Express yourself: How a love for mini humans became a career in photography
As part of our Explore, Express, Experiment series, we are chatting to Amrita Samant (@mommyshotsbyamrita). In this lovey, heart warming read, she talks about how expressing yourself is good for your soul. Inspirational. Read on!
What does the word ‘express’ mean to you?
Without expressing or conveying the truth and love we want to share on film, paper, canvases or any other medium, we, as artists will shrink in sadness or explode to find freedom in other forms. Express has a deeper meaning to anyone who wants to share more than what life offers at face value. To me, it means showing depth to anything that appears minimal.
How do you use art as a way to express yourself, your thoughts and emotions?
Since the age of 5, I’ve been exploring multiple ways of expression as art on canvas, dance, theatre, writing, until I stumbled into photography. When I reached here, I knew photography was something I wanted to explore. I now use photography as a medium to express stories, personal projects on social causes and share a truck load of love.
Any childhood memories of being encouraged to express yourself? Or finding ways to express yourself when you were younger?
Thankfully, I’ve always been surrounded by a very supportive tribe - be it friendsor family. They’ve instilled confidence in me to believe I can do absolutely anything if I dedicate myself to it. As a child, I remember my mom enrolling me into an art contest for kids. Over a 100 kids participated and I did, too.
The theme was “wildlife” and I didn’t know how to draw a single animal. True story.
I went home and cried because nothing came to mind. And nothing went on paper. I drew the sun and a flower so my canvas wasn’t left empty. So yes, I was always encouraged by my mother who is quite the creative inspiration for all of us.
Answering the latter part of your question, I remember being almost pushed on stage by my 1st grade teacher to dance. And that little performance left me smitten. I fell in love with the performing arts and took advantage of every given opportunity to go up there and discover sides to myself I never knew existed. So yes, the desire to express has been ingrained for far too long ;)
What inspires you to create?
I find inspiration in every day things. It’s all around us. It’s just up to us to open our eyes and breathe it all in. I enjoy the challenge of communicating what we each experience in our everyday lives, bringing those unique moments to life through photographs.
In your opinion, do you need to explore and experiment in order to express?
I honestly don’t know any other way to express without exploring myself, my surroundings, my world. It’s like asking one to pour their heart out without their heart being filled. If you don’t fill your heart, how would you put anything on that canvas, or how would you think of words to write.
How can children benefit from expression? What can we as adults do to foster it?
Teaching children the importance of sharing is as important as teaching them to speak a language. Without a means of expression, they have fewer chances of understanding themselves, getting to know themselves.
As adults, we can all start with something basic such as art, interests, hobbies. Help them identify what they like/dislike and then help them strengthen their personality by having them learn.
One thing more powerful that I’ve witnessed as a family photographer is when parents really take the time out to spend time with their kids, doing activities together and helping them learn more about themselves. Activities allow them to go through various stages of expressions and learning to manage their emotions around it.
Something you wish an adult had told you when you were younger about your need to express your art?
I wish I was told to “do what you love”. It’s the one piece of advice I share with everyone today.
Any tips or advice for those of us seeking to express our inner voice?
Do what you love. Without a doubt.
When your soul wakes up happy and content, you become a nicer person to yourself and to everyone around you. Easier said than done though, we have to find that one thing we love to do and do a lot more of it.
Thanks Amrita. You're totally inspiring. To see her work check out http://www.mommyshotsbyamrita.com/. And to help your little ones express check out our lovely collection of books and games at https://indigrowkids.com/