Special: City Photographer Debanjan Das captures the best of four Kolkata models
Photography had never been a burning passion since childhood for Debanjan Das, who was so into cricket that his family and friends took in for granted that he would pursue the sport professionally. But life had other plans for the 33-year-old, who was in awe of the work of renowned artists, whom he came across during his visits to his elder brother’s campus at NID Ahmedabad during holidays.
“Those beautiful works and experiments introduced me to the world of surrealism and imagination,” recalls Das. And when after graduation, he decided to switch to photography from graphic design, he always aimed at bringing an element of fantasy into his larger-than-life frames. Beginning his career in 2007 with a shoot for a Gillette ad with then-Indian cricket team captain Rahul Dravid in Mumbai, his career has been interspersed with enriching experiences including a three-year stint with celebrated photographer Bibek Das, which enhanced his skills as a lensman to a great extent.
“I always try to make the background very interesting, larger-than-life and surreal by incorporating Photoshop manipulations,” explains Debanjan, who runs a fully-equipped studio, Osthir Chitro, in Garia. “Currently in this digital era, taking innumerable pictures is a trend, but we had to be very careful during the times of analogue photography and I tend to maintain that. I like concentrating on facial expression and contrast the same with the tone of the picture,” adds Das, whose first analogue camera was a Cosina C1s (Das now shoots with a Nikon D800).
He’s an animal rescuer and a fitness freak too, while among the models whose pictures he submitted for this column, he says that Sushmita is the next big thing. “She has a very professional attitude, a good height and is always experimental, giving expressions tirelessly during the whole shoot. Manjuri’s face contour is very good and her expressions are great. Samragee is always full of life and has a certain sultriness and x-factor about her. Singini is an unconventional beauty and a very professional girl,” says the lensman.
Debanjan Das can be reached at 98311-80505 or firstname.lastname@example.org Instagram handle: @debanjanphotographer
Sushmita Parial | 28, height: 5 ft 6 inches
This competent model has also starred in quite a few music videos and aspires to act in films. Sushmita likes to keep her looks casual and loves high-street fashion with loose and anti-fit clothes being her choice of style. “I love loose jeans and oversized or boyfriend t-shirts with broad belts or oversized short balloon dresses with belts besides palazzos and shirts. I also like to wear saris and accessories for me comprise only earrings like hoops and stylish metal dangles or chandelier earrings in oxidised metals,” shares Sushmi ta. Make-up for her is always light and nude and she never uses kohl. “It’s only mascara and lipsticks for me in deep shades of maroon red and wine,” adds Sushmita, whose hobbies are reading books and clicking pictures.
Manjuri Dey | 25, height: 5 ft 5 inches
This girl with a job in fashion merchandising loves taking up good modelling assignments occasionally. In personal life, Manjuri’s fashion style is comfortable and stylish and she loves wearing oversized casuals like shirts, flared or loose-fitted jeans, boyfriend’s t-shirts, harem pants and palazzos. “I love wearing khadi kurtis too and pastel colours are my most favourite with shades of blues including turquoise and teal topping the list. When it comes to traditional wear, I am a complete sari person and wear a lot of dhakai, cotton, khadi and malmal with boatneck blouses in contrast colour,” shares Manjuri. She likes to complement her sari look with chunky neckpieces, especially chokers in oxidised matte finish. “I usually like nude make-up with heavily kohl-ed eyes and neutral lips when I wear saris,” says Manjuti, who also loves to sing and dance at leisure.
Singini Chowdhury | 19, height: 5 ft 3 inches
This first-year student of English loves modelling and wants to pursue acting in the future. “Usually, I love wearing onepiece, slim-fit dresses in any size and shorts with crop tops. My favourite colours are royal blue, yellow and black and I love miniature and bold floral motifs. On formal occasions, it’s always a sari for me, especially ghatcholas with sleeveless blouses,” shares the young girl. When it comes to accessories, it’s always earrings for Singini, be it hoops and danglers or ethnic junk jewellery to match a traditional attire. “I also love wearing stilettoes a lot and like to keep my make-up natural with nude look lipsticks in any shade and minimal eye make-up,” adds Singini, who loves dancing and hanging out with friends in her free time.
Instagram: @singini_ chowdhury
Samragee Chatterjee | 29, height: 5 ft 6 inches
Samragee started out as a model and now works as a freelance anchor besides doing select fashion shoots. “I like wearing casual and comfortable clothes on a normal day out and prefer cotton and linen attire during the summers. I love white and red apart from hues of blue. Floral prints in any shape and size,” shares the pretty young thing who simply loves watches, bags and shoes.
“I am not much of a jewellery person but I love wearing saris for traditional occasions, ranging from organza and Benarasi to heavy South silks and Dhakai jamdanis. I prefer fashionable blouses with quarter sleeves and high necks or boat cuts. I believe in keeping everyday make-up restricted to lip gloss and mascara and well-contoured eyebrows,” adds Samragee, who likes to to write scripts during her spare time.