the girl from FUSS, outfit, skort, silk top, bell sleeves, massive sleeves, rhea gupte, divar island, goa
the girl from FUSS, outfit, skort, silk top, bell sleeves, massive sleeves, rhea gupte, divar island, goa


Personal Project


Photography, Styling, Modelling by Rhea Gupte

I have decided to keep a travel journal. I have learnt that fleeting thoughts and momentary revelations don’t stick around for too long. Somehow, in that small window of partially dozing off in a speeding car, just enough to still have the mind wandering at a steady pace, half dreaming, half planning, half filled with anticipation of reaching the destination, half never wanting to reach at all; are when the best ideas come forth. I had a few million in the past seven days. Some unfortunately forgotten, some I’m clutching onto fiercely and some better off forgotten.

This year, I decided at the very beginning, is going to be a year of execution. There is a lot that goes on in the mind and never comes down on paper, on a screen, on something tangible. To be shared. That, I feel is the biggest loss, to self, to the idea and to the practice of thinking and brainstorming. What is accomplished if the thought never went on to a different stage? Was never experienced, by yourself or anybody around you. I feel this loss at several occasions, due to lack of time and lack of planning. Thoughts remain just that. Contained within a singular vessel. Stagnating.

The word ‘stagnant’ has a specially dedicated dark place within me. A fear almost. A constant urge to stay as far away and as less relatable to it’s meaning as possible. Being the epitome of lack of growth and change, this negative word often serves as positive reinforcement, motivation and inspiration for me to keep going, to try different things and to turn those fleeting thoughts into real projects.

That is when self-doubt kicks in. Is this idea worth spending this much time on? Why is this idea so great? What is great about it? Do I think it’s good only because I thought of it? Self doubt is my best friend if I indulge it in small doses. It makes me analyse and answer my own questions and many a times keeps me from wasting my time on an idea, which, when pondered over often seems worthless. It urges me to speak about my ideas to my closest friends who approach it with a thought process entirely unknown to me, with a set of fresh eyes. Impartially.

When all of these initial emotions, doubts and complexities pass, I am left with only one feeling. The joy of creation. This is when I feel like a magical unicorn, pastel-maned and fluffy-winged of course, who can make anything happen. To create, is the best feeling I have come across so far, second only to love. The happiness derived from it is pure. It is in the work process, the editing, the problem-solving, the execution and completion.

Once completed, the thrill is over. Self doubt asks me whether I could have done this a million other ways and stagnation points out the similarities with some of my other work. I decide to take their feedback and run with it, pour all of it into the next project, the next thought, the next entry in my travel journal.

Join the conversation

  1. The creative process; literally a blessing for pushing us forward and forcing us to express ourselves in some tangible form, and a curse for all the sleepless nights and manic self doubt – you’ve literally described what every creative step is like so well – really resonates with me!

    I know what you mean about fleeting thoughts being the best ones – I have a little notebook next to my bed now because I always have the best ideas half asleep/in the middle of the night and by the time the sun is up, i’ve forgotten them!

    Love your outfit – the sleeves are amazing! Such a statement


    1. Hi Shloka, happy to hear that! I have been pondering over keeping a dream journal, your comment makes me want to go ahead and do it!

  2. That first sentence of yours made me so happy! You have such great vision that I’m going to be waiting for a glimpse of your travel journals. Life is so fast paced that most people forget to look at the smaller moments, and to cherish them. Sometimes, candid, un-staged shots can sometimes tell a bigger story than something that been planned for months.

    Looking forward to it all!


    1. Thank you so much Roxanne! So kind of you! I agree, especially unfamiliar surroundings can bring about some interesting work extempore.

  3. Love your work. Love what you write, the way you write. Being an avid reader, you are hooked onto stories. And when I get bored of printed pages, I come to you. You tell me stories and you inspire me. Something that I hope I will be able to do one day. One question though, how do you take those breath-taking photographs of yourself?

    1. Hello Debasri! This is the kindest set of words, thank you! The self portraits are a mix of practise, hard work and technique. I hope to get better with time!

  4. Hi Rhea! I’ve been following your work for the past 5 years now– and I am left in awe every single time. Your work, and your blog is just not the images, clothes you style that you put together, but there is something to you work that is an added feature but I can’t put into words what that is. The aesthetics and colors that you put together come into play so beautifully! Your work is a piece of art! As a side note, may I ask what camera you use, and your favorite lens for portraits? Thank you in advance, and I hope to see many, many, and many more work of yours in the future!

    1. H Naina! So excited to know that you have been seeing my work for such a long duration, thank you! At the moment, I use a 5d mark 3 with either a 50mm or 24-105. I haven’t invested a lot in equipment as of now in terms of having several lenses, but these two suffice for a wide range of work. For portraits too, I’d use either one depending on the exact results I’m looking for. Thank you for your heart warming words and wishes!