Our one hundredth and sixth interview in this series of intimate interviews is with talented mobile photographer Dimpy Bhalotia from India. Bhalotia leads an interesting life, born and raised in Bombay, India, she later moved to London, UK to study at London College of Fashion, later graduating with a BA (Hons) in Fashion Design Technology, majoring in Women’s Wear. Since then she travels the world with her camera and iPhone and we’re lucky to see some of the results below. Enjoy!
To read the other published interviews in this series including artists, Adria Ellis, Rino Rossi, Mehmet Duyulmus, Alexis Rotella, Lou Ann Sanford Donahue, Irene Oleksiuk, Kerry Mitchell, Filiz Ak, Dale Botha, M. Cecilia Sao Thiago, Deborah McMillion, Rita Colantonio, Amy Ecenbarger, Jane Schultz, Anca Balaj, Joyce Harkin, Armineh Hovanesian, Kate Zari Roberts, Vicki Cooper, Peter Wilkin, Barbara Braman, Becky Menzies, Sukru Mehmet Omur, Sarah Bichachi, Michel Pretterklieber, Alon Goldsmith, Judy Lurie Wahlberg, Andrea Bigiarini, Sean Hayes, Oola Cristina, Kathleen Magner-Rios Linda Toki, Deb Field, Emilo Nadales, Lydia Cassatt, David Hayes, Jean Hutter, Frederic Deschênes, Mark Schnidman, Fatma Korkut, Fleur Schim, Rob Pearson-Wright, Dieter Gaebel, James Ellis, Marco P Prado, Jeronimo Sanz, Manuela Matos Monteiro, Bleu Chemiko, Manuela Basaldella, Stefania Piccioni, Luis Rodríguez, Marilisa Andriani(@mitrydate) Mayte Balcells (@artofmayte), Nicole Christophe, Jennifer Graham, Cathrine HalsørPaul Toussaint, Carol Wiebe, Julie Denning, Kim Clayton (@berleyart), Karen Messick, Serap Utaş, MaryJane Rosenfeld, Paul Suciu, Susan Latty (@pause.and.breathe),John Nieto, Phyllis Shenny, Joy Barry, Max Lies Derdonk, Rita Tipunina, Violet Martins, Nizzar Ben Chekroune, Lynette Sheppard, Paul-Andre Hamel, Rejane Rubino, Susan Detroy, Rosalie Heller, Wayman Stairs, Cintia Malhotra, Anita Elle, Juta Jazz, Cheryl Tarrant, Hanni König Kaoru Shintaku David Gilbert Jana Curcio, Mary Lorincz Amado Ergana, Francesco Sambati, Philip Parsons, Kathryn Garkut Massimo Bortolini Camilla Crescini Francesca Malagoli Sidonie Petit Dirk Fleischmann, Fiona Christian, Alastair Hooley Juliet Morris Lisa Cirenza Nayeem Siddiquee (Jabaz) Efrat Sela Jose Ramon Estrada Maria Moscoso and myself, go here.
What was your first childhood ambition?
I never had a profession to name as such that I ever thought I want to be. It was more like whatever I will do I will do my best in it. I think it also got more to do of how I was brought up. It was very clear right from my childhood that do what you want, choose when you want but do your best.
After my first fashion show in London, I was so young and naive that I kept thinking I had not done good enough. A couple of days after the show a huge brand in London contacted me and they wanted to stock my collection. I was so amazed.
It was with a very famous Spanish fashion designer in London. My job was to get the whole collection done for the London Fashion Week right from getting the toile done to the final garments. It was fun but very tiring. Worked 7 days a week with no limit of timing at all.
Private or state school?
Private! In India State school back then were in horrendous conditions and they still are in most part of the country.
University or work?
I graduated with a BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology majoring in Women’s Wear from London College of Fashion in London. It really helped me to explore the world and myself at a very young age. And I am glad I did not study photography. I am a self-taught street photographer.
Who was or is your mentor?
Nobody. I think a mentor is an overhyped concept. I tell everyone to use your own brain and find your own style, you really don’t need anybody. Take suggestions from everyone if you want but do what your intuition says. Nobody knows what’s the right way. There is no formula.
How physically fit are you?
Have always been into yoga. Have learnt hatha yoga and practised it for many years. Recently due to back to back travelling have lost touch with yoga. This question just reminded me that I need to get back at it again.
Ambition or talent? What matters more to success?
I think ambition and talent go hand in hand. If one is highly ambitious but the talent is average then one won’t survive for long.
How politically committed are you?
Very much. The cost of a device that I am typing on right now to the coffee I am drinking every single thing depends on the political decisions made. I had read it somewhere that the earth will survive but not the human race. And I think the biggest reason for that is climate change and it is very important to choose the right government and right leaders if we want to survive. A lot of people think that politics doesn’t affect them as politicians don’t pay their bills but what they don’t realise is the bills you are paying is been decided by them. And those bills are very high for all the wrong reasons. If we all come together and fight then the shooting rents will go down, poverty can be eradicated, trees and animals can be saved and we will survive.
What would you like to own that you don’t currently possess?
For now, I can’t think of anything. I am not a very materialistic person. Or maybe a nice hat. Or maybe not. My current hats have all gone shapeless. I think for me my phone to shoot, my hat and a cocktail is more than enough for me. Life is set!
What is your biggest extravagance?
Nothing! Literally nothing! I don’t like spending money on myself or anything. I would rather buy something for my family or my friend which is useful but not for myself.
In which places are you happiest?
When I am on the street shooting. Nothing makes me happier than shooting. I feel like I am breathing and I am myself.
What ambitions do you still have?
Do a lot of sustainable travelling and shoot. And shoot photos that give and show love, freedom, hope and energy.
What you drive you on?
Photography is my biggest fitoor. Good food, spending time with my family and travelling.
What is the greatest achievement of your life so far?
That I did not give up at my lowest and I intend to never ever give up. Come what may.
What do you find most irritating in other people?
Bad breath. People lying. People lying is a deal-breaker for me.
If your twenty year old self could see you now, what would she think?
On Dimpy! You really didn’t give up. Bravo!
What object that you have lost do you wish you still had?
Recently I have started to let go of things. In the last 1 year, I lost heap loads of photographs. I thought the world had come to an end. My friend So Asa said one line to me and it has stuck in my head like glue. It really helped me to not cry and crib about it and just like that I have let go off the loss and have moved on. What’s gone is gone and I am looking at the future now.
What is the greatest challenge of our time?
To find love, to find that one person you can trust and spend whole life with.
Do you believe in the afterlife?
No, but I believe in the energy that is left behind. I believe in the energy that the birds and nature absorb from us and extracts forever giving us the sense that people that we have lost are still around us.
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