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Daily Inspiration: Meet Surzayon Ghosh

Today we’d like to introduce you to Surzayon Ghosh.

Hi Surzayon, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I have spent over years living across the Middle East, India, and the United States of America. Between the local shawarma and my mother’s homemade curry, I grew up in a mixed atmosphere where religions and cultures meshed perfectly. My parents married in the late eighties, and globalization hit them sooner than anyone else. Hence, I grew up with several nostalgic photo albums, film rolls, and cameras. As a quiet, spectacled, business graduate, I.00 did not pay any heed to my hobby because, in my culture, there are few who pursued photography and even fewer who succeeded in it.

“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.” ― Dorothea Lange

At the tender age of ten, I held my first camera to know one thing; I would never let go of it. My parents shared a passion for photography themselves, though none were professionals. It isn’t strange that their passion imbibed into me. Ever since I was a child, I would toy around with the workings of a camera, needless to say that a good few rolls got destroyed in my path to ‘discovering’ my voyage of life along with what would be my life partner.

Photography does not constrict itself to an 8” x 10” color printed image on a paper, for me it means nothing short of liberation. I admit that academics had never been my strength, for I devoted all my time in inculcating a passion I was unaware of. Like many others, I had set foot to fit myself into a cubicle boxed life but the camera slung around my neck refused to leave its place. They say that a photographer’s camera is in his eye, but I can’t help but find beauty in everything; in the words of Walter De Mulder “Always seeing something, never seeing nothing, being photographer.”

Liberation, strength and representation – these are the three words which come into my mind whenever I think about photography. The technical jargon related to this field would be something I would learn from you all, not that I am alien to what it is. Yet, the camera refused to be a simple machinery with buttons and settings to get the right picture. There’s never a definition for what’s the “right” picture.

Over the past few years, I have dabbled in the field of photography, taking the liberty to call myself an amateur photographer. Having traveled across several countries, I found each and every one of cities taking a part of my older self to instill a newer man with me, with every picture. “I tend to think of the act of photographing, generally speaking, as an adventure. My favorite thing is to go where I’ve never been.” – Diane Arbus

Photography, though, doesn’t limit itself to be a path of self-discovery for me.

To be able to learn photography from Academy of Art would only leverage my understanding towards this discipline for which I have devoted my life. I seek to make my mark with the stories that come out of the images that I intend on capturing. Clearly, I look at a broaden scope of opportunity once I graduate from the Academy of Art. Coming from a business background with the zeal and spark of an MFA in Photography from the Academy of Art; would definitely push me in the front line of my game. I have always being a self-starter and with an MFA from Academy of Art, I can help hone a skill I have always devoted as a passion.

Moreover, the journey to photography was no simple happily ever after, either. It took me two years, exploring inside and outside the box to find out what I was genuinely passionate about photographing – Fashion.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I would not say it has been rough or smooth. But to have pivoted from the business world of marketing to a more creative world was very daunting and is still to a degree. Creativity as many might not say is beyond the 9-5 it is more of a 24 hour kind of a thing. My biggest struggle would be experiencing imposter syndrome where I would time and again feel inadequate to industry leaders even though my photos get credited. But beyond that, the truth of the matter is as a creative, it is of utmost importance to hold on to what one truly feels is worth holding on too. Because we do this on our own and to get paid for this and gain a community eventually is the goal.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am an award-winning fashion and portrait photographer at the time of this interview, I am based in San Francisco, California. I will be making a move for Toronto by Summer of 2021.

I have been stuck at home like most people around the world due to the COVID 19 pandemic. But before the pandemic, I would be shooting editorial and fashion photographs in studio and on location. I specialize in capture models in natural light and with serendipitous movements. What is serendipitous movements you’d say? Where the poses are not planned or contrived rather offset. I also specialize in capturing the outfit and the essence of the overall vibe through a narrative, which either I create or is created beforehand.

I am most proud of my awards that I have received from IPA and PX3. But particularly, I have been very proud of the fact that during the pandemic, I was able to capture over 90 models from across six continents via FaceTime in a similar way that I would if I were with them in person. That experience helped me rewire my thought process about photography and helped me push my boundaries in photography challenging myself in a time when people could not freely travel.

What does success mean to you?
When my work is recognized beyond or more than me. I would consider that as success. More so when I am able to have complete financial independence with creativity is also when I can attribute that to success.

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