Ketaki Sheth: Freshness Helps

Riddhi and Siddhi, London, 1997: The twins are gentle and caring towards their brother who is suffering from cerebral palsy. Photograph/Ketaki Sheth

Riddhi and Siddhi, London, 1997: The twins are gentle and caring towards their brother who is suffering from cerebral palsy. Photograph/Ketaki Sheth

At first, Ketaki Sheth says that she has no real secrets, but she goes on to stress on the importance of simplicity. She speaks with Raj Lalwani and according to her, freshness of approach and instinct are the two things that help make a strong connect between a photographer and the subject.

There are two things that help me interact with my subjects and photograph them in the best way possible—simplicity of approach and a certain freshness. This is what inspires me to narrate the subject’s story in its true essence.

Exploring Newness
When I photographed the first set of twin sisters, their sequined tunics sparkling in an English drizzle, I hadn’t the faintest idea that a four-year search would yield more than 100 pairs of Patel twins. By contrast, I worked for ten intense days recently, with the people of the remote Pilbara region in Australia. I was new to the area, the people, the harsh light and the stark landscape. This newness can work to your advantage. You quickly adapt and learn to use it to the best you can.

Shopkeepers Ramesh and Suresh, Wembley, 1997: Ramesh, the keener sportsman, left Uganda to train as a PE teacher, before the brothers reunited in London. Photograph/Ketaki Sheth

Shopkeepers Ramesh and Suresh, Wembley, 1997: Ramesh, the keener sportsman, left Uganda to train as a PE teacher, before the brothers reunited in London. Photograph/Ketaki Sheth

 I still use B&W film and chemistry. I keep technique simple and equipment minimal, but have learnt to use the format to its fullest.

About Ketaki Sheth
Ketaki Sheth has resisted digital photography and continues to work with chemistry and silver gelatin prints. Her portraiture work in ‘Twinspotting: Photographs of Patel Twins in Britain and India’ was followed by a second book, ‘Bombay Mix’ that encourages the viewers to rethink the way they see the city of Mumbai.

 

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