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Decoding choas on the streets with Yash Sheth 

Interview by Brij Trivedi

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Yash Sheth is an Electronics Engineer by education. He has been practising Street and Documentary photography in India since 2015.

He further explains his process “Sometimes I stay at the same place for hours or sometimes I would just walk from one place to another. I’ll keep shooting until I get a feeling now it's time to move on. I might just shoot hundreds of photographs of the same scene. I don’t mind doing that. I feel we move on too quickly from the scene. Just shoot your heart out.”

With broad frames, dramatic close-ups, and harsh flashes on his subjects, Yash Sheth's photography investigates the chaos of the streets, with nearly everyone in the frame or the strangeness of one. His lens has no filters and his chaotic movements match the mood of his photography not identifying with any particular topic or aesthetic.

Yash randomly bought a Canon 1200D in late 2015 and started exploring his home city, Mumbai. He claims that his early fascination with watching movies every day while in grade 10 may have led him to pursue photography, but it was the Magnum website which propelled his interest in street and documentary photography further. 

His inspiration lies in learning from everyone and in believing that every photographer in this world has something unique to offer.

What excites you about photography currently?

For me, just the process of being on the street and doing something I love very much that’s what excites me most about photography. It’s something that makes me feel that this life I have been given is worth living. Photography and camera are like your passport to be in public and private spaces.

How do you tackle unmotivated days?


Sometimes I take a break too when I feel a creative block. I would just go through my past work and remember those beautiful moments about how I made those photographs. I would watch movies, read books, and spend some time with my crazy friends. And would get my ass back on the streets when I feel the urge to shoot again. 

How would you briefly describe your childhood as it relates to your later development into a photographer?


I was just a mad fanatic about this sport called ‘cricket’. I would spend hours playing it every day. Like any other kid. Not as creative as it could reflect in my Photography now. But after 10th grade, I started watching a lot of movies, probably 2-3 every day. Maybe that’s something that reflects my vision for Photography.

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When we were shooting together I had a talk with our friend @ebenfelix he told me you feel as if you’re running out of time and that’s why you’re going all in right now. Why is that?


I am always going all in. I always try to give my 100%. That's how I am as a person and a photographer. I always test my limits and somehow try to overcome them. The thing is currently my legs are young, I would just do all the crazy walks and things I want to do at this age period. I won’t be able to do things the same way in my 50s and 60s. I do many other things apart from photography. The other life I have that I don’t share much about only a few people know about this. I just don’t shoot all the time. But yes I have sacrificed a few joys of life to shoot more because this is the source of my happiness. 

As street photographers we try to capture unique moments however, some may say that keeps us from even being in the moment. Would you say it’s important to be in the moment sometimes or to always capture it?


I would suggest just ‘Get lost in yourself’. ‘Don’t look for moments, let them come to you.’ Don’t go to the streets with any agenda. Just keep a smile on your face and enjoy that you are doing something you love very much, that’s ‘Street photography’. If you take a good photograph during the walk then it's nice. If you don’t then it’s okay too. It's the experience and fun you have during the walk that’s what matters the most. You don’t get photographs every time. Just be in your world, and see, observe, interpret and document the moments. Make sure your presence doesn’t disturb the scene. Stay low-key.

Would you mind sharing how you support yourself and your photography career?


I used to work different odd jobs after my graduation. But when I decided I want to do this, I knew I had to give my all. So I started doing investments and in the end, it all works out. See I am very a simple person. My lifestyle is very very simple. So you know it kinda supports the way I want it to.

Besides street photography, what other genre/type of photography interests you?


Apart from street/document none of the genres excites me. But I respect every genre. Nothing is easy. I do have some ideas about filmmaking and fine art nude Photography. But I don’t know if I would ever give any serious thought to it.

Image copyrights © Yash Sheth

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