Shikha ventured into the world of photography just five years ago and quite by accident; when she came up with an idea to create a short video called ‘Paint It Red’ - based on photos that had at least one red object in it. Eventually she ended up using 125 objects from nearly 500 photographs, at different angles, apertures and focal lengths, of things as varied as toys and tomatoes, flowers and her guitar. From that first project, her work has gone onto grace the walls of a number of photography exhibitions and galleries in across the Kingdom.
Indian by birth, global in spirit, I belong to the Pink city of India, Jaipur. As a teenager in India, my dream was to fly around the world, and so I joined the Rajasthan State Flying Club to train as a pilot, but destiny took an unexpected turn and I had to quit flying, and ended up doing a diploma in Video Production, something I never chose or planned to do. This move actually introduced me for the first time to my inner creative self, and my broken wings eventually became my strength later in life.
After marriage, my husband and I lived in quite a few different places until finally ended up in Bahrain; the land of opportunities. It really is a wonderful place with wonderful people and wonderful prospects, and it is here that I emerged from my shell and, thanks to the support of some very encouraging people in my life, took up radio jockeying and eventually photography.
I am an ardent fan of the quote: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” so I leave no chance in expressing my artistic self through various mediums, be it photography, writing or film making.
In 2016, I joined American Women’s Association (AWA), and formed a photography group called: Shutterflies. It started with just a handful of ladies, but today most of AWA members are members and enjoy its activities. I am also a member of the BKS Photography Club and their Friday Dawn Shooters group. My photographs carry the watermark ‘$H!KS CL!K$,’ and have been exhibited in various exhibitions in the Kingdom sponsored by BKS, Canon, AWA (Visions) and Malja.
Photography is all about perspective. No two people see the same object in the same way. I generally like to capture my surroundings all by myself in a peaceful environment. When I take pictures, I don’t think much about the angles or frame. I just think about the concept and light. Sometimes the concept occurs to me in a flash, and sometimes it take a few light years! Through my captures, however, I always try to give the viewer some food for thought; that explains my love for concept photography. I strongly believe that creativity has no rules and every picture has a little anecdote behind it; one just needs to have an eye to identify it.
They say, pictures speak louder than words, I do agree and most of my shots tell a story, but I also believe that words are important to describe the picture too. Unique captions can give a new meaning to an otherwise average picture.
I love life for its unpredictability; the very fact that we do not know what future holds makes it adventurous, interesting and exciting. I enjoy every opportunity that comes my way and I am always grateful for what it offers.
For me it is never a question of pursuing photography a profession or a career, but of creative fulfillment. Yes, of course I do dream of becoming well-known photographer, but I do not desperately strive to become one. I believe in the beauty of dreams and hard work; “There is nothing in a caterpillar that says it’s eventually going to become a butterfly.”
I am indeed very thankful to the Almighty for all the love, acknowledgment and respect I have earned, over the years, from this tiny island. I want to expand my horizons, take better pictures, make better movies, and be able to showcase them on even bigger platforms. Photography is not just my passion but a way of life!
The Last leaf: Spotted this leaf in my brother’s house in Goa. It instantly reminded me of O’ Henry’s short story The Last Leaf. I did selective colouring on the leaf so that it dominates the frame.
Enlightened: The click suggests Gautama Buddha’s unsurpassed and supreme Enlightenment, attained under Bodhi tree. Captured it in my own garden under a palm tree.
Rain in the camel country: Captured wooden camels in rain at the edge of my living room door. The most amazing feature of the picture is the timely rain drop from the roof that encircles the feet of the smallest camel, as if it is splashing water in joy.
Strings and earrings: The feminine shape of the instrument and the piece of jewelry gel very well with each other in this picture. The click is a part of the jewel series that I did with different earrings kept on various surfaces and objects.
Surviving line of life: A unique shot at the Kurar house in Muharraq. The first thing you notice, as you enter the room, is the hands of the three generations weaving silk together. The eldest woman has a very weak eyesight but her fingers knit perfectly out of years practice. The other two hands are of her daughter and grand-daughter, which might be the last generation into this vocation as the new age children lack interest for handicrafts.
The chili waves: This was taken during a food photography workshop conducted by me for the AWA Photo group Shutterflies. The placement and shape of the chillis makes it look like a Wi-Fi signal.
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