We had the good fortune of connecting with Simanta Mahanta and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Simanta, why did you pursue a creative career?
It’s a combination of pursuing your passion, what you’re good at and wanting to create something beautiful. Moreover, I love the outdoors and my photographs can help foster a greater sense of appreciation for our natural wonders.

Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I am an outdoor photographer specializing in landscape photography and naturally-lit portraits. I use mood and atmosphere to evoke a sense of wonder, drama and depth. I especially enjoy capturing the night sky and waterfalls. In a time of increasing light and air pollution, I count myself as fortunate to have experienced many dark skies that have presented a clear view into the cosmos. It’s an innate sense of wonder that I strive to emote through photography.

The biggest challenge in this field is setting yourself apart. It is very easy to copy what’s “in style” and lose your originality. There are many talented artistes out there and with social media, techniques and processes are easily imitated. What has worked for me – ironically – is not actively wanting to be “different.” I followed a natural progression of self-development, took inspiration from other photographers now and then but stayed true to my own artistic vision. It has been a continuous and evolving style that I’ve developed over the years.

A key lesson I’ve learned is to identify the stakeholder in what I’m pursuing. Is it a client, is it social media…or is it myself? If I’m shooting for a client, then it’s important to understand what their expectations are and why they chose you in the first place. Most of the time, when I’m shooting for myself – I do what makes me happy. If it defies convention, so be it. Once I learned to differentiate the stakeholders for any photo, I found the rest of the process to be much simpler.

I want any viewer looking at my portfolio to empathize with my artistic vision and desire to showcase something more than just a digital recording of pixels. I am one of the few photographers from India who are passionately pursing landscape photography and my goal is to inspire you to travel to some of the places yourself!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
A trip to the arts district of Dallas is a must (if you’re into that) to check out the evolving cultural scene of Dallas. The Deep Ellum area has lively music and bar-hopping scene. For a taste of the Texan country life, a visit to the Stockyards in Fort Worth can be fun. For a more laidback outing, picking any of the modern restaurants in Frisco or Las Collinas is a good option. Uptown Dallas and Legacy West in Plano are great for a more chic evening.

Personally, I am an outdoors person so I’d definitely recommend a visit to White Rock lake in Dallas (especially when the weather’s nice). If you like flowers, then definitely check out the Dallas Arboretum and the Fort Worth Botanical Garden. Cedar Hill State Park is one of my favorite parks. The area is well suited for cyclists but also for the late afternoon stroll.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
It would have to be my father. It was through him that I developed an appreciation of the outdoors, learned to be adaptable and how to plan anything, really – from your career trajectory to the something simple as packing for your next trip!t His efforts paved my journey from India to the United States where I am currently based and pursue my passion.

Website: www.simexposure.com

Instagram: @simexposure

Other: For any inquiries, email: sim@simexposure.com

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.