Special: City photographer Arpan Dhar captures the best of four Kolkata models
Arpan Dhar, 31, ditched the civil services exam to pursue his hobby as a profession. Clicking pictures since his pre-teen years, this shutterbug was gifted his first Kodak KB10, a reel camera by his paternal aunt, as a birthday gift. Since then, he has tried his hand at capturing moments from his life, whether at events, special occasions or even of something very simple.
His first brush with professional photography came from delving into the world of wedding shoots. However, within a year’s time, he realised that shooting weddings was not really his cup of tea, and that led him to start a studio in partnership with his friend, and begin portfolio shoots. “I then joined an ad agency as an assistant photographer in 2015, and work took me to Lucknow and eventually to Mumbai, but I had to return to Kolkata, since my mother was alone,” recalls Arpan.
Once he was back for good, Arpan concentrated full-time on fashion photography with advertising and commercial shoots being his mainstay. “I want to grow in this field, and I want to set up my own full-fledged studio for the same,” he says.
The pictures that accompany this column were clicked by him as a part of some of his new experiments with portraits. “While clicking portraits, I always try to bring out candid shots. Here, Tanusri has very sharp features, but she needs to develop her posture a little. Sharmistha can carry her Indo-ethnic looks with a lot of spunk. Shrija again has very sharp features, but she needs to work on her expressions more, and Srotoswini has a very blank look, which makes each of her pictures very unique in look and feel,” says the lensman, who loves to go for long drives on his Royal Enfield whenever time permits.
Arpan Dhar can be reached at 70446-00904 or firstname.lastname@example.org Instagram handle: @imdharriju
Srotoswini Majumdar | 22, height: 5 ft 5 inches
This young graduate, who trades in jewellery and garments, prefers wearing fusion clothes. “I usually wear my kurtis with jeans, saris with tops and Western tops with Indian skirts,” Srotoswini tells us, adding that organza, mulmul and other such soft options comprise her daily choice of fabrics, besides silk and tussar for formal wear.
“I like darker colours in shades of black, brown, chocolate besides pista green and light hues of pastel colours. In prints, I love unusual designs, and not typical motif-based ones. For formal occasions, it’s either saris or dresses with long shrugs. For blouses, I prefer full-sleeves with a Western touch, embellished with some lacework. I like wearing antique jewellery both in gold and silver,” she adds, elaborating that her lipstick preferences are usually in shades of brown, for her daily make-up.
Instagram handle: @srotoswinee
Sharmistha Guha Chowdhury | 31, height: 5 ft 5 inches
A fashion and lifestyle content creator, Sharmistha loves colour blocking in her daily fashion choices, but in a very vintage and classic way, with a little bit of jazz in it. “Since I work full-time in the corporate world, I love wearing a lot of really nice pantsuits and saris, preferably in cotton. The colours that I choose depend on the weather, and if it’s winter it’s mustard brown, oxblood red and other such bright colours for me. While summers call for a turquoise blue, mint green or blush rose. Accessories have to be silver or textile jewellery for me,” says the effervescent beauty.
When it comes to make-up, it has to be very minimalist, with deep-kohled eyes and nude lips. “But if the occasion calls for some drama, then I bring out the Mac Ruby woo for my pout. I usually love wearing closed stilettoes, but traditional weddings or events mean mojris and bright kolhapuris for me,” says Sharmistha, who loves cooking, and travelling to exotic places.
Instagram handle: @nomadicwardrobe
Shrija Dasgupta | 24, height: 5 ft 6 inches
Shrija, a first-year student of International Business (MBA) is also a fashion, lifestyle and food blogger. Her sartorial choices comprise a classic style with a hint of a professional touch. “I like that sophisticated style, and I am mostly in my trousers in different cuts and styles, and I pair them with a classic white shirt. At times, I carry a big bag with these. I believe in minimalistic accessories like a chain or a bracelet, which is very subtle and no junk jewellery,” asserts Shrija.
The colours she loves include classic shades of black, white and red. “I am not at all a print person, but at times, I love stripes and bobby prints,” she adds. She believes in recycling clothes, and mixing and matching the old with the new, to get a new look each time. “Make-up is very minimalistic for me on a regular basis, but I love to experiment and go bold during occasions, adding drama to my outfit,” says Shrija, who loves to paint, read and do some Zumba during her time off.
Instagram handle: @shrija_d
Tanusri Bodhak | 30, height: 5 ft 5 inches
This pretty young thing who used to model frequently a few years ago and now does more offbeat work, loves to be in jeans and tees for the most part of the day. She also enjoys athleisure wear like track pants and loose tees, since fashion to her means comfort. “I love to pair my casuals with a pair of white sneakers,” says Tanusri, who enjoys breathable and organic fabrics like cotton and chiffon. For any formal occasion, this spunky woman loves wearing any kind of ethnic wear, be it a sari or kurtas and salwars in the silhouettes that are in fashion at that moment. Usually, she likes pairing her saris with blouses that have a deep neck and an equally deep back, with either full or half sleeves. “I am not an accessories person, but for occasions, I like wearing nice big earrings,” says the model, who likes to sport bright colours.
Instagram handle: @tanusribodhak