Interview with Priya Kambli
Juror’s Pick (Vince Aletti), Daylight/CDS Photo Awards Project Prize
As you described in your artist statement, you absolutely despised being photographed by your father when you were younger. What made you decide or realize that your passion was to become a photographer?
Having grown in a household where photography was prevalent (my father was an avid amature photographer), one might assume that I would have some understanding about the medium—but I didn’t. In fact my notion of photography was a bit skewed, due to my sister’s and my role as subjects to our father’s meticulous image making process.
In the essay “A Photographer’s Daughter,” photographer Dayanita Singh talks about similar trials—of being raised in a family where her mother photographed her “just to validate her own experience.” This excerpt from her essay resonates with my own childhood memories:
“Being photographed was just another family ritual for me, and I had no interest in becoming a photographer. Photography meant that I had to sit still while my mother counted the footsteps towards me in order to focus her very old Zeiss Ikon camera. Every event had to be recorded in this painful manner, every departure delayed by her picture making.”
Photography therefore didn’t hold any appeal to me until I was behind the camera and in charge. I came to America as an international student eager to pursue a degree in Graphic Design. I enrolled in a photography class to fulfill a 2D requirement for my chosen major and fell in love with the medium.
My creative process for producing artwork is highly complex, akin to fitting together the many pieces of a puzzle. A single digitally created photograph is made up of several discrete sections that are arranged in a carefully balanced composition. Each section affects the others and expresses a different aspect of the narration. Some of the sections are my own creation, elaborately conceived still lives that I construct, light and photograph. Other sections contain family photos and artifacts, scanned into the computer and sometimes manipulated further. The individual sections are further refined using Photoshop software. With this software I then assemble and polish the many sections into a finished artwork.