fashion, editorial, monochrome, conceptual, still life, rhea gupte, photography, the girl from FUSS

Project Brief

Still Life and self portraiture


Personal Project


Noticing and capturing smaller details from day to day life


Photography, Creative Conceptualisation, Modelling by Rhea Gupte

It is a known fact that most people, now in their forties, are vehemently grateful for the the utter lack of documentation during their childhood and teenage years. Apart from:
1. the pesky photographs which parents at times summon with complete neglect for their offspring’s social status,
2. one-off embarrassing stories with you as the controversial star of the show which surface during rare reunions and
3. certain proof of those stories suspended forever in MySpace certain to never be chanced upon by an unsuspecting soul,
baby boomers did not have much to worry about their former selves, now packaged exactly or at least as close to the way they wished to be seen in the world. Fortunately or unfortunately, us millennials do not have the convenience of ‘anonymising’ our teenage selves into a suit-wearing, hair-combing oblivion. No. We have personally made sure to document the (hopefully) growth of our characters via our Facebook profiles, Twitter syllables and Instagram feeds, immortalised in code. It is partially a relief to know that those Snapchats are going to self-destruct and not leave a trace of your twenty-something self. And then if you are one those people who have gone ahead and started a corner in the internet dedicated to yourself, your passions and your voice in the way of a blog, you are in for a lifetime of meaty throwbacks, memories of your former self peeking through archives and the constant reminder of how you were.

This, in no way is my personal account of regretting blogging, far from it, but a confession of how the journey of improving and reaching a certain level of capability in your field, when documented, can be a huge motivational push to how far you have come and consequently also make one cringe endlessly at the lack of maturity and talent in their earlier selves. This is one of the reasons why I barely ever look through the FUSS archives, instead preferring concentrate on what’s next and what else can be done.

I bring this up because since the past one year, I have been practising photography and a few other mediums of expression. Taking up something new makes me feel unsure about putting it up on the interwebs, thinking of how an older Rhea will perceive this work. Definitely juvenile, poor in technique and understanding of the medium. Therefore the resultant four unpublished drafts, stagnating. Clearly I am not learning much from half-finished work secretly lying in the dark corners of my hard drive. Makes me think about how much I hate when people reach a level of excellence in a particular field and become utterly complacent in what they do, leading them to cease exploring their other potential abilities. Followed by the argument, am I not doing the same by limiting myself with self doubt and a perceived idea of future self-rejection and embarrassment? Co-incidentally, an interview of Diane Von Furstenberg gets recommended on my Youtube channel, I hit play and Diane, this magnanimous entity of thoughtfulness and grace, goes on to say that doubting your power is giving power to your doubt.

Resonates. I determinedly move forward to editing my pictures.

I have created a mini-series called Reality capturing day to day occurrences in life, how I see them. There is laughter, monotony, exhaustion, enthusiasm, determination, wonder, light. Extraordinary to the eye that sees and a mind that’s free.

Luckily later that day, I also came across Nick Knight on the internet, talking about the importance of performing during the photoshoot, the first reactions to the very first picture, failing in front of people and how humbling it is; amongst many other gems from his mind. Reassurance. It’s not just me.

Join the conversation

  1. This is all so so beautiful.

    I think you have a gift – of expression in many mediums.

    I will look forward to the rest of this series.

    Any links to the Nick Knight’s talk ? I would like some Nick Knight for inspiration too.

  2. Sorry honey but you seem to be a very by-the-book person and too driven by worldly desires to possibly have a mind that’s free. Before self portraits should come self evaluation.

      1. Hello Mediane! I thought for a while about what you wrote. I don’t think you understood the meaning of the phrase ‘mind that is free’ in the context of what I was speaking about. I was simply referring to a mind which has the liberty to have the free time and space to notice unusual or extraordinary aspects in a usual setting. I do not understand why you would say that self evaluation comes before self portraits. I feel a person’s abilities and character are separate. Doing is different from being. ‘Doing’ defines a person singularly, example a photographer/painter/singer, but ‘being’ is so much more than that, it is you and your essence of how you are as a person. Don’t you think perfecting one’s being or mind would take a substantially large amount of time, in the meanwhile to ask a person to not work on their abilities or something they are passionate about does not seem fair. Also the fact that you have already made a judgement about me in your mind, without knowing me at all is surprising, perhaps based on generalisation? If I have misunderstood something you said, I would love to rectify myself and my thought process.

  3. Oh I love your style of writing so much! And I’m sure anyone will to a certain degree recognize these feelings you describe. It’s funny though, those archives. On the one hand, I don’t want to look at them anymore and delete the whole thing, on the other hand, it’s so much fun to see all the progress and the hard work paying off. Good luck with all your projects and please keep this series, it’s lovely!

    1. Completely agree with what you are saying Merel! Thank you, I wasn’t planning to, but I think I will continue this series. πŸ™‚ Thank you for taking the time to write this.