“The best images are the ones that retain their strength and impact over the years, regardless of the number of times they are viewed.”– Anne Geddes
Our featured artist of the day, James Chakhesang, a talented wedding photographer from Nagaland echoes these sentiments. His keen and aesthetic eye for capturing people and their memories in their best moments is indeed a pleasure to view and treasure. With the wedding season almost here, he is already a busy man, but he did spare some time to talk to R&L about his work and more.
Here’s a quick chat with James Chakhesang, a wedding photographer from Kikruma Village, Nagaland. Read on to know his story – how he began, his inspiration sources, the weddings he has captured, his most memorable shoot and more
Hello James! Tell us a little about yourself.
Hello everyone! My name is James Chakhesang. I was born and raised in Dimapur, Nagaland. I am from Kikruma Village (Phek district). I love to start my mornings with a hot cup of tea, and apart from my photography, I love meeting friends and junk food 😀
What sparked your interest in photography?
It all began when I started following photographers from my home state of Nagaland – like Betoka Swu, Rokovor Vihienuo, Menuolhoulie Kire and Iliangna Haralu. Their work made me want to pick up the camera and start clicking! I think I am not very expressive when it comes to expressing with words. I express better through my pictures. Hence, I capture more pictures with little or no caption.
“I began my journey as a photographer at the age of 25. I have always been interested in photography and involved myself in small projects with other professionals. In doing so, I gained a lot of knowledge and skills and finally took it up as a profession in the year 2013.”
A Naga Bride in her Glorious Wedding gown on her big day | Photo by James Chakhesang
Are you into a specific genre of photography? What do you do full-time?
I am a full-time wedding photographer but when the seasons are off, I usually freelance doing portraits, shows of different kinds and yes concerts are always something I look forward to capturing.
A Naga couple captured by James on their wedding day
Indigenous Naga attire shot by James Chakhesang.
Virie – songstress from Nagaland captured by James Chakesang
What is your creative and work philosophy? What inspires you?
“Honestly, I picked up photography as a means to earn some pocket money but today it’s more than that. To be able to capture the special moments of people I know, and strangers . . keeps me excited throughout. Moreover, photography offers a great window to meet new people, venture out into new places – and to constantly find ways to push myself to be better at a craft I love, is even more rewarding.”
“The Various moods of the Flower Girls and Ring Boy” | A Wedding shot by James Chakhesang.
Tell us about your most memorable photo shoot.
“Every photo shoot is memorable but if I am to mention one then it has to be my tour with the band Purple Fusion from Nagaland as their official photographer. We got to travel to Goa, Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and the amazing Bhutan which was a big break for my career. I would also like to thank the band for being a bridge and giving me the opportunity.”