On Our Radar: Meet the trailblazers who are shaping the future of content creation.
Photography captures moments and emotions that words can never express. Now, allow us to introduce you to ‘Aishwaryaa Nayak’, a multifaceted artist who is bringing this truth to life, someone who excels in the roles of all, be it Photographer, Cinematographer, Creative Director, or Content Creator.
Her name is a living testament to her creativity, innovation, and unwavering dedication, and she continues to illuminate the world of photography and cinematography with her presence in the digital industry. She not only serves as a mentor for Profoto India but also proudly holds the prestigious title of EOS Influencer for Canon India Official.
The Social Nation team had the privilege of delving into Aishwaryaa’s extraordinary life and her captivating journey in the world of content creation. Join us as we unveil fascinating excerpts from our conversation with this inspiring educator who is reshaping how we perceive the art of visual storytelling.
Aishwaryaa Nayak, let’s start with your journey and why photography happened. Can you tell us about that?
I never actually planned for this to be my path; I initially wanted to become a doctor. To begin with, I come from a very conservative and strict South Indian family where education was a top priority. But, I guess someone had to break those norms, and unfortunately, that had to be me. I’ve always loved taking pictures and portraying the stories I wanted to convey. Beyond that, photography is a means for me to show the people I shoot or my subjects in general that there is so much more beauty to them than what they see in the mirror. I like to be a medium to showcase that. This is primarily why I focus on beauty and fashion.
So, you have a dedicated “Light Play” series. How did that come about, and could you share some specific techniques behind it?
In the run of doing commercials and brand work every day (for which I’m very grateful), after a point, it started getting monotonous due to the requirements of the brands, the briefs they provided, and how I had to follow those rules. But sometimes, it feels good as an artist to break or bend those rules and create something that makes you happy. The best part of doing “Light Play” is that there are no rules or techniques. I just pick up one light or two lights and move around with them, generally just having fun with them. It either works out or it doesn’t, sometimes.
You’ve worked with both Bollywood celebrities and content creators. So, what are the things that you keep in mind while shooting them for print and video purposes? Are there any specific things you do?
There are two things that come to mind. Firstly, if it’s a brand video or a brand campaign, then we have to adhere to certain guidelines. However, otherwise, it’s pretty relaxed, and there’s a certain creative freedom that comes with it.
Secondly, when working on a campaign that involves shooting with both celebrities and creators, the main challenge is how to make everything look different while adhering to the same brand guidelines. It’s actually a lot of fun working on both ends.
How different is it working with Bollywood celebrities compared to content creators in the digital world?
I think there’s a lot more creative freedom when it comes to content creation in the digital world, considering it’s relatively new compared to working with celebrities. They allow us to have our own freedom and let us do a little experimenting.
Out of all the shoots you’ve done, which one is your personal favorite, and which was the most interesting and memorable?
I think the most memorable shoot will have to be with Bhumi Pednekar. She’s a sweetheart like that, and the best part of working with her is that she lets me do my thing. She tells me, “Aishwaryaa, You tell me how we can go about it.” As a photographer/cinematographer, there is a certain kind of trust that the actor, brand, or influencer places in you, and because of that, you can actually do so much more.
In today’s scenario, where trends are changing every day, how do you keep up with them on social media for yourself and for celebrities as well, so that their videos look trendy, cool, and creative?
See, honestly, I’m going to tell you that it is a clear struggle because the trends keep changing. There are new trending audios that come out on a daily basis. When I’m creating content for content creators and celebrities regularly while also trying to keep up with my own content that I have to deliver, it does get really difficult. But I feel that it’s essential to follow the trends while sticking to your ‘own personal style‘; otherwise, there won’t be any difference between what everyone else is doing and what you are doing. So, when I try to follow trends, I also try to keep in mind the authenticity of the person I’m shooting, and their style, and I try to mix and match to create something accordingly.
How do you create a balance between your content creation and the work that you do?
Bro, it’s a task, honestly. Even right now, I was doing the entire campaign because obviously, this was also important. But I also always want to have a different sense of individuality that it gives to you. I don’t want to be called somebody’s photographer because it adds a lot more effort to do it. It’s not easy, besides the kind of work that we are doing, the deliverables, the tasks, the deadlines, and besides that, trying to maintain an entire thing. But I also feel that it is worth it. At the end of the day, I love what I do, and I won’t trade that for anything.
You are an inspiration to a lot of people. How does it feel to be recognized as a Canon India EOS Influencer? How does this recognition feel?
I mean, this is something that I can’t put into words. Since day one, I have always been using Canon. Back in those days when cameras were really expensive and I couldn’t afford one, I would actually end up borrowing one from my photographer friends. Finally, when I could save up and get myself my first 70D, I can’t tell you the feeling. And I think they announced during COVID that I’m an influencer and mentor to them, and it still feels very unreal. I can’t really explain it in words, but I’m very grateful that this happened.
Tell us about your future projects. What’s in store?
So, I recently completed my first directorial project, one of the first ads that I actually directed and shot. This is something I’ve always wanted to do – directing and being a Director of Photography (DOP). It’s one baby step towards achieving that goal.
As we wrap up this conversation, we can’t help but be inspired by her unwavering dedication and boundless creativity. By the end of it, we now know that Aishwaryaa is not just a photographer; she’s a storyteller, an innovator, and a mentor who’s painting the world with pixels of joy.
So, the next time you come across a photograph or a cinematic masterpiece that leaves you spellbound, you might want to double-check if Aishwaryaa Nayak is the artist behind it. Keep an eye on her exciting journey as she continues to redefine the art of visual storytelling, one frame at a time. Cheers to the magic of photography and the creativity that knows no bounds!