Aesana Bhuta is a Mumbai-based photographer who shoots fashion, advertising, and celebrity portraiture. Ever since beginning her career as a photographer, she has captured many popular celebrities from films and television, including Tabu, Raveena Tandon, and Priyanshu Painyuli.
In a candid conversation with Eastern Eye, Bhuta talks about her career, favourite works, the photographers whose work she adores, and much more. She also shares some of the biggest lessons in the business of photography she has learned along the way.
What was your career path? How did you get from being an aspiring photographer to actually doing it full time, for a living?
My career path was based on the foundation of practice. It was then followed by internships to seek industrial knowledge like the way any other photographer does. After completing my internships, I headed on to utilise the skills formally in my own workflow.
Do you have formal training as a photographer?
Yes, I have gained formal education in photography from a renowned institute and have been enjoying the art of freezing advertorial portraits ever since in the diverse glamour and entertainment industry.
Among your works, which one is your favourite? Why?
One of my all-time favourite works is a ‘Bad Girl’ series I worked on. It speaks of free spirit and strength to do what the heart desires.
Whose work has influenced you most? Is there any other photographer that you consider as a kind of idol?
To be frank, I seek inspirations from all that surrounds me for I strongly believe everyone masters a specific genre and I am an admirer of that genre each artist possesses. Rid Burman, Atul Kasbekar, and Vikram Bawa are a few photographers whose work I really admire.
What type of editing software do you like to use for your completed photographs, and what do you like about it?
I prefer using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom for post-processing my shots. I am not much of a person who likes editing for I find raw versions more enticing any day.
What details do you believe make the best photographs? How do you go about focusing on them in your work?
A balance of creative direction, tuned colour palettes, and eye-catching, elegant aesthetics coupled with concreteness and realism make the best photograph for me. I personally concentrate on performing to the best of my capability each time I shoot. The wish to become better in my craft never mellows and keeps me focused.
Nowadays almost everyone has access to devices with which it is possible to take pictures. What do you think is the difference between a professional photographer and any other hobby photographer?
According to me, the difference is inclined in terms of picture quality and skills to frame a photograph. All I would say is photography is a wonderful art with different elements that beautifully make hobby and passion coexist.
Are you a detail-oriented person?
Yes, I am a detail-oriented person as I analyse the mood boards I am working on from every possible angle.
What are some of the biggest lessons in the business of photography you have learned along the way?
I think photography is more like a gear which one has to raise and slow down as per the need of the situation. It’s about letting the spirit to flow freely. Bring fearlessness in strategizing your creativity is the acumen to growth. It’s one of the biggest lessons I have learned till date.
What is the most challenging part about being a photographer in showbiz?
I think the medium seldom makes it challenging. Sailing through the challenges that occur without compromising the creative direction and, at the same time, limiting budget outflow is the most difficult part when executing a shoot.
Who has been the most difficult celebrity you have ever photographed?
I personally haven’t encountered any such difficulty as of yet and even if it did, I wouldn’t have paid heed to it. For me, the only routine is to go to the shoot, finish my work, and leave once it’s done. It’s more about letting my work do the talking.
How is photographing a celebrity different from photographing a regular person?
I beg to differ for I as a photographer visualize any individual as an artsy subject, I have to freeze stills for. As a result, it isn’t really different for me. From the technical angle, shoot durations with celebrities are comparatively very short and wind up rather quickly.
How do you set people at ease and get them to do the things that they do in your pictures?
I first work on building a rapport with the muse and then gradually brief the mood I am looking for in the shots. I enjoy exploring creativity and experiment on the spur for freezing frames that strike the eye.
What advice do you have for a young photographer who is just starting out in the industry?
I would just say that hard work, creativity, and self-belief are the key to becoming successful in any profession.