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Sukriti Dubey

Uttar Pradesh, India

Sukriti, born and raised in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, now finds herself as a digital nomad, currently residing in Varanasi. While her passion lies in photography, she is grateful for the stability provided by her copywriting and creative strategy work, which ensures her financial security as she navigates her nomadic lifestyle.


What is photography to you and how did you get started with it?

When I was 15 I’d scroll endlessly on platforms like flickr and deviantArt, and tried to recreate some of those pictures with my phone camera. When I moved to Delhi for studies, I started working as a commercial photographer to make some money. However, my practice was very dependent on several other factors like getting projects, planning lights, directing models. I wanted to shoot everyday and I wanted it to be an independent and free-flowing process. 


2021 was when I got myself a camera, finally affording the luxury to shoot whenever I wanted. Since then, my practice has become a reflection of me – unplanned, spontaneous, observant, and deeply emotional. Currently, I shoot street, portraits, and landscapes wherever I go. 

What impact do you think your childhood has on your photography?


My upbringing was the same as millions of middle-class Indians except that there was very little creative influence (no bollywood, comics or books). Which is why I think all my pictures are rooted in reality, are simple, and have fewer creative layers. I’m also spiritual and deeply philosophical in my approach, the credit for that goes to my ancestors. To sum it up, I’d say my pictures are a 100% product of where I come from and I’m glad it is that way. 


What challenges do you face as an artist? How do you overcome low periods of motivation or creative ruts?


I allow my practice to flow freely, which means letting the ruts take over too. Sometimes there’s a lot of self-doubt and judgment towards my work which is the hardest to deal with. Over the past couple of years, I’ve consciously tried to look at my pictures how I want to look at myself – with compassion and without judgment. During low motivation phases, I simply don’t shoot. I do other things. And then in a couple of days (sometimes 10 days later), I will be back to it. A quote that I resonate deeply with is “avoid trying to fix your life on a bad day and just be”.


In terms of creative ruts, traveling and meeting other artists and interesting people has been very helpful. The world has so much to teach me, and I am here for it! 

Please tell us about your process and vision?

Over the last decade of shooting, my process has been that of reduction – from meticulously planning shoots and heavily post-processing to now walking out into the streets with no agenda in mind. It coincides with my personal journey as well – before, I was highly influenced by other artists but slowly, I learnt to embrace who I am and what I make. I try not to judge my photographs now for not being ‘creative’ enough. I simply try to present how I see the world – nothing less, nothing more. 


In terms of vision, I want to make art that is me. And it has to be simple.I try not to think much about the viewer, but it warms my heart to know that people see their own reflections and experiences in these pictures. 


What inspires you the most?

Everything, anything. Everything is alive with beauty and inspiration when I am open to it. 


What gears do you generally use? What is your ideal piece of gear and why?


I use a Sony A7C with a Tamron 70-180mm. For now, this is my ideal gear! I strongly disagree with the idea that gear or tools don’t matter. I was using 35mm, considered the ideal lens for the street, and it really killed my drive – it wasn’t the right one for me. I switched to telephoto and I started loving photography again. I think the best gear is the one that bridges the gap between what you see with your eyes and what you end up shooting.

Tell us about a photo you’re proud of.

The answer to this changes over time, but my recent work always feels like my best work. 


How would you define photographic success?

Just how I define an individual’s success – a level of honesty, creative and self-exploration, and consistent growth. 

Any new projects that you are working on currently? What does the future in photography  look like for you? 

After much consideration, I’ve decided to make prints of my work! I’m also working on a book about God and our relationship with her. I am hoping that I am able to shoot as much as possible, as freely as possible, meet artists I admire and learn from them. 

Image copyrights © Sukriti Dubey

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