How I’ll remember Prabuddha Dasgupta

I first saw Prabuddha Dasgupta’s photographs about 2-3 years back. I was still a confused design/fashion student who liked Photography but  who didn’t think much of Fashion or any other commercialized form of it. It was after a guest talk in college by the brilliant stylist Prasad Bidappa. He kept talking about a particular jewelry shoot that he had styled for Prabuddha and how unique and creative the concept and photographs were. My interest piqued, I immediately googled the name after I went home.

What I saw forever changed my perception of Fashion Photography. I had never seen fashion images that were so devastatingly simple, sensual and enigmatic. The uncluttered light, the rich art direction and the model-the lines of her body caught in a perfect moment, her expressions grave and mysterious, her poise perfect. It was Indian and International. It was artistic and it achieved it’s commercial purpose. It was timeless.

I was in love. With the images. With Fashion Photography. With Prabuddha Dasgupta.

Over the course of years due to my own interest being raised, I have been able to find quite a few other great photographers in India and outside to get inspiration from, but Prabuddha Dasgupta’s magic persisted. Whenever I feel deviated, dejected or demotivated I flip through his images. I’d imagine what it must feel like to create images such as these and that motivated me more than anything else.

I’d try to bring a bit of the mood from his photographs into my work, almost unconsciously. I’d fantasize about meeting him someday. I would think about what I’d say to him. I searched for any information I could find about him and to contact him. He was a famous recluse and I never even found an email id of his.

Yesterday I heard about his passing and I couldn’t believe it for the longest time. I’d never imagined I’d feel such sense of personal loss and sadness for a public personality. I think it was the idea that I’d never again see any new Prabuddha Dasgupta photograph again was what broke my heart.

I am not exaggerating when I say his images are single handedly responsible for putting me on the path of fashion photography. Whatever I’ll be able to do or achieve in my life, I’d always remember this photograph as where it all started.

Your images will live forever Prabuddha. Rest in peace.