This Women’s Day, Afreena is here to tell us all what it means to be a woman following her passion against all odds.
Afreena is a student of 2nd BVC (Visual Communications) and had to go through two years of engineering until she mustered up the courage to tell her family that she wanted to pursue her passion: photography. Very much like our Arun.
It started out when I was in 4th grade. It was my aunt’s bangle ceremony and my brother was clicking photographs. It was those old, reel-wala cameras. He had to change the reel so he exposed the film to light all of it was…gone. He got scolded by my whole family and I kept thinking, that these memories, they were just simply gone. I wanted to capture moments like them. My passion grew and when I was in was in 9th grade, I realized that I wanted to do photography so here I am.
This was shot in MCC (Mount Carmel College) during a photography competition. I go to competitions not for winning but for a new experience. The theme was beauty and I caught a girl—she was supposed to dance on stage that day and she was very nervous— and I clicked a few pictures of her. I turned it in and got second place.
She should’ve gotten first.
Most of them were for projects and they’re all not professional models. I tell them to be comfortable and be themselves and I click it.
Coming from a community which doesn’t encourage photography or any form of arts as a profession, she tells us about the struggles that she went through to join Visual Communication.
After my 12th, they gave me an option: “You can choose to do whatever you want but we thing engineering is best for you because you earn well in life.”
So I went with it, and for two years, I did engineering.
She’s my school best friend. Many people say that taking a shot from a downward angle will make the person look fat, but I honestly don’t think so. I like breaking rules and being different.
This was taken at Ulsoor Lake. I wanted a picture with Golden Light and this was the result.
“Golden Light” is sunlight from morning 6-8 (ish) and 4-6(ish), she explained to me.
I’m saving my personal favourite for the last.
She is my friend’s sister, who’s a tomboy and she had come home and I clicked this picture.
There’s something very beautiful happening in that photo, like she is looking at the Sun for the first time in her life and is feeling immense happiness. I love it.
When I changed my course, several members of my family said, “Oh, so now you’re doing VisComm. Later in life, you will have to depend on someone. You should’ve just continued with Engineering.”
It’s not about being independent, its about being individual. I wanted to do photography, so let me do what I want. Earning is secondary for me. I want to be happy.
She also does counselling for people (mostly women) who take up engineering unwillingly.
I tell this to them. They are not forced to take it up, they’re only given one option. They think women don’t earn much if they take up the arts. I tell them, it’s not about the gender. It’s about individuality. Even women can earn a handful of money and can still be happy. That’s what I’m set to do.
I think that’s just brilliant.
That’s Afreena for you. Strong, independent and free thinking.