Photography is a skill most can muster these days but very few can be great storytellers. Today we have a photographer from Nagaland who transforms into a fantasy storyteller through photo manipulation. For those who are on the fence about whether photo manipulation can be considered an art form, it sure does qualify as the greats in this field have an active imagination and a flair for storytelling along with their technical skills.
Meet 22-year-old Aviu Yhome from Nagaland, who finds excitement in the fact that no two photos are the same.”No one else can create a photo like the one you created, and that is why the world needs you – the reason the world considers you a chronicler of time and beauty.” We had a great time chatting with Aviu, and here’s an excerpt from the conversation.
A tête-à-tête with Aviu Yhome – 22-year-old student and freelance photographer, cum photo manipulation artist. We talk about his photography style, his inspirations and motivations, and how his obsession with color and light is related to his roots.
Hi Aviu. Please introduce yourself.
My name is Kevingutuo Yhome, I also go by the name “The Goose”, a childhood pet name from my dad. I am a 22-year-old freelance photographer, photo manipulator and a photo retoucher based out of Kohima, Nagaland.
What initially sparked your interest in photography?
My love for photography started when I was quite young. I only started taking Photography seriously around the year 2014 when I started shooting portraits of my friends and family. That’s when I fell in love with portrait photography and taught myself everything I could about the art form.
“I still shoot other genres of photography but portrait photography has a special place in my heart and I do consider myself to be primarily a portrait photographer.”
How have your Naga roots influenced your work/style of work?
I was born and raised in Kohima, and my home is built on the side of a little hill covered in green foliage – a beautiful scenery of colors and natural light that creeps in between tall trees. So naturally, my style is highly influenced by color and light. I am obsessed with getting the colors right and looking natural. In the world of digital photography, that’s an incredibly hard task to get right, as the colors and contrast may vary across different platforms on which users consume visual media. But I hope to master the technicalities to get it right someday.
“I was born and raised in Kohima, and my house is built on the side of a little hill covered in green foliage – a beautiful scenery of colors and natural light that creeps in between tall trees. So naturally, my style is highly influenced by color and light.”
Are you a full-time photographer?
I am a full-time student; I recently finished my Bachelors in Arts, and I plan to pursue further studies. So I do freelance photography part-time. It’s also a hobby to keep myself busy and maintain some excitement in my daily life.
Where do you seek inspiration?
I find inspiration from music, various forms of art, and from scenes and objects around me, but most of all I find inspiration in the people I photograph. I believe that no two individuals should be captured in the same identical way, so it’s exciting to experiment and be creative.
What’s your creative philosophy?
My work philosophy would be “To Slow down.” Speaking from experience, the more time you spend to understand your subject, the better and more natural the photos will turn out. I have done some rare 6 to 7-hour shoots and what I have learned from them is that:
“The first portion of the shoot gives you good shots, the middle portion of the shoot gives you great shots but the last few hours give you the truest shots of the subject. By then all their defenses are down and all that’s left is the subject’s real and relaxed self.”
Tell us about your most memorable photo shoot/photo.
My most memorable photoshoot would have to be a recent one called “Contrast – A Play of Light and Shadow.” It was one of the rare photoshoots, where I didn’t feel I could have done better – immediately after posting it online.
What/Who gets you particularly excited about pursuing photography?
“What” gets me excited about photography is the fact that no two photos are ever the same; no one else in this world can take a photo exactly like yours. I hold great pride in that fact because no matter how good or bad your work is, no one else can create a photo like the one you created; and that is why the world needs you – the reason the world considers you a chronicler of time and beauty.
And as to “Who” gets me excited about photography? That would be Benjamin Von Wong the conceptual photographer known for his hyper-realist art style. His work is a masterful blend of fantasy and reality, blurring the line between what is real and unreal.
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