Ronojoy Sinha
Honestly, a monochromatic self-portrait series was born out of a void. A void that engulfed all sense and sensibilities and left me reeling with nothingness. I started this series as a way to overcome my creative lull. Despite working as a video producer professionally, I hadn't worked on personal projects in a long time and had even lost the will to make pictures- something I couldn't have imagined a couple of years back. My constant self-doubt only made matters worse. Hence, Honestly came into existence. This project was supposed to rekindle my passion for photography, but it achieved more than what I had anticipated. Initially, it started as a series of posed self-portraits with no real depth, but soon I began journaling how I felt every day, and that's when it started to excite me. I started basing my portraits off my journal entries, and they got intimately abstract. I made the conscious decision to photograph the project in monochrome as I felt colors would distract from the essence of the story. I wanted it to be a visual representation of my mind- raw, gritty, and dark like my thoughts. As I got more comfortable in front of the camera, the clothes peeled away and with it the insecurities and vulnerabilities I had held onto for so long. The project evolved from a collection of chic self- portraits to a visual journal of a perturbed mind.    
The handwritten notes that accompanied the photographs had a life of their own. It covered a myriad of mixed emotions- anxiety, depression, inadequacy, so on, and so forth, and to my surprise, quite a lot of people related to my thoughts, mostly women. That itself spoke volumes about the culture we've built around masculinity in our society—a culture where emotive men are considered weak and unstable. 
This project allowed me to confront numerous preconceived notions and beliefs that controlled me, which only acted as hurdles. I grew with the project, but it took me a pandemic and severe loneliness to turn introspection into catharsis and realize that there is no better time to start working on yourself than now. Despite being in the middle of the pandemic, there is no better time than this to start living and not just exist.

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