Deepa Jacob: A Photographer in Saree

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Deepa Jacob is a photographer residing in Boston. She has a distinct style of photography which is vibrant, emotively captivating and artistically adept.

Though she is focused in lifestyle and fashion photography, Ms. Jacob finds great pleasure in personal artistic projects. Born and raised in Kerala, India, most of her pictures celebrate her ethnicity. Her visual pieces have been featured in various magazine covers, editorial spreads and campaigns including Vogue India.

Ms. Jacob is deeply rooted in both her community and her passion. “I am actively involved in New England Malayalee Association,” she says. “NEMA has defined my life in so many ways. We are a group of enthusiasts from our community and I must say, I started my life as a photographer by taking pictures during NEMA events.”

INDIA New England News: Please tell our readers about your work and what you enjoy most about it.

Deepa Jacob: I am a mother of two and a software professional and a weekend photographer. I started photography as a mommy photographer 14 years back when I had my first child. It was easy to forget the little moments of everyday life with children, but when I saw a photograph the memories and story around it used to unfold easily. And that is exactly the thing which I love about photographs.

A photograph is a frozen moment and all it takes are a few seconds for the memories to thaw and be savoured again. Also, there is an immense pleasure, fulfillment and satisfaction in creating something new. Any artist would agree that nothing surpasses the joy of creation. The hours of self-forgetfulness always result in something worth celebrating.

Deepa Jacob

INE: To which charitable, community and professional groups do you belong and why?

DJ: I am actively involved in New England Malayalee Association. NEMA has defined my life in so many ways. We are  a group of enthusiasts from our community and I must say, I started my life as a photographer by taking pictures during NEMA events.

We also have a Mom-Daughter group which schedules recurring services in Nashua Soup Kitchen. It is priceless to see the proud faces of our children once they finish serving the meals.

INE: What are your hobbies and interests?

DJ: I am an ardent music lover. With my mother being a carnatic music teacher, I was fortunate to have a childhood filled with music. Music and dance take up most of the spare time I have, but I couldn’t be happier.

 

This answer would be incomplete without mentioning our dance group, “Nashua Ladies”. We created this group mostly to celebrate our friendship. But to our surprise, it has become a sacred circle of women. We do fusion dances, walking the fine line between Classical and Bollywood, and this helps us surf through the New England winter. I am also a student at Sowparnika Dance School and is a disciple of Guru. Sheethal Dwaraka.

INE: In what way do you feel you have positively influenced or served the local community, your company/organization or professional field?

DJ: I hope being a photographer in saree has hopefully influenced a few women to pick up the camera and try out the settings beyond Auto. Instagram and Facebook have served as great platform for me to present my works. I consider my Instagram gallery as my museum and I hope that has inspired at least a few to venture into some sort of art.

My love for photography and filmmaking pushed me to do two short films. The short film “Manu” brought me an award for Best Director in 2016. It also brought me a chance to make a documentary for “Just Say Hi” initiative by the United States Cerebral Palsy Foundation.

The short movie made for Meera Nair from Tyngsboro Elementary School, MA went viral and got featured in Lowell Sun and Fox25 News. The movie even caught the eye of the Cerebral Palsy Foundation and Meera’s school has been chosen as part of a national pilot program to teach diversity and inclusion for people with disabilities.

INE: What are your favorite books?

DJ: Few years back, I took up the mission of reading every single book from Mitch Albom and Paulo Coelho. I like books that transport and transform us. As cliche as it sounds, Alchemist is my favorite book.

INE: Your favorite quotes?

DJ: “Fail fast, Fail often”, obviously from the book title. I believe never making any mistakes could be the biggest mistake that one can ever make. There is obviously a certain number of failures before success of any kind, the faster you can get over those failures, the faster you can embrace the win. Sometimes, when we have to be a bit daring and suspend judgments about the outcome of your creative efforts, this quote comes handy.

INE: Who inspires you the most?

DJ: Brooke Shaden is my favourite contemporary photographer. Her way of telling stories using photographs, painterly editing techniques, out of the world concepts and the way she makes impossible possible are all inspirational. Other inspirations are mythology, fairy tales, paintings ,vintage, nature, emotions and love!

INE: What core values do you try to live by?

DJ: Knowingly or unknowingly, I have been emulating my mother throughout my life. In retrospect, I have been using her as my how-to guide for life. No daughter can escape being influenced by mother. The thought that my daughter might once do the same motivates  me to live every moment with fervor and kindness. That, in turn, serves as my core values.

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