It is such a pleasure to look at Nilangana Banerjee’s photographs. She is a master photographer who lives and works in Los Angeles and was born and raised in Mumbai, India. Her images are all well thought out and the frames are full of tidbits of information that help define the characters or the story that is the subject of the photograph.

Nilangana has a Master’s degree in fine Arts and a masters in Commercial Photography -one of them is from the prestigious art educational institution in India, Light & Life Academy (LLA), and the other is from the legendary New York Film Academy in Los Angeles, California. She has been around photography since she was a little girl in Mumbai, as her father was an engineer but also had a passion for photography, which is what initially influenced her even more. After she got her own camera, however, there was no stopping for her and she dove in headfirst and studied all things in photography.

Her interesting and important work has been exhibited in several global exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles and Portland. She has earned the praise of critics and photography enthusiasts around the world. She has several photography series currently and one of them deals with the complexity of the self and its search for the ideal self. The series, Selves, is a compelling way to tell the story of a conflict between the selves, the protagonist and the self, he or she is searching for, the ideal self. She quotes Tolstoy to make a point: “If you look for perfection, you will never be content.” It’s a quote that aptly fits the conflict of the Selves and the images that Nilangana has so carefully chosen to represent them.

Her very dramatic and so thoroughly planned out concept reminds the viewer of how movie directors must work. The execution is flawless because of her pre-visualization and time consuming production design, art direction and composing the players (subjects). Film directors do the same thing only on a larger scale in total but it’s the same when you think of it scene by scene.

Nilangana’s other current series, The Lullaby, again demonstrates her mastery of storytelling through still photography. Her camera catches each potentially terror-filled nursery rhyme at just the right time to let us know that either something deadly is about to happen or that it just did. There is darkness and demise in the faces of many of her Lullaby rhymes. The knife in one and the bloodstained carpet in another, definitely prove her project about the children’s tales: They have the ability to impart violent interpretations and thus may tend to influence one’s personality in a very negative manner.

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