are my go-to for everyday wear. I like sporty hobbies like joggers, t-shirts, jeans and shorts, and knee-length one-piece dresses, among other outfits. I love black and monochromes like grey, white and black, although sometimes I also like to wear bright shades of yellow and neon,” says Medha.
For formal occasions like weddings and pujas, it is always a saree. “Weddings mean Banarasi sarees and for Puajs it can be hand woven sarees with elegant blouses. I like to wear interesting blouses and sometimes I pair my sarees with a t-shirt or a bikini top .i choose my jewelry from different shows and i like to wear designer clothes.interesting and even oxidized hoops or necklaces.i like to keep the makeup minimal with a bit of blush,eyeliner, kohl and a touch of lipstick.
Anouchka Banerjee | 29, height: 5 feet 4 inches
An engineer, blogger, and dog mom, Anushka loves to wear smart casual outfits like jeans, kurti, sarees, and dresses. “My favorite color is white and I love wearing cotton outfits,” she says.
For dressy occasions she likes to wear khadi and handwoven sarees and for weddings it can be sheer silks with blouses she designs for herself. “I like bespoke blouses that I design myself and I like them with glass sleeves or three-quarter sleeves. I don’t like a lot of accessories except watches and rings. I don’t wear makeup not but for weddings, it’s as simple as a little foundation, kohl and lipsticks”, she adds.