Hello, this is Debrani Das, a passionate street photographer and a homemaker from India. Born in a small town of West Bengal, I have lived in several places as my father had to travel a lot. Finally Kolkata became a place which I call my hometown. I am a woman with high emotion and less words. Street photography defines me as a person, it gives me muted voice to communicate.
From stillness to Hustle, I try to capture everything that connects with me. Street photography helps me to discover and witness beauty in mundane knick-knacks and unfolding magical moments. It opens up a whole new door to see differently and that fascinates me. Same street always offers something new each and every time. All these make the street genre very special.
Photography to me is a way of self-interaction. It allows to be just me whenever I am out there with my camera. I simply forget everything and start to breathe afresh; I articulate via lens to the world. My inner being gets manifested externally via the juxtaposition of silent faces and their silent tones along with the contradiction of lively actions and the inline emotions.
I feel so blessed that Kolkata the ‘city of joy’ is my hometown. Every nook and corner of Kolkata is bursting with people; crowded with the living and the non-living with old tree roots often finding its way through the concrete jungle; and I like to be in the middle of all the chaos and be invisible. Kolkata is also called the ‘Cultural Capital of India’ and different types of festivals are happening in every month and thus offers a vast amalgamation of a rich culture and heritage. My photographs are mostly from my hometown, but I like to shoot irrespective of any place. Varanasi is another famous destination in India among street photographers. This place holds a spiritual soul that connects with every single person who pays a visit to this ancient city. A walk in ghats (river banks) of Varanasi beside the holy Ganges with a camera always offers possibilities to capture different moods and activities. As India is a vastly populated country with many religions across the world, many events happen everywhere and I try to visit as many events as possible.
Street photography happened to me in the last few months of 2016. Hailing from Kolkata, an extremely ‘loud’ city in India, offered me an enormous opportunity to observe and learn this genre. Though at that point of time I was living between Kolkata and Milwaukee, I started shooting the stillness of Milwaukee as well as the hustling and bustling streets of India according to my stay. Finally I got settled in Kolkata by 2018 and I resumed capturing the streets of this amazing city. From winter misty morning to the nights of the summer, the rainy season or the scorching heat every season has its own flavour in Kolkata. I try to carry my camera always with me and try to shoot whenever possible.
I have alreadymentioned I am an emotional person, so most of the time it is a call from the inside that forces me to go for a shoot. Shooting street photography makes me feel relaxed and discover myself. It helps me to push my limits further and I enjoy discovering my strength and weaknesses. My inner self gets a voice to communicate and that helps me to unleash. It is fascinating to be able to snatch a moment within a fraction of a second which is impromptu. Instant joy runs through the veins to witness unseen magical moment unfolding in front of my eyes. In street photography human element plays an important role and I silently interact with them through the photographs. I try to deeply observe human behaviour and action, and many times I come across unusual great act from a very normal person unexpectedly. This “lyrical and often magical simplicity” motivates me which I try to embed into myself that in turn enriches my inner soul.