What Inspires Me in My Photography
Blog Post Dates
October 2021

What Inspires Me in My Photography

As an artist, no matter what discipline you practice, the first thing most people ask when they hear that you are in a creative field is, what kind of work do you produce. It’s shortly followed in most instances by, what made you decide to become an artist or what inspires you in your work.

 For me personally, I was inspired very early on by my mum. I can still remember her teaching me how to colour. I also watched with how much pride she would try and make our home as beautiful as she could, with what little she had. It became a very common sight, for us to come home from school, and the entire room would be rearranged. I’m still amazed by how this tiny lady managed to move all that heavy furniture, including wardrobes, all by herself.

 I also later learnt, of how beautifully my mum would embroider sarees, in a traditional Indian style called Thar. My artistic ability comes from her and she’s my number one source of inspiration.

 She, along with my sister, have also formed the basis of my inspiration to devote my talent to photographing women in a beautiful, uplifting way. I watched from early on, the sacrifices the women in my family would make, that ensured life was better for us all. It is primarily because of this, that I run my business the way I do. I wanted women, not only my mum and sister, to make time for themselves, to do things that made them happy. I want women to feel beautiful and loved, and I hope that through my photography, I can give them some of this, and that at the end of the day, they have a beautiful set of photographs that becomes a visual reminder, not only of their experience, but also of their beauty.


 My external influences, are wide and varied. I am influenced to some degree by fine artists, primarily by Impressionists like Monet and Renoir. The way in which they captured colour and light on their canvases, has influenced me. Another artist that has been an influence on me, and many photographers for that matter, is Rembrandt. His work was mainly in the Baroque and Dutch Golden Age style. His use of light, the way in which he posed people, and most importantly the way his subject connects with the viewer through their eyes has been of primary importance to me.


jodha akbar kundan necklace

 Indian artists like Raja Ravi Varma, Abanindranath Tagore have had some influence on me. I however am more inspired by traditional Indian art forms of dance, fabrics, jewellery, sculpture, arhitecture folk and tribal art. I absolutely love the way colour is used in Indian culture.

George Hurrel

 In terms of photography, my biggest inspiration comes from George Hurrel. He was a photographer that worked during Hollywood’s Golden Era of the 1930’s and 40’s. He photographed some of the biggest stars of that era, and he’s widely credited with having created the style of photography that became the norm for that time period, and is known has Hollywood Glamour Photography. He worked in black and white, with very dramatic lighting that was meant to elevate the stars of that era, and make people flock to the cinemas to see them. It’s not a style of photography I get to shoot often in, hopefully I get to do so in the future.

 I’m also inspired by fashion photographers like Paulo Roversi, Sølve Sundsbø, Grey Williams, Nathaniel Goldberg and Diego Uchitel. While I don’t get to shoot much fashion, I do however like to incorporate some elements of fashion into my portrait photography work.

 One of the biggest influences comes from Sue Bryce at the moment. She’s an extremely talented Kiwi photographer, with a heart of gold. The reason I changed my business so much is because of her, and the way I saw she was positively impacting on women. I want to do the same thing in my part of the world, Newcastle KZN, South Africa. I want to make women look beautiful, and to reconnect and fall in love with themselves.

Ajay Lalbeharie Up