Calloused feet and the Milky Way - our April competition winner's take on life

The Rickshaw Puller, by Sakshi Kumar

Do you remember the awesome shot of the rickshaw driver’s feet, which won our April photo competition? (If you don’t, there’s a pertinent reminder to your left.) I was thoroughly intrigued by the image, and where it came from, so I dropped an email to Sakshi, the competition winner, in the hope that she’d tell us a bit more about herself. Thankfully, she didn’t find me at all impertinent and gamely answered my roll of questions. Better yet, she said I could share.

Daniela: Where are you from, Sakshi?

Sakshi Kumar: I was born and bred in New Delhi, India. (And I’m 22, if anyone’s asking.)

DEB: When and how did you get involved in photography?

SK: My dad always loved to take my pictures. So even before I got into photography, I had the heart for it. My dad was my biggest inspiration though initially he didn’t support this decision of mine as he thought I was made for “bigger things.”

I took a degree in Journalism, which I followed with a postgrad in Photography. I also took an extra credit in photojournalism, which got me interested in opting for photography as a career option. Though I soon realized photojournalism is not my thing. I am too sensitive for that genre.

DEB: Photojournalism is definitely tough. So what sort of thing do you like to photograph?

SK: I mostly enjoyed landscapes, nature, wildlife, architecture, interiors and fashion. Astronomical photography is very intriguing and I’ve tried my hand at it, but not with much success up to now!

DEB: And the winning photograph? How did that come about?

SK: I was experimenting with portraiture. For me, portraits are more than pictures of pretty faces, they’re about someone’s character – a simple picture that could tell as much about a person’s life as her or his own words. So I went out on a shoot and started taking pictures of people’s feet in a more environmental setting. The winning picture was an outcome of it. The calloused feet belong to a rickshaw puller in a particularly poor part of Delhi. I think they express the hardships of his life.

DEB: Well, we definitely loved that picture! What’s your favourite photo that you’ve taken recently?

SK: Ah, this one! It’s a dog’s life!

It's a dog's life! (Sakshi Kumar)

DEB: And finally, if you could go anywhere and photography anything, where and what would it be?

SK: Ooh! That’s a hard one. I’d love to capture the Aurora Borealis, so maybe Alaska or Sweden for that. And Death Valley, just for the sheer beauty of its barrenness. Oh, and I’d love to get the Milky Way from Mount Teide. It’s mesmerising.

Many thanks so Sakshi for answering my questions. We hope that she’s enjoying her prize!

Don’t forget, the deadline for this month’s competition is tomorrow (Wednesday 27 July); the theme is red; Fracture are providing the awesome prize.