The MISSBISH Photography Workshop | Rick Bhatia
Photographer: Rick Bhatia
Location: I am currently based in Los Angeles. I don’t think there’s anything better than being in a city that oozes creativity everywhere you go. It’s quite an adventure to have the privilege of getting lost in a city that you call home.
Style: When I first started out in photography, I had embraced this mindset of not labeling my work until it started accumulating attributions from those who viewed it. This was mainly because I never wanted to get ahead of myself. In creative mediums that are so raw and malleable, I feel as though it’s inevitable to produce work that is eclectic, and I never wanted to be bound by rules. Although my work can be generalized to people, commercial (product/brand) and some documentary, “modern romanticism” and “surreal-esque” are some of my favorite associations that people have made.
Equipment: I currently shoot with a Canon 5D Mark iii. My 50mm f/1.4 lens is my child. Most of my post-editing is conducted in Lightroom.
How did you get into photography? Tell us about your first experience.
During my freshman year in college, I enrolled in my first photography course with the intention of using it to fulfill a general education requirement. I emailed my professor during syllabus week, saying, “I didn’t realize a camera would be necessary for this course.” Silly, but things just snowballed from there.
Tell us the story behind one of the most memorable photos you’ve shot…
A memorable photo is one that instilled confidence in me. I may not even consider it to be a “good” photo anymore, but the final product was something that motivated me to keep going. A few months into photography, I had approached my friend Stevie for the first time to ask her if she’d be interested in doing a shoot together. We ventured out into the fields of Santa Cruz during golden hour. The final product was just something I was so proud of, because it was a decent attempt at integrating some basic principles of lighting and composition. But it went beyond that to become the first image of my current portfolio.
“Help each other. You inspire people, don’t shut them down."
What is a constant source of inspiration for you as a photographer?
The five senses.
Photography is all about capturing that moment. What’s the secret?
The secret is capturing the moment that you’ve created. It could be as extravagant as Tim Walker’s collection or as simple as a moment from the Women’s March. As long as it’s a derived from a frame that first originated somewhere along your thought process, you’re good to go.
Who has been a great influence or mentor to you and what did you learn from them that you still carry with you today?
Professor Norman Locks: “Create what you want to create, as long as you’re bringing in work every week.” That time to explore with liberal expectations and minimal pressure really allowed me to get ideas out of my system.
Tell us three photography tips.
1) Don’t create for an audience.
2) Be aware of cryptomnesia – make sure that idea is really your own.
3) Help each other. You inspire people, don’t shut them down.
Finish the sentence...
If I weren’t afraid I would… finish this sentence honestly.
I wouldn't be where I am today if... I hadn’t endured the experiences I found to be dreadful.
I've been listening to... Beirut, Al Green, Andrew Bird.
Kids these days... know too much.
I look and feel my best when… I wake up from a nap.
When no one is looking I… eat the extra portion.
I respect... authenticity.