Master Photographers International / Sunday, August 1, 2021 / Categories: MPI NEWS

Passing on the Title - Interview with MPI 2020 International POY Swati Chakraborty

Passing on the Title - Interview with MPI 2020 International POY Swati Chakraborty

Swati Chakrabory 
MPI IIC 2020 International Photographer of the Year

Congratulations to Swati Chakraborty from the USA for earning the title of MPI 2020 International Photographer of the Year. Swati furthermore, brought the cup home for her country! What an honor. Congratulations to the United States of America for being the winning country for the 6th Annual IICA Awards.

Swati speaks to us of her sucess about her journey and winning the TOP Title in the 6th Annual Awards.


QI - Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started in your photography career.

A1 - I met my grandfather through a photograph. He sits there in a sturdy piece of black-and-white paper, holding a two-year-old me - my only proof of ever having received any grandfatherly love. 

As I veered from photographing for pleasure to choosing it as a profession, this black and white photo stuck with me - reminding me how photographs can turn moments into memories. 

The best photographs tell a story - and though I have experimented with many in art for art's sake style, a story was never far behind. Be it the #metoo movement, or marital abuse, my camera has been my way of expressing my angst, my protest, my concern, my prayers, my hopes. This is perhaps also why I am drawn to portraits - capturing human emotion through my reliable third eye, my aperture. 

All the people and their stories that I get to know during my photographic session inform my social vision and fire my creative imagination. 

Though the awards have been a huge source of encouragement, my stories remain my source of inspiration. Photography for me is a moment of pure magic - a potent moment, thought, feeling - captured forever, translated without a word, understood through your personal lens of psyche and emotion - a dot of framed eternity.

Q2 - What professional photographer or photographers influenced you during your photography growth and what was it about them or their work that influenced you.

A2 - The photographers who have inspired me are Peter Lindbergh, Prabudhdha DasGupta, Erich Caparas, David Edmonson, Roberto Valenzuela to name a few. Each of these photographers has their own unique style which has inspired me over the years to develop my own skills and techniques. I am also inspired by paintings, sculptures and other diverse styles of art.

Q3 - What details do you believe make a strong photograph for a qualified competition?  

A3 - It usually starts with an idea, a concept. What makes a strong photograph is the impact. To have an impact, we need to have a plan on how to proceed – lighting, composition, posing the subject (if applicable), technique, story telling and the final presentation that will make the image competition worthy. 

Q4 - What is your thought process when selecting images for competition? 

A4 - The first thing I do before selecting images for competition is to read the rules of the competition and decide on the categories my images would be most suitable for. I then pick what I think are my strongest images based on how well they encompass all the elements of an award-winning image.


Q5 - What camera system do you use? 

A5 - Nikon D800 and D800E

Q6 - What are the top three software you use to complete the vision of your images? 

A6 - Adobe Camera Raw and Adobe Photoshop CC 

Q7 - What calibrated monitors do you use to complete your work? Do you believe that a proper calibrated monitor is an important tool to the success of an image? 

A7 - I don’t have one. I believe that a calibrated monitor is an important tool. However, I edit on my MacBook Pro. It is calibrated with the lab that I use. 

Q8 - What title or titles did you win during the 2020 Annual Awards and how has this inspired you? 

A8 - Some of the awards I received for 2020 are, 

MPI - Master Photographers International (International Image Challenge) 

TOP International Photographer of the Year, 2020
IICA - International Imagaging Country Award, 2020 for the USA
International Portrait Photographer of the Year, 2020 
Class Award (First Place) Commerical Category for Beauty and Fashion
Class Award (First Place) Portrait Category for Portrait One Person
Class Award (First Place) Portrait Category for Women's Photography
Four Gold Awards
Three Silver Awards 

PPA – Professional Photographers of America 
Platinum Photographer of the year, 2020, awarded at the International Photographic Competition (IPC) 
Grand Imaging Awards (GIA) – One of the top 10 finalists in the Portrait Category at Imaging USA 2020 

Q9 - Were you surprised when the winners were announced, and you found out you had won one of the top spots in the MPI IIC Annual Awards? 

A9 - Yes. I was very surprised to win the awards knowing there were so many competent and accomplished photographers who participated. It was an honor and I cherish every moment. 

Q10 - What advice would you like to give to entrants of the MPI 2021 Annual Awards?


A10 - Read the rules and select your strongest images. Please pay attention to details and ensure your image incorporates the elements of a merit image. Entering this competition is a great way to develop your skills as a photographer because you are competing with some of the best photographers in the industry from across the globe and being critiqued by experienced and accomplished judges. The learning curve, hence, will be exponential. Follow your heart, your dreams and above all, enjoy what you do, it will definitely show in your work - and success is bound to follow. Wish you all the very best.

Thank you the opportunity to share a bit about me. 

Interview by
Tula Edmunds

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