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The Bathtub Series by Shebonti Khandaker

18 year old, Shebonti Khandaker is an art and film enthusiast. An aspiring photographer/creator with a unique sense of personal style.

What was your experience like when making this shoot come to life?

This was the first time I’d ever done a photoshoot just for the fun of it, and it was such a formative experience! Aashnai’s a person whose artistic vision I strongly resonate with, so she was the perfect model — most people would probably be confused if asked to be photographed taking a bath, but she understood the concept in a way nobody else could!

What was your inspiration behind the shoot?

My biggest inspiration was taken from Alessio Albi’s (@alessioalbi) photos using bathtubs — his work is so clean yet sensual, and he always makes such creative use of light and shade. I also really enjoy the use of bathtubs in art, photos and cinema: Don Herron’s Tub Shots, scenes from American Beauty, The Dreamers, Submarine and so many more, and even the Instagram account @alternatetubs.

What are some of your favourite images from this shoot?

I struggle to look at my own photos objectively, so I rarely enjoy seeing the final product (especially once time has passed and I can see all the things that could’ve been done better). For me, taking the photos is definitely the highlight of the process.

''My favourite pictures from these are probably the ones where she’s in the water, because it seems like the viewer is privy to a private, vulnerable moment. The ones where she’s looking at the camera convey more intensity, but I prefer the dreamier quality in the bubbles, deep orange tones and rose petals.''

Tell us about some fun insights when you were shooting.

We had a lot of fun fiddling around with bubbles, flowers and lights while we were shooting these - we had to make a trip to Banani Supermarket in the middle of the day to beg people to fix our LEDs, and the flowers were picked from in front of her house. The light we ended up using is actually one my family uses to play badminton at night, and I had to tear it out of the garden for the shoot! We wrapped it with one of Aashnai’s mother’s ornas so we could achieve a softer, warmer look. Being able to play with those little details while shooting is what I’m looking forward to most after quarantine!

What was the perspective or the story you wanted to convey through the images?

''There’s something inherently intimate about someone in a tub, be it nude or clothed probably because it’s a such solitary, peaceful space. We wanted to reflect that intimacy in our photos, but without making it seem sexual or voyeuristic.''

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