If you stay near Bandra in suburban Mumbai, chances are that you would have run into Roycin D’souza—@RoycinD on the social networking site Twitter—at some point. It’s hard to miss the burly six-footer playing with stray dogs on Carter Road. In June, D’souza, a third-year BCom student and music photographer, started a personal photography project that he calls Twitter-A-Day 365.
Inspired by Project365, a popular project to document lives through photographs, #TAD365, as the project’s Twitter hashtag goes, began as a means for D’souza to get to know the people he follows on Twitter better. He decided to upload one picture a day for a year; pictures which capture the spirit of his subjects.
With close to 150 portraits uploaded so far, #TAD365 is among the most talked about projects on Twitter today.
Each of the photographs packs an interesting story. @RitikaDarira, who believes in “fish market therapy”, has been photographed as a fish seller, while food blogger Nikhil Merchant leans over a pool table strewn with fruits. D’souza once made a person sit in the boot of a car in Gurgaon for a picture; disturbed a cozy couple at Mocha Mojo, Mumbai, to shoot @vantaskigoli; and it took an hour to line up @Devika_G’s 30 pairs of shoes. D’souza took things literally for a user who calls herself @locopurplewing, and light-painted a surreal purple wing for her portrait.
D’souza uses a Nikon D7000 with a few lenses, coupled with Nikon and Vivitar flashes fired through radio triggers, for most of his photos. He stands by the DIY ethic and has been buying his gear over a period of six months—piece by piece. He owns a Lowepro Pro Runner 450 AW which stocks his laptop and all the gear he needs for a shoot, so that he is a walking studio on call for last-minute #TAD365 shoots.
ArtistAloud.com, a brand that promotes Indian independent music, has sponsored a music special wherein D’souza has shot 16 artists over a period of one month. These include musicians such as Raghu Dixit, Ehsaan Noorani, Manasi Scott, Salim Merchant and Shibani Kashyap. During her recent visit to India, the British singer Imogen Heap, a multi-Grammy Award-winner, got a flash of #TAD365 when D’souza managed to get her to pose.
Though most of the portraits have been shot in Mumbai, D’souza recently visited Delhi with the help of friends and individual sponsors to shoot over 25 portraits. Twitter users have also come forward to sponsor the #TAD365 badges that everybody gets as a memento.
D’souza plans to travel to other cities to tell more stories of people through #TAD365. At 20, he is not in a position to personally fund the project and is looking at support from companies in the form of gear, merchandise, travel and other sponsorships. It was a simple idea that turned into a social networking trend. Now, so many of us wait to see who holds up their Twitter handle for D’souza next.
The writer met Roycin D’souza through Twitter and is part of the #TAD365 project herself.
Photographs by Roycin D’souza