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  • Jharna Jagtiani

In Conversation with Prof. Divya Gupta

Updated: Nov 18, 2023


Exclusive Interview🎙️ Discovering Insights with Prof. Divya Gupta

Prof. Divya Gupta is a luminous figure in the realm of visual storytelling and education. A multifaceted individual, she is an accomplished National Award-Winning Photographer, a captivating TEDx Speaker, a prolific Author, and a dedicated Academician. With a profound journey spanning over 7 years, Prof. Divya has emerged as a true trailblazer in the field of Photography and Media.

Currently holding the esteemed positions of Head of Marketing & Communications and Adjunct Professor at IFIM Institutions, Prof. Divya's impact on the academic and professional landscape is both profound and inspiring. Her extensive tenure also includes noteworthy associations with prestigious institutions like O.P. Jindal Global University and Jagran Lakecity University, underscoring her commitment to shaping the future of aspiring photographers and media enthusiasts.

What sets Prof. Divya apart is her unwavering passion for photography, a passion that not only propelled her to reach unparalleled heights but also compelled her to share her expertise. This passion culminated in the authorship of two groundbreaking books, "Photography Demystified Vol-I & II." Through these volumes, she demystified the intricacies of photography, making the art accessible to a wider audience and empowering aspiring photographers to explore their creative potential.

Prof. Divya's journey is peppered with accolades that underscore her exceptional contributions. Her notable recognitions include the esteemed Dainik Bhaskar National Woman Pride Award, the prestigious National Rising Stars Award by BARCLAYS, the Agniban Women’s Excellence Award, and the coveted IGNOU Women Achiever’s Award. These awards not only honor her achievements but also stand as a testament to her relentless pursuit of excellence.

Beyond her impressive professional accolades, Prof. Divya is driven by a deep commitment to social causes. She actively engages with environmental initiatives, underscoring her dedication to creating a sustainable and vibrant future. Additionally, her role as a mentor to NGO students exemplifies her belief in nurturing young talent and imparting them with the tools to succeed.

The reverberations of Prof. Divya's captivating work have resonated far and wide, capturing the attention of news outlets and magazines. Her captivating portfolio has been featured multiple times, inspiring fellow photographers and art enthusiasts alike. Her artistry transcends boundaries, touching hearts and igniting imaginations.

In the ever-evolving landscape of photography, media, and education, Prof. Divya Gupta stands as a shining beacon of creativity, knowledge, and inspiration. Her journey continues to illuminate paths for the present and future generations, guiding them towards excellence and fostering a deep appreciation for the arts and beyond.

Student Assistant: Mr. Pranjal Biswas, Student, IFIM School of Law, Bengaluru

What motivated you to pursue a career in photography and media?

My passion for art and storytelling, combined with a fascination for the power of visual imagery, motivated me to pursue a career in photography and media. I believe that a single photograph can convey emotions, tell a compelling story, and inspire change. This passion led me to explore photography and media as a means to express myself creatively and make a positive impact on society.

Could you share some key experiences and lessons you learned during your 7+ years in the industry?

Over the 7+ years in the industry, I have had the privilege of working on diverse projects and collaborating with talented individuals. Some key experiences that have shaped me as a photographer and media professional include capturing powerful moments during social movements, witnessing the transformative impact of visual storytelling, and learning to adapt to changing technology and industry trends. Through these experiences, I have learned the importance of perseverance, adaptability, and the ability to connect with people through my work.

As a National Award-Winning Photographer, what do you believe sets your work apart from others in the field?

I believe what sets my work apart is my dedication to capturing authentic emotions and stories in a visually compelling manner. I strive to bring a unique perspective to every project, focusing on the human element and again the power of visual storytelling. Additionally, my passion for social causes including environmental causes has also influenced my photography, as I aim to raise awareness about critical issues through my work.

How did your journey as an academician in photography and media begin, and what do you enjoy most about teaching?

My journey as an academician began as I felt a strong desire to share my knowledge and experiences with aspiring photographers and media enthusiasts. I found joy in mentoring and nurturing talent, helping students discover their creative potential, and equipping them with the skills needed to excel in the field. The most rewarding aspect of teaching is witnessing the growth and success of my students as they find their unique voice in photography and media.

What skills and techniques have you acquired over the years that have contributed to your success in the field?

Over the years, I have honed my technical skills in photography, mastering various camera techniques and post-processing methods. Additionally, I have developed strong communication skills, which are crucial for understanding the needs of clients and effectively conveying stories through visual imagery. My ability to adapt to different commercial projects has also been instrumental in achieving success in the diverse and ever-evolving field of photography and media.

How do you balance your roles as Head of Marketing & Communications and Adjunct Professor at IFIM Institutions?

Balancing my dual roles as the Head of Marketing & Communications and Adjunct Professor at IFIM School of Journalism requires effective time management and prioritization. I ensure clear communication with both teams, delegate responsibilities where appropriate, and maintain a flexible schedule to accommodate the demands of each role. Moreover, I draw on my experience in marketing and media to enhance my teaching and vice versa, creating a symbiotic relationship between my professional engagements.

Tell us about the inspiration behind writing your books, "Photography Demystified Vol-I & II."

The inspiration behind writing "Photography Demystified Vol-I & II" was to bridge the gap between aspiring photographers and the complex world of photography. I wanted to simplify photography concepts, techniques, and processes so that enthusiasts could explore their creativity with confidence. The books are a culmination of my experiences and insights, aiming to empower readers to harness the potential of photography and create impactful visual narratives.

How do you believe your books have benefited aspiring photographers and enthusiasts?

I believe my books have empowered aspiring photographers and enthusiasts by providing them with a comprehensive understanding of photography fundamentals, techniques, and tips. The books demystify technical jargon, making it accessible to readers of all skill levels. By sharing practical insights and real-world examples, readers can gain confidence in their craft and embark on their photographic journey with clarity and enthusiasm.

What impact do you think legal journalism has on shaping public opinion and the legal system?

Legal journalism and photojournalism play a vital role in shaping public opinion and the legal system. Journalists, through their reporting, can shed light on legal proceedings, cases, and issues, making complex legal matters understandable to the public. This transparency fosters accountability that informs citizens about their rights and influences public discourse on legal and societal matters.

How do you ensure ethical reporting while covering legal matters and sensitive issues in the media?

Ethical reporting is essential, especially when covering legal matters and sensitive issues. To ensure ethical reporting, the accuracy, fact-checking, and unbiased representation of information need to be always prioritized. Respecting the privacy and dignity of individuals involved in legal proceedings is crucial. Additionally, I am mindful of the potential impact of my work on society and approach it with sensitivity and responsibility.

What are some key principles of legal ethics that you believe journalists should uphold in their work?

Journalists covering legal matters should adhere to principles such as accuracy, impartiality, fairness, and integrity. They should avoid sensationalizing stories and respect the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Protecting the identities and rights of individuals involved in legal cases is also a fundamental ethical consideration.

What inspired you to become a TEDx Speaker, and how has that platform impacted your career?

Becoming a TEDx Speaker was a dream come true for me, as it provided a unique platform to share my ideas and experiences with a global audience. The TEDx platform allowed me to connect with fellow creative thinkers, industry experts, and individuals passionate about photography and media. It expanded my reach and credibility as a speaker, professional, and an academician, opening up new opportunities in my career journey.TEDx

As an academician, what do you believe is the importance of integrating photography and media education in the curriculum?

Integrating photography and media education in the curriculum is essential in today's visual-centric world. Visual storytelling is a powerful tool for communication, and students need to understand its impact and potential across various industries. Photography and media education not only nurture creativity but also equip students with valuable skills in visual communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving.

In your opinion, how can photography be used as a powerful tool for storytelling and social change?

Photography has the unique ability to capture moments, evoke emotions, and convey powerful narratives. As a tool for storytelling and social change, I think photography can bring attention to important issues, inspire empathy, and spur action. By documenting social injustices, environmental challenges, and human stories, one can drive positive change by raising awareness and influencing public opinion.

How do you handle criticism and feedback in your work, and how has it helped you grow as a professional?

In my opinion, criticism and feedback are valuable aspects of professional growth. I approach them with an open mind and a willingness to learn. Constructive feedback helps me identify areas for improvement and refine my creativity. It has taught me to embrace challenges, view criticism as an opportunity for growth, and constantly push myself to evolve as a photographer, educator, author and media professional.

What advice would you give to students who may be facing doubts or uncertainties in pursuing a career in photography and media?

For students facing doubts or uncertainties, I would encourage them to stay true to their passion for photography and media. Pursuing a creative career requires perseverance and dedication, but it is immensely rewarding. Embrace challenges as opportunities to grow, seek guidance from experienced professionals, and continue to explore your artistic voice. Remember that every successful journey starts with taking that first step towards your dreams.

In your experience, how can photography contribute to the understanding and documentation of legal proceedings and events?

Photography plays a crucial role in documenting legal proceedings and events by capturing authentic moments and emotions. In courtrooms, for instance, photographs can provide visual evidence, help in recalling events, and support journalistic reporting. By presenting unbiased and accurate visual documentation, photographers contribute to the understanding and historical record of legal cases and events.

What role does visual storytelling play in presenting complex legal issues to the public in a comprehensible manner?

Visual storytelling simplifies complex legal issues and makes them accessible to the public. By using photographs and visual narratives, journalists and photographers can break down legal jargon and present information in a comprehensible manner. Visuals have the power to engage audiences and evoke emotions, making legal issues more relatable and understandable to the general public.

How do you handle the responsibility of ensuring accuracy and credibility in your photography work, especially when covering legal matters?

Ensuring accuracy and credibility is of utmost importance in my photography work, especially when covering legal matters. I verify facts, corroborate information, and seek input from experts or authorities when necessary. I maintain a high level of professionalism and transparency in my work, knowing that my photographs may have significant implications in shaping public opinion and understanding legal events.

Can you share some insights into the importance of ethics in photography and media, particularly when it involves sensitive topics?

Ethics in photography and media are vital, especially when covering sensitive topics. Respecting the privacy, dignity, and rights of individuals involved in sensitive matters is paramount. Photographers should consider the potential impact of their work and avoid exploitation or sensationalism. Sensitivity, empathy, and ethical decision-making guide photographers in telling stories responsibly and respectfully.

How do you see the relationship between photography and legal journalism evolving in the future?

I believe the relationship between photography and legal journalism will continue to evolve with advancing technology and changing media landscapes. Visual storytelling will remain a powerful tool in legal journalism, providing a comprehensive view of legal events and proceedings. With an increased focus on transparency and accountability, photographers and journalists will play a significant role in shaping public opinion and promoting justice.

What are some key technological advancements in the photography and media industry that you find fascinating and impactful?

Technological advancements have revolutionized photography and media industries. High-resolution cameras, drones, and virtual reality have expanded the possibilities for visual storytelling. Moreover, digital media platforms and social media have democratized access to photography, enabling photographers to reach global audiences instantly. These advancements offer exciting opportunities for creativity, communication, and engagement in the field.

How do you envision your future contributions to the fields of photography, media, and academia?

In the future, I aim to continue making impactful contributions to the fields of photography, media, and academia. I intend to expand my body of work, capturing compelling stories that shed light on societal issues and environmental concerns. As an academician, I will continue nurturing talent and developing innovative photography and media programs to empower the next generation of visual storytellers. Through my work, I hope to inspire positive change and create a legacy in the creative and academic realms.

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