Interview with a portrait photographer
Interviewing Sud from Instagram
During April we wrote an article to showcase you some portrait photographers on Instagram (link here). Well after featuring Sud’s amazing work, the discussion between us continued and here we are. We are delighted to have Sudhir on board and allow us an insight into his work and life.
Please be warned Sud’s imagery are potentially graphic and contain some nudity. There that’s the disclaimer out the way.
So here we go with interviewing Sud from Instagram!
Tell us a little about yourself, where you grew up, what was life-like (bear in mind viewers could be from a different country)
“My name is Sudhir, and I was born in 1985 in a city called The Hague, which is the 3rd biggest city in the Netherlands. I lived together with my parents and two sisters, and had a pretty normal childhood.”
I didn’t have any interest in school while growing up, so I was mostly hanging out with friends, smoking weed, listening to music, playing soccer or basketball and just having a good time. Interest in a proper education came later and I graduated from The Hague University in Safety and Security Management.
After working in retail management for quite a while, I switched fields to the safety and security coordination business. This was right around the time I started my photography, and recently I was lucky enough to be able to pursue my passion of photographing fulltime.”
Tell us about the people who have influenced you in life and your career (professional and family/friends),
“There are a lot of people who influenced me. First of all my parents, who taught me that to achieve your goals, you have to work your ass off. This is something I try to live by, by always giving 100%.
I am also heavily influenced by music and movies. I remember when the album “R U Still Down” from Tupac came out in 1997 and was immediately hooked on rap. For meaning, this wasn’t just rap, but it was art and it had a true but raw content.
The same with the Martin Scorsese’s Casino, with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. The was Joe Pesci plays Nicky Santoro… Still by far the best role ever played. Another movie that had a huge impact on me was “The Crow”, because of its raw and grim setting and the intensity of emotions in the story. In terms of photographers, Haris Nukem has definitely influenced me the most. I’ve followed his work for a long time and he’s been the inspiration for me to go out and buy my first camera. His style is just one of a kind, I have nothing but respect for him. Although I strive to develop my own characteristic style, I always consider it a compliment when people see his influence in my work.”
As far as improving as a photographer. Would you recommend art books, fashion mags or photography courses?
“To be honest I learned everything myself by just looking at pictures and trying to understand how and why each shot was taken. However there are a couple of photographers that I admire and who really push me to get better.
Some photographers I’ve followed closely are Haris Nukem, Helmut Newton and Terry Richardson. Anyone starting out with photography, I’d recommend them to research their favorite artists in order to see what makes them special. Other than that, for me it was a lot of learning by doing.”
What is your earliest memory of photography?
“I’ve always loved photography, but my style used to be very different. I remember always searching for photographs and images of movies, musicians, models and fashion. It wasn’t until 1.5 years ago that I thought to try photographing myself, which is when I really got into researching other photographers and styles.”
We can see from your website you are primarily a portraiture photographer with a dark theme. Can you explain what this type of photography is all about and what has influenced you to shoot this particular field?
“My style is influenced by Tarantino and Guy Ritchie movies, music and street fashion. In my work, I always try to create something exciting and new. I want to make sure that what I create is different from what’s already out there. I don’t necessarily consider my work to be very dark, but I do strive to combine beauty with raw, real emotions.”
What was one of the most rewarding shoots you remember and why?
“Most definitely Ricki Hall. I had been following him for years and I suddenly had the opportunity to shoot him.”
What is always in your camera bag when you go out?
Do you have a favourite lens?
“No doubt about it; my 35mm 1.4 sigma art lens.”
What is planned for this year?
“I’m currently focussing on improving my skills for photography. There’s so much more to learn. However I’m also starting to shoot video. That will be my next challenge!”
What is the future of social media for photography, Instagram or something new?
“Well I really love Instagram, so I hope this will be around for quite a while. Although the algorithm is not everyone’s best friend, this only challenges me to create more content. I think for photographers Instagram is the perfect platform to share your work, to find inspiration and people who share the same passion. I hope it’ll be around for quite a while longer. Whichever platform comes next, we’ll have to see.”
THE RANDOM QUESTIONS
When you were a child, what career/job/field did you want to go into?
I always dreamed of being a filmmaker. As I got older, I went in a totally different direction career wise, into fields that seemed more “realistic”. Now that I’m developing my photography and delving into film as well, my childhood dream might actually be more attainable than I would’ve thought. We’ll see!
Who would you love to photograph?
“Too many people to name! On my shortlist are:
1. Polly Ellens
2. Felisja Piana
3. Miranda Kerr
4. Scarlett Johansson
5. Danny Trejo
6. Tom Hardy
7. Cillian Murphy
8. Doutzen Kroes”
Name one of your strengths and one of your weaknesses
“One of my traits I really benefit from, is my ability to connect with everyone and create a good vibe. I love interacting with people, which makes for a really easygoing atmosphere that helps people relax. I love shooting with this vibe, because it means people are comfortable to try out new stuff and really be vulnerable and creative. A weakness of mine is my never-ending hunger for more. I’m always in search of my next accomplishment, and I have to keep in mind to enjoy the smaller things as they’re happening.”
If you could bring back some technology from the past, what would it be?
“Walkman’s for sure. How can you not miss the struggle of flipping cassettes and re-winding tapes?
What flavour of ice cream would you invent?
“McNugget ice cream”
NF or Eminem?
“Not sure what/who NF is, but Eminem is always the answer!”
You are elected prime minister of your country, what is your one main item on your manifesto?
“Abolish the 40 hour work week”
Which are scarier – clowns or spiders?
“Hello Georgie (Sud inserted a balloon emoji here)”
You find Aladdin’s magic lamp, what are your 3 wishes?
“Equality for all, getting rid of greed, and unlimited camera supplies”
Reading through Sudhir’s replies was really nice. His thoughts about Haris Nukem’s work are spot on, amazing photography. You can see the influence in Sud’s images too, so well done. It’s also fair to say Sud mentions fashion photographers who were cutting edge in provocative images. This type of photographer is such a contrast and different to standard fashion or studio work. The level of creativity is fantastic and hopefully will encourage the phlogger to try something edgy!
It was really nice to hear Sud is now a full-time photographer, this is such an achievement so well done. Though we need to enlighten him about “NF”, as his lyrics will someday dwarf Eninem’s.
How many of us agree about the walkman? Certainly, this throws back memories of myself jogging with one and thinking damn they are heavy on my shorts!
Hopefully one day we will meet up with Sud and have a chance to shoot together. But until then thank you so much for taking part.
Hope you viewers enjoyed this. To find out more about Sud please see below.
For now, thank you and see you next time.
Facebook profile –facebook.com/shotbysud/
Instagram feed – @shotbysud
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