Roznaama: The Birth of a Book

 
Amit Mehra

Amit Mehra

Just a few days ago, I was at a café with a friend for a late night coffee. As we left, I made a picture, one of my innumerable visual musings, accumulating within my diaryesque pensieve. Curiously enough, that night, I held in one hand, my cameraphone and in the other, the result of all that the phone has seen in these past two years—a dummy copy of Roznaama, the book. Why do we photograph is a question I have often asked myself. For me, it’s about the sheer joy of making each picture, but then, today, in an era where memories are only clogging up virtual memory, as a photographer, I yearn to see his work in a tangible form. A few months into making images on my cellphone, I realised, somewhere at the back of my mind, that in here, lies a photobook.

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Photograph/Amit Mehra

Photograph/Amit Mehra

In a strange sort of way, this column has been a testing board for my book. I share an image every month, you, the readers, respond. With likes, dislikes, shared stories and experiences, the column becomes a sounding board for ideas. There were photos that were a part of the column, but haven’t made it to the book, and others that have sneaked in, surprising me. It’s fascinating to look back at the process, at the joy of shooting every single image, the patterns and associations that one starts seeing in them, editing them, sequencing them, playing with them, and seeing the genesis of a visual narrative. Roznaama has taken me here, to this page spread above, one of the spreads from my final book, to be launched next month. It’s a little like watching something being born.

About Amit Mehra
Constantly balancing the worlds of commercial and documentary photography, Amit describes himself saying, “I’m like an octopus who likes to deal with different things at the same time. You can call me a schizophrenic photographer.” The moments in this monthly diary are excerpts from his ongoing work titled ‘Roznaama’.

Tags: Amit Mehra, Cellphone Diaries, cellphone photography, October 2015

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