‘If not a photographer, I’d be a painter’

Diane Vaz has carved a niche in taking photographs of band performances and artistes and is a self-taught photographer.

Diane Vaz 1


With technology advancing by the day, everyone seems to be attracted towards the most talked about profession – photography. “A few good pictures and everyone has a Facebook page. It’s great to explore hidden talents and showcase them, but what takes a backseat is when budding photographers start working for free,” says photographer Diane Vaz, commenting on the current scene of photography.

A girl with Goan roots, Diane kick-started her photography career in 2011 by giving birth to Diane Vaz Photography. “The photographer in me just didn’t wake up one day,” she says, “I had a flair for art and colour from the start,” she adds. In the beginning, Diane would attend a gig and take photographs with her digital camera. But a digi-cam had its own limitations, and she had an appetite for better photography. So this drove her to save sufficient money to buy a DSLR camera and a couple of lenses. Since then, the 30-something lady has been experimenting with light.

Diane has carved a niche in taking photographs of band performances and artistes and is a self-learned photographer. Some of the lovely stage performances captured by Diane include Karnivool, Ken Stringfellow, The Mahindra Blues festival ft. Dana Fuchs, Popa Chubby, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Jimmy Thackery and The Drivers, Walter Trout and The Radicals and some of India’s best musicians such as Soulmate and Indus Creed.

“Every shoot teaches me something new — lights, angles and exposure. I am still learning, and it’s a continuous process. I wanted to do a course in photography but due to time constraint, I am unable to take up one,” says the alumnus of Nirmala Niketan College, Mumbai.

Her first event shoot was at BlueFROG with the band Dischordian followed by a French band called Betty Argo. “I was not quite happy with the photographs I had taken for Dischordian. Some of them were shaky, blurred and not up to the mark. However, the band was kind enough to use the images along with their press release. On the other hand, I was quite happy with the pictures I took for Betty Argo. I was even happier when a small remuneration and most of my photographs exchanged hands.”

Now since Diane has her feet firm on the ground, she has a couple of projects in the pipeline where she plans to collaborate with fellow photographers to work on a final concept. Till then, she will continue freelancing and will also work on her ongoing project called Colour Me Red — A project that will narrate a story with the colour red. But why red? “Red is a powerful colour. It symbolises love as well as war. It is exciting, and the amount of red is directly related to the level of energy perceived. Red is also the colour of beauty and draws attention. Red in mythology denotes bravery, protection and strength. And finally, red speaks out loud in every picture.”

Apart from running Diane Vaz Photography, she also works as an Executive Assistant at Flame Business School. That’s not all; she qualifies as a multi-tasker, as she’s also a part of a music journalism company where she heads the team in Mumbai.

Over months of taking photographs, Diane confesses that she has discovered joy in capturing moments when an artiste takes a break or when an artiste forgets a line and flashes a smirk. “I do not prefer my pictures to be in grey scale. I personally love colour and at times, I take the risk to blow them up.”

As a photographer, Diane says, all her assignments have been memorable. And being a female photographer has its challenges. “Some venues usually do not have a Photographers’ pit, and if the event has a celebrity, we are mostly squeezed. Worse, there are times when we get butt cheeks pinched.”

Being a Goan, Diane visits her ancestral house in Cuncolim at least twice a year, if not more. She also speaks in Konkani with her family. When asked about an alternate profession, Diane says, “If not a photographer, I’d be a painter.”

My favourite photographs by Diane Vaz:





(Please note: This story first featured in The Goan on Saturday)


Categories: Open Letters | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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