#PunekarInFocus: Portrait Photographer Sheetal Petkar

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It was a chance meeting that had Glamour Portrait photographer Sheetal Petkar and me working together, and the next thing you know, BOOM! Sheetal Petkar had arrived! I recently caught up with the photographer for a quick chat, and here is a little something about this wonderful bubble of passion and energy…

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am Sheetal Petkar, a portrait photographer. It’s been over a year since I started Glamour Portraiture Studio, my very own studio in Aundh. I aim to transform & photograph everyday women in the most beautiful way. I am an introvert. I think about everything very deeply, I am very emotional and vulnerable and for the longest time I believed this was my weakness. But I’ve come to realise that these emotions are what create my art. These emotions help me connect with people and know their real stories.

As a child I knew I wanted to grow up and be independent, but I didn’t know how to get there. As years passed, I realised my love for the creative field. After working on my dream job at a visual effects studio and venturing into films, here I am 🙂

It must be difficult to market your concept…

Tell me about it! The main challenge is to make people understand the nature of my art. I am not just a photographer who will shoot you and let it be. No one person is a project for me. I treat this as my art, and this is very difficult to explain. People need to spend time with me before understanding why I do what I do, why I charge what I charge.

SwamyPetkarPeople perceive a photoshoot as something extremely casual. I believe a photograph, a portrait, can stir so many emotions inside you. A portrait is personal. Now that everyone has a DSLR or a good phone camera, they think that is enough to click good pictures. But this isn’t about pictures only. This is about the person IN the pictures. Portraiture is an art-form. How many of us in this generation have good portraits of ourselves? Older generations went to studios to have their portraits taken. When we lose someone close to our hearts, the first thing we do is to go and look for their good photographs. If we don’t have any, we cut them out from group pictures and frame them. We try to relive moments with them from photographs. They are so powerful. We tend to take time with each other for granted, we give the excuse of having less time or not being able to afford it.

I connect with the person before I shoot them; I make sure I spend enough time to get to know the person. People need to see how this form of art is very different from mainstream fashion photography.

The challenging part is to make people realise the value of portraiture and photography. What it feels to see yourself or your loved ones in the best light is beyond words and I have seen people cry looking at their portraits. And that is priceless.

What inspires you to keep going?

Beautiful art, nature, a heartfelt piece of writing, stories of people who created wonders from adversity inspire me.

What is your motto in life?

DogPetkarI want to make a difference to the world with my art. I want to bring about happiness through my portraits, I want people to see themselves in a different light. I want to inspire people to keep finding themselves because exploring yourself is a lifelong journey. I want to bring them closer to who they are and accept the sides of themselves that they have been running away from.

Beauty is being who you are! You are a creation of Nature. You are a world inside yourself that is left to be explored. Beauty is everywhere, we just need to look closer.

What does empowerment mean to you as a woman?

I believe women are powerful, and that power is not someone else’s to give to you. How many times have you wanted something, stood up for it, showed up for it every single day of your life, worked hard, and did not take no for an answer? THAT is power.

Stop looking at who’s stopping you. When you blame others for not giving you time, love, attention or power, who you really need is yourself. Love yourself a little more. No one can stop you from being who you are and creating your destinies, be it a man or a woman.

Punekars, you can follow her work here and here’s her website 🙂

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