Updated: Aug 3, 2020
Hello, dear reader! This the third installation of what would (hopefully) be a long series of my favorite creators. If you missed the previous installations and would like to give them a read, allow me to redirect you to-
@kindofahappystory- My favorite creators and why they should be yours too- Part 1 @yavanna- My favorite creators and why they should be yours too- Part 2
When (Ayush) Wadhwa approached me to write for his website (I hope that's what this is), he also suggested a few topics to mull over. As a rule of thumb, when you're waking up from a writing slumber, you accept whatever is readily available to you- be it topic, content, or inspiration.
Comic by 'The Oatmeal'
In this semi-cooked, off-the-top-of-my-head list of topics, I found one that called out to me. It was simple, the topic was common. But, whoever would write it, would inadvertently make it unique. I saw my window. The topic simply said- My Favourite Creators. I have had the great fortune of knowing these creators personally, and I count them and their creations a cherishable blessing.
Hello! I'd like to introduce you to my dearest friend- (Nabarun Joy) Gogoi
Gogoi is an accomplished photographer whose work has featured in giants such as Vogue.
Since I have your attention now, I can continue with my narration at peace knowing you'd hang on for another paragraph at least (oof, look at me getting all hopeful).
Destin Sparks hit the nail on the head when he said-
Photography is the story I fail to put into words.
Here's a glimpse of Destin's brilliant work. For more: @destinsparks
If a picture is worth a thousand words, isn't it is wondrous to know that photography is the story that can't be put into words.
How fascinating is it to know that there exists an art form so powerful which renders the creator incapable of explaining her creation but at the same time allows the creation to speak volumes.
Gogoi is a seasoned sorcerer who likes to toy with his colors.
You can find yourself scrolling through his Instagram page for hours, while you accustom yourself with hues of blues and the mellow of yellow.
If I know the power of colors, it is only because of his photography. How some colors can induce warmth in you, some can impart joy, some are like the winter breeze while some shine and make your day brighter. This task is more difficult for men, who find it harder to distinguish between slight color differences. But whatever colors you'll show, and I can see, I shall find myself appreciative of them.
That's the thing about Gogoi, he doesn't look, he sees. And that's the chasm so many fail to jump across. You can find his gaze fixated on the weirdest of locations- an unkempt corner that doubles up as a makeshift laundry basket, a deserted tennis court, an unused bathtub; and when enquired he'd reply with: "Yeap, that seems like a great location for the next shoot". I used to ask him to help me visualize why anyone would want to choose that place, I don't bother anymore. He sees an end-product in his head which I cannot bring myself to fathom.
When Gogoi photographs a story, he imbues life into it through the protagonist, or in this case- the model. And if you're a friend of his, forget getting clicked by him. A good bet is he knows you through and through and hence giving you a different character would be lying. But, I'll still suggest saying Hi to him. Yeah, you won't get a glamorous picture, but you'll get a fine friend. It's a good deal, I'd take it.
I took this deal 3 years ago and since then I have heard him talk about a plethora of topics. He has ranted about fascism, rambled about food (Truffles, Bangalore- he's only talking about you), has gone on and on about traveling, championed running, promoted music (Jorja Smith and Aurora- is he the reason for your fame?), lectured about meditation and fitness. If there is something that can be talked about, it's a good bet that we would have already covered it.
Coming back to Gogoi's portfolio- he has done shoots all over. While studying at BITS in the remote town of Pilani (the isolated haven as I like to call it) he managed to pull off numerous shoots with limited setup and handful locations. This was the only time any friend of his could have had the pleasure of doubling up as his muse. From Pilani, he scaled up to Tokyo, Shibuya, Harajuku, Bangkok, Bombay, Pondicherry, Hampi, Bangalore. He shot at beaches and inside cramped up flats, against the scorching sun and in drizzles, in five-star hotels and in hand-made boats, with studio lights and also with lamps- but all with heart.
He traversed cities- meeting models and making friends. His extroverted self knows no other way.
Alfred Stieglitz once said:
In photography, there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.
And that's what Gogoi strives to work toward: fabricating a reality of his own.
His journey doesn't share the same glamorous shade as his photographs. He has had his battles, and there are several more to be waged. None of that remains consequential when you have something you find as meditative as Gogoi finds photography and editing. There have been hardships, but he counts himself fortunate to have found something he can pursue for hours at length, day-in and day-out.
He feels too much and cares worth a dozen souls. There have been times he has buried himself under a mountain of issues to care about that he feels the burdened for not having the bandwidth to care for more (sorry Gogoi, please enjoy your chicken). He cares too much and his actions follow. He has his own ways, he cultivates them. He's a methodical maverick, a sucker for the aesthetic, a consumer of colored vibrance, an ex-plant killer, an aspiring cat momma, and above all- a helplessly honest man.
If you would like to say hi to Gogoi, you can find him on Instagram. He goes by the handle: @nabarun_j
I am going to leave you with some of his brilliant creations, and some of my favorite quotes on photography.
There is one thing the photograph must contain, the humanity of the moment.
A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people.
A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.
And I shall see you next time, with another favorite creator o' mine.
About the author- I graduated from BITS Pilani in 2019 and have been working with Oracle in Bangalore ever since. I like to think of myself as an artist at heart with a penchant for philosophical blabbering, and grunge.
Feel free to message me on Instagram- @fading.facades
You can follow my musings here- https://medium.com/@durjaisethi6