We had the good fortune of connecting with Nilangana Banerjee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nilangana, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
I often hear a lot of outsiders and non-industry people asking me, if formal training in the field of photography is a requirement to pursue in this field commercially, since unfortunately creative fields are still considered to be hobbies turned into a profession. Additionally, with the rise in the easily available high-end cameras and online resources, outsiders don’t usually realize the need and the requirement to gain in-depth formal training under specialized degrees, that train you in the art as well as the science and the technicalities underlying photography, which is very essential to pursue photography professionally in the commercial industry. A formal training and experience in the field of photography allows you to learn and understand the aesthetics of art not only in the context of photography but across varied artistic platforms. This is crucial in the industrial setting wherein a photographer is required to put in the artistic nuances to design not only their photographic imagery, but also optimize the art direction and production design as well. As such, the in-depth knowledge about the scientific aspects pertains to physics and mathematics of lighting (i.e., metering systems, exposures, inverse square laws, filters etc.), optics and lenses, chromatics, mathematics of color temperature calibration, applied chemistry specifically pertaining to photo development and printing. Thus, one of the key aspects that outsiders are probably unaware of about my industry is the fact that in order to work as a professional photographer in the commercial industry, it is primarily important to have formal training in photography.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art usually reflects and showcases a conceptual element in most of my series, in addition to capturing the aesthetic feel of the imagery presented. In terms of what sets me apart is my artistic perspectives and my take-on towards, various global issues, human psychology, sociology etc., which focuses on producing contents with a message aiming to initiate an awareness and perhaps a conversation about the issues that my work represents and captures. One of the main thing that I have always been proud of or excited about pertains to working on projects that target areas and issues that have previously not been dealt with as yet (for example working on a conceptual project that captured the subtle yet impactful negative messages interspersed and embedded in the classic nursery rhymes in my conceptual project, ‘The Lullaby’). Getting to the position that I am in currently (i.e., a known commercial photographer and a conceptual artist based in Los Angeles) has required a lot of incessant and consistent hard work coupled with a never say never attitude. Throughout my journey so far, the realization that success is achieved only by burning the midnight oil and that there is thus no shortcut to it, has been a constant theme. In spite of my diligent and optimistic attitude, the process has never been an easy one. It has required me to accept failures, rejections, criticism, facing discrimination probably on the grounds of race and gender, as well as testing times both professionally and personally. However, focusing on my inner strength (which allowed me to augment my resilience and willpower to keep meditating on my passion for my art and the field of photography), are the key aspects that enabled me to overcome the challenging situations in my life. Along my way, I learnt a lot of lessons from my challenges and hindrances, which in turn helped me to be the dauntless person that I am today. Fewer lessons that I have learnt so far would be withstanding criticisms of all kinds, embracing rejections by consistently maintaining a high-spirited vibe and optimistic stance in life and by training to achieve a fearless state of mind. In terms of my brand – Nilangana Banerjee Photography, a key aspect to be aware of is that it focuses on catering to both the commercial photography, which includes advertising, editorial fashion, beauty, interiors and architecture, portraiture, food and beverage, product, and lifestyle photography as well as on conceptual fine art projects with an artistic take on the burning issues of the world, aiming to spread awareness, drawing on interdisciplinary concepts from the academic disciplines of psychology, sociology, and environmental sciences.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Some of my favorite spots in the city are, the art galleries and the museums, The MOCA, The BROAD, The HAMMER Museum. Other than that, since I love the beaches, I would love to spend a whole day at the Lechuza Beach and at the Duke Point in Malibu. My favorite eateries and Bars in the city would be the Spire 73 In DTLA, The Angel city Brewery in Art District, the Pig N Whistle in Hollywood, The Ghirardelli Ice Cream Factory in Hollywood, The SAME SAME Thai in Silverlake etc.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to give a Shoutout, to my mom, my dad and my sister, Akira, who have made this day a reality and possible with their relentless efforts, belief in me, love and encouragement.
Youtube: Nilangana Banerjee
Pamela Garcia Yiwan Zhang Nilangana Banerjee (Self Portrait)