A few years back, Deepa Jacob had not imagined that she would become a photographer; she was not a person who would go gaga over photography. However, two years ago, she realised that a photographer was lying dormant inside her. She explored it and guess what, she is a photographer now and her recent series ‘Ennu Ninte Kanchanamala’, done with her friend Tinku Nair as model, inspired by the hit movie Ennu Ninte Moideen is going viral in the social media.
Deepa, a native of Kanjirappally, who currently lives in Boston, USA with her family, and works with an IT firm there, says the idea sprouted in her mind after a Halloween party.
“It is Halloween time in the US now. Every year, the Malayali association conducts Halloween party here and usually we dress up as familiar characters such as Luttappi and Mayavi. This time, when Tinku and I were thinking of a costume, we thought of the costume of Kanchanamala in the movie. Many have told Tinku that she had a resemblance to Parvathy, especially after the release of the trailer of Ennu Ninte Moideen. So, we decided to try that. We arranged the costume and Tinku and her husband went to the party dressed up as Moideen and Kanchanamala. People liked the pair and their photos went popular among members. Then we thought of doing it professionally. Thus the series was born,” explains Deepa, for whom photography is a serious hobby now.
She shoots on weekends or whenever she gets time, with her friends and neighbours as models. Together, they go out to find out the location and dress up. One may not believe, but the Kanchanamala series was done in Boston. “The US has got lots of forests and beautiful landscapes in the interior. All you have to do is to travel to the remote areas to find them. When we did this, Tinku was a little afraid that whether people would compare her to Parvathy and criticise it. I told her, ‘Let us do it and enjoy’,” says Deepa, adding that she loves working with friends.
“Photography is not a source of income for me. When you get money, the enjoyment factor is gone,” says Deepa. She loves to dress up her models in traditional attires. Her ‘Mullappoo Tale’ and the series inspired by Raja Ravi Varma paintings are a few such examples. The Ravi Varma sequence, one of Deepa’s favourites, was born out of the concept ‘every woman is beautiful’.
“I have observed that all my girl friends are beautiful in some way. Through this concept, what I intended was to make an ordinary woman look like a Ravi Varma painting,” says Deepa. “I have a special fondness towards traditional costumes. Recently, I did a shoot with a conventionally dressed girl against the backdrop of an apple farm here. Some people criticised it, but I felt it was good,” says Deepa, who discovered the photographer in her by clicking the images of her two children.
The self-taught photographer says, “I was not a person who was crazy about photography. I started using camera to take pictures of my kids to post in the social media. People started asking me whether the photos were taken by professional lensmen. Then I noticed that my clicks were good. My friends requested me to take their kids’ images as well. Thus it began. Later, I invested money to buy a new camera and started experimenting. The response from the social media has been encouraging.”
She believes that internet can be a good teacher. We just have to open our eyes. Deepa who believes in aesthetic beauty of a photo says that she loves to capture the emotions of people. Combination of pleasant colours is the key factor of her photos. “Nature is just a background for me. In my opinion, a beautiful photo is one that would keep viewers hooked,” says Deepa who wants to be a filmmaker in future. “I had done a short film Ketch Up before. I am planning to do a movie in future.”