Your Stories

Open Category, Honourable Mention

Arvind Kumar

Caption
As a man filled with passion walks innocently down through society, he discovers the true state and reception for having the passion of art within him - as he tries to entertain those around him, all he gets is ridicule and judgements, finally as he has almost broken down - he decides to not fall, but fight to prove his passion as he lets out a final scream, that would be heard by many.

This series is close to my heart as it was taken as a reflection for my pursuit of passion in life through photography and filmmaking, which often used to get talked down and underestimated to those that I used to share this with. At a time, that I almost gave up, I decided to not let the opinions of others decide my failure but rather, it should be on my own terms - so I kept doing what I wished to, and continued directing, filming and shooting anything and everything that I set my mind to - which later on in life, got me more appreciation and reception. This is my story, of how I almost fell, but I chose not to.

Inspirations

  • Tell us more about what inspired your entry?
    The inspiration behind this entry was from my own story mixed with the model’s too, I was an aspiring artist while he was already an established actor in mediacorp having done several acclaimed dramas and characters – we both found the struggle of believing in passion in our society, it was often looked down and frowned upon in singapore. We often got discouragements mostly, and as long as you do not become highly successful, no one will be ready to believe in you, mostly subjected to ridicule. Thus we decided to share that in a story form, in this series called #passionpains

  • How does your entry connect to you personally to the theme This Is My Story?
    I too have faced a lot of speculations whenever I put myself out there, even things like self-doubt and insecurities come as challenges that hold me back and make it harder to continue this passion.

  • Was there any external inspiration behind your shot that you have used as reference?
    The only external inspiration I had was the movie – pursuit of happyness, the shot of will smith being in a crowd bursting with joy as he gets the job and prior to that ending, him walking down the streets with the agony and weight of being responsible for his son, we wanted to capture that level of emotion through still frames.

  • Why did you think that a series of photos would work better than a single photo?
    Mostly because, there was simply no need to limit myself – regardless of competition or not, if you can do more – do more. The only limitation are the ones you set. For this concept, there are simply too many emotions, layers and progression to the character that one frame wouldn’t do justice. What sells the last picture of the outburst, is the mini-journey you see him go through, and emotions that pile up to justify that outburst.

  • From one photo to the next, perhaps can you explain the link between them?
    It shows the progression of a seemingly innocent and naïve passionate individual who has yet to discover the challenges ahead of him that society has to offer if one were to follow his passion, as the pictures go by, he discovers along with the audience the rejection he will face, and how it affects him – his emotions, pile up and he almost breaks down near the end, as it gets heavier and harder – until he lets out the final outburst deciding to not go down this way.

  • How did the use of post-processing enhance the storytelling ability of your entries?
    Editing was mostly used to drown out the multiple colors present in the shot from the public and surroundings, and to also add a progressively colder looking image, to add to the emotion and the ‘coldness’ associated to how the character feels from the world around him.

  • If you had the chance to retake your shot(s), what would you do differently?
    I am content with the shot, as we took multiple rounds of shots to even finalize these, thus we ensured that we only call it a day, if we got the shot we had in our heads, or better.

About the Photographer

  • When, how, and why did you get into photography?
    I started photography by messing around and playing with the possibilities of photoshoots using a smartphone during my polytechnic days, taking aesthetic photos of my friends for their Instagram accounts. I believe I had a good eye for shots even though I was not professionally trained nor knew the nuances of it – it was all driven by instinct and exploring the settings on my own to see what difference they made. Eventually I got a DSLR and explored with different themes and stories using my own Instagram page for photography called – ‘Vindsanity’, which grew into a team of creators working together under the banner.

  • Do you define yourself by any particular style(s) of photography? If so, what are they and why?
    My style has always been known to be quite unorthodox, as I don’t play by the rules – I shoot whatever, whenever, however – I don’t set any limits to myself, and continue clicking until I am satisfied. They are also often emotionally driven; my models have to often act alongside posing as well.

  • How has your photographic journey been affected by COVID-19? Are you more inspired to take more photos? Have the restrictions hindered, or conversely enhanced your creativity?
    My shoots have been postponed abiding by the circuit breaker regulations, but I explored more indoor shoots, using products/figurines and even did a zoom-conducted photoshoot with my models titled ‘the craziest webcam photoshoot’ – being Pirates of the Caribbean themed. All, to show that anything is possible if you can get creative.

  • What are your photographic goals after Montage 2020?
    I have more photoshoot series’ in the works with my team in Vindsanity, all to come as the circuit breaker loosens up over time.