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Meet Kormiyaki Lamarr

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kormiyaki Lamarr.

Kormiyaki, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Photography and I met when I was twelve. At the time, I only played around with the family’s point and shoot camera. After I enrolled in my current school, photography moved from being a pastime to a serious involvement, and soon I was appointed the head of middle school events.

This responsibility became a turning point for me. I tinkered with my camera, tried to explore its use, technically and creatively. It gave me a new perspective; it was a way to keep me creatively stimulated and express myself. Photography showed me the different facets of life, different expressions in people. The world just seemed deeper through a lens, and in time, even my eyes started looking at things the same way.

For the past five years, I have been an active photographer and have been able to link it to my cause to do charity, specifically for an NGO called “Manbha Foundation” run by my aunt, which deals with drug addiction, alcohol abuse, and the sex trade. With my family’s extensive background in community service, my exposure to charitable organizations was a way of life which made me take an active part in community service.

“Life’s Interval” is a project that I had started with a friend. I got the idea from ‘Humans of New York,’ which is a page with stories and photographs of strangers. My page is linked to social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, and I pushed the concept further by using it as a platform to support the economically disadvantaged people I interviewed. Today, Life’s interval has about a dozen stories and more than a thousand followers.

Apart from photography being a method of spreading awareness for charity, I also have a keen interest in landscape, fine art, and fashion photography. When I first started taking photography seriously, I was deep into landscape and coming from a beautiful hill station called Shillong. I found myself surrounded by different kinds of breathtaking landscape.

Fine art photography stems from my affinity in trying to express your deepest trains of thought, and I don’t consider it a failure if people have different opinions about what I portray in my photographs as long as they are artistically drawn to them.

My portrait photography matured into fashion photography as I found it very interesting how different types of clothing and accessories portray the plethora of personalities and tastes in people.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
My life went through massive and profound changes in this year alone: the passing away of my mother, the visit I had paid to my aunt’s NGO, the ‘Robin Hood Army,’ and my little project called ‘Life’s Interval.’ The passing of my mother was the biggest factors in the transition of my life.

Photography helped me – it was a mode of catharsis, but it could only keep grief at bay temporarily. What really helped me during this time were the projects that I did. The ‘Robin Hood Army’ is an NGO that recycles surplus food from restaurants and distributes to the poor. I was part of the NGO and wanted to share their stories with the world through my skills.

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
Since I am a freelance photographer, I feel my journey from the last nine years has been successful in my creative journey. I specialize mainly in portraiture, lifestyle, however, for the past nine years, I have had exhibitions back in India and also New York. I have also shot with clients for their restaurants, resorts, events, pre-wedding and fashion designers. I am proud as a freelancer is that I have never had an unhappy client.

I am more of a conceptual photographer, I try and make it a point to tell a story through each of my images. I put a lot of thought during the pre-production stage of my shoots by creating mood boards and speaking to my clients about what exactly I want from the shot.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Apart from Freelancing, I would want to work for fashion house and magazines, shoot movies and grown as an artist.

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