From Hobby to Passion: The Journey and Inspirations of Street Photographer Santanu Dey

From Hobby to Passion: The Journey and Inspirations of Street Photographer Santanu Dey

Showcase is an effort by 58Miles to bring beautiful journeys of some of the amazing photographers of India & aboard . You will read about their journey , techniques , style and can see the outcome of their art in stunning frames. We asked them some questions to deep dive in to space and here we are....

Introducing 58Miles showcase photographer Santanu Dey from Kolkata

Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you got started in photography?

Hi, myself Santanu Dey, Kolkata based Street photographer. Professionally I am into an engineering firm as an Asst. Head (Finance & Accounts).
Earlier, I was in deep love of drawing & Jianzhi (papercutting art). Since 2016 I have slowly felt the interest of photography & started it as my hobby. Earlier days I practised with a mobile & occasionally I borrowed a point & shoot camera of one my cousin. In the year 2018 I bought my first DSLR & my hobby turns into my passion.

My works have been published in National Geographic, CT Fotographie Magazine - Hamburg, NoFilter Exhibition at Delhi organized by IndiGo & NAT GEO, 121 Clicks, Better Photography, Smart Photography, Asian Photography Magazine, Wondererz Magazine & many more national and international magazines & websites. Recently two of my works have been proudly displayed in Galleria Gli Eroici Furori - Milan, Italy & Galeria De Arta Le Gard - Romania. I am one of the editors of Exposure Magazine and one of the collective members of India Street Art Collective.


What inspires your photography, and how do you choose your subjects or themes?

See, inspiration to me is the entire universe. I love to get inspiration from everyone, even my 10 year old son is not an exception. I love to read blogs on a regular basis, I follow numerous artists on social media & see their works. I am a regular visitor to Magnum website to get inspiration from the stalwarts.

I always prefer to choose subjects / themes that seem interesting to me & moreover which can communicate with me or the viewer. I love to dig deep into the scene happening in front of me & choose the best out of compositions as per my ability.


What has been your most memorable photography project or shoot, or any inspiring story around it, and why?

My memorable photography project or shoot happened when I first visited Varanasi in the year 2019 as a solo traveller. It was planned all of a sudden during Dev Deepawali & that visit still rejuvenates every sphere of my journey of life as a human being and of course as a photographer. It taught me a lot of lessons those I can never learn from any institutions or from any other person. From then I fell in love with this city as I feel proud to call it my "SECOND HOMETOWN". After 2019 I have visited this city several times, everytime it makes me "wow" but, that first visit & the memories related to it will stand very much special to me as I run out of words to elaborate some of my feelings, communications & understandings. It changed me from deep inside. It made me more patient, it made me more humble, it made me more generous. Yes, all these happened from that very first visit & of course the city has this much power. I would love to again repeat yes, the city has its own.


What is your photography kit ? or we would say, what is in your camera bag?

My photography kit belongs to my Fujifilm X100V camera with 23mm f2 fixed lens.

I prefer not to go bulky while I am shooting. If I am shooting into summer days I would like to carry my Fuji X100V camera, a small water bottle, a small hand towel & an umbrella. Otherwise, my camera & a bottle of water is more than enough to me.

Last but not the least, if I have the plan to shoot for a long run within my city (Kolkata) / outside, I definitely carry nuts, chocolates with the aboves.


What advice would you give to photographers who are just starting out and looking to make a name for themselves?

Those who have the wish to start Street Photography, first of all they require to do it from the core of their heart. They have to work for the art itself but not to make themselves famous. They have to spend a fixed amount of time on a daily basis to read the blogs & to see the works of famous artists to nourish / upgrade their skill. They have to practice in a regular manner as there are no alternatives apart from practice. If your work is commendable then your name automatically becomes commendable to others as well.
In conclusion, developing a competent street photography practice is a matter of patience, fierce individuality, incessant experimentation & wholehearted dedication. There is nothing easy about making good street photographs & becoming known for your work is that much harder again.


You can find Santanu Dey on : 

Instagram : streetsight_santanu