Category Art & Culture

IRST Photography: Aesthetics at Its Finest

When I first glanced at the photos of IRST Photography, my eyes were drawn towards the aesthetic natural tones of the models. Shot predominantly across beaches, flowers, and indoors, they brought in a sense of calmness through their simplicity. Interestingly enough, the person behind the camera has a story of simple beginnings and how he never imagined that he would be shooting popular celebrities one fine day.


Behind the Camera(s)

Rewind to his school days, Irshath shot the most random things on his Nokia Lumia. What began as a photoshoot for his ‘good looking’ cousin, it eventually led him to a photoshoot for a girl who offered to pay. From renting his first camera to experiment with different cameras from Nikon D350 to Sony and Canon, he lets his shoots flow at the moment, to capture the natural essence of the models. Irshath, 27-year-old works full time as a product designer and never wants his passion for photography to be seen as full-time work.

Irshath - IRST Photography


Au Naturel Process

Once Irshath visited a popular actress’s house for a shoot. He simply asked her to carry on with her daily routine in her natural look and attire. Even now, she credits him for capturing her differently and helping her get noticed among filmmakers.

“I love to capture people, their lifestyle, and their daily routine in my photographs. And, the results are an accurate reflection of themselves,”

Irshath

Irshath loves early morning shoots where he tactfully uses the sunlight to his advantage. A majority of his shots are at the beach. He makes each one of his models stand out in simple locales like the beach or alongside a flowering plant on random streets.


Photography Philosophy

A self-taught photographer, Irshath learned the techniques of photography and editing from various resources on the Internet. Annie Lebovitz, the 71-year-old celebrated American photographer, and P.C Sreeram, an Indian cinematographer continue being an inspiration to him.

Calmness, a connection to daily life, and natural angles are the three ingredients that Irshath follows to make IRST photography stand out in the aesthetic photography niche.

“I consider shooting national award-winning cinematographer Santhosh Sivan at his house as my greatest achievement till date. He gave me the creative freedom to shoot him and he was appreciative of the result,”

Irshath

A Pro Tip for Budding Photographers

Irshath’s only advice is to not listen to others’ advice. He wants people with a love for photography to go with the flow. The worst of cameras can give the best results. It all comes down to the technique and the love for photography.

“A job of the photographer is to show the picture of the real world. The job of the cinematographer is to use equipment, grand costumes, and specific locations. I chose to be the photographer,” signs off Irshath.

Feathers Full of Dreams: The Story of a 22-year old Dreamcatcher Craftswoman

In 2013, during a time when Netflix was unavailable in India, it was just another day for Anusha and her childhood friend to catch up on a Korean drama The Heirs online. A scene had one of the lead characters gifting a purple coloured dreamcatcher to her boyfriend. It was the first time she had seen something like a dreamcatcher and had known what they looked like. She had never seen a cool, beautiful and intricate piece of art. She felt it was one of the best things you could gift someone you love. Anusha and her friend went around Manipal searching for dreamcatchers, but they couldn’t find a shop that sold one. Little did Anusha know that she would end up crafting dreamcatchers on her own.

The Journey:

Fast forward to 2017, Anusha wanted to gift her best friend something meaningful and unique. Once again, she went on to search for dreamcatchers and found a shop selling them. When she examined the dreamcatchers on showcase, she realised that they were not only expensive, but they were something that could be crafted by her. She went on to source raw materials for a dreamcatcher. And through a few YouTube tutorials, she successfully made her first dreamcatcher which took about a month to complete through trial and error. In the end, Anusha’s best friend loved her birthday gift – a dreamcatcher.

That’s how, the journey began for Anusha Victoria Veigas, into the world of dreamcatchers.

Pillars of Support:

Born and raised in a Catholic family in Manipal, 22-year old, Anusha is now an entrepreneur of her venture Feathers Full of Dreams, and is a Physiotherapy intern. Interestingly, she found time to craft dreamcatchers during her class hours, which led to encouragement and ideas from her friends on how to start a dreamcatcher business. During her vacation. this spurred a thought in her, to give a serious thought to the idea of crafting and selling dreamcatchers. Coming from a middle class background, Anusha’s parents were retired by the time she joined college. This also motivated her to become self-reliant and went on to create over 20-30 dreamcatchers, all of them which were bought by her friends and family.

“My friends and my parents are my biggest supporters and critics,” says Anusha.

A Gifted Eye for Design:

When Anusha scours the Internet for dreamcatcher ideas or when a customer gives a reference image, she humbly states that it takes just one look to identify the thread work that goes into a dreamcatcher. Coincidentally being a night owl, she crafts dreamcatchers mostly during the night which takes about one hour to 3-4 days depending on the size and requirement of the dreamcatcher. She works around 5-6 hours a day to craft dreamcatchers every day. She believes in reasonably pricing her dreamcatchers, starting from Rs. 100 going up to Rs. 1,200.

“I ask my best, friends, parents and at times my brother when I price a dreamcatcher. But in the end, the final price is decided by stepping into the shoes of my customers like If I was him/her would they buy from me?,” says Anusha.

A Pandora Box of Customer Stories:

While Anusha has received plenty of positive feedback from customers and even requests from resellers, reselling is something she is not interested in. She wants these feathery art pieces to be reasonably priced. There is no dearth of customers when Anusha is asked to narrate a few customer demands and their antics – a customer who never paid after ordering to unsolicited requests for video calls and a customer who never wanted to pick up his dreamcatcher after paying and so on. She is still working on to meet the demands of customers who request for specific colour feathers due to difficulty in sourcing a wide range of materials. However, with the surge in the number of craft supplies sellers on Instagram, she seeks to expand her scope of work.

Balancing Work and Entrepreneurship:

Tools of the trade

Anusha is at a stage where she has to be focussed on her career as a physiotherapist as well as work on improving her craft and business. With the bunch of orders during the pandemic, her parents though supportive in her venture, have advised her to find a balance between the two.

Anusha is all set to pursue her higher studies now with a soft pause in her venture. With plenty of her own dreamcatchers decorating her house, they also serve her a gentle reminder to never stop dreaming, literally.

Follow @FeathersFullofDreams on Instagram. All pictures are subject to copyright.