Published: 10th March 2021
If chai is bae for you, check out this 27-year-old IG's page for double tap-worthy pictures of the humble cuppa
Subham Swain, known as Zuvam on Instagram, is capturing his morning cuppa in a way that no one has ever before. What's more? The Hyderabadi does it every day, day in and day out. Check it out
Here's a fun task. Use a cup of tea as your primary object in all your pictures for 365 days. Sounds like an interesting challenge? Now, what if we tell you to use the cup of tea in all your pictures and not only this, you are to shoot only against a blue background and only use flat lay technique (where you shoot directly from above). Beginning to sound like a gruelling task, right? Not for Subham Swain. Every day, religiously, the 27-year-old, while he brews his morning cuppa, sets the blue stage for its tea, adorned in a white cup and saucer. Everything in the frame is constantly changing, but the tea and the blue background are the only constants. And who is the audience? His 18.1k followers on Instagram!
One of his works | (Pic: Subham Swain)
After pursuing his Bachelor's in Biotechnology from Gandhi Institute for Technology, Bhubaneswar, Subham made his way to Hyderabad in 2014. He held a few corporate jobs but when they came in conflict with his passion for photography, he decided to drop out of the MNC rat race in 2019 and pursue his dreams. "I started Hello Hyderabad, a community of photographers that took me two years to build. I started getting assignments for outdoor events, sports and so on," explains the Dhenkanal-born. But it was back in 2017 that he started the 365 project (where one was asked to take one picture every day) which is now his everyday project.
Flay lay is basically a bird's eye view of the shot
"As an introvert, I knew I couldn't do portraits every day and roses would be expensive to buy. In this way, I kept narrowing down my list and the only option standing was tea. I make it every day," says the youngster. And now, Subham is willing to let you in on his secrets — he started taking workshops, the first of which was in December 2020. It was a simple two-hour virtual class over Google Meet and was super relatable. "Flat lay technique is specifically useful for food and even travel bloggers. We discussed lighting, background, colour composition and laid down a few basic ground rules," he explains. Soon, he is going to start a new batch, so look out and save the date.
Subham | (Pic: Subham Swain)
But how far can one work with limitations — there is no doubt about the fact that what Subham does is limiting. While explaining his approach, he shares, "If you have set limitations of your own, there are many ways you can expand it." But no matter what approach he takes, the cup of tea always takes centre stage, everything else is just background noise. But what's most important of all are the day-to-day stories he tells through the pictures he clicks on his Google Pixel 4a. "If I am watching a movie that day, it usually revolves around that. Similarly, some part of my day finds its way into the pictures," he informs. While the tea basks in natural light only, the blue background only helps play up all the elements. And once the picture is clicked, Subham downs the tea before it turns cold.
Go to his YouTube channel youtube.com.zuvamart for more tips on photography. He has over 1.13k subscribers
Wondering why we did not introduce any of his pictures? Here's a glimpse of what his pictures look like, in details:
Mandala with a cup of tea in the middle. Also, how can any Diwali picture be complete without diyas? Do note that every diya is evenly placed and the complementary colour of the mandala creates a wonderful contrast | (Pic: Subham Swain)
He used 39 coins from his collection to raise awareness about donating towards the dreadful Australian bushfires. The message was that currency doesn't matter, when someone needs help, we need to do our bit | (Pic: Subham Swain)
One of those things
Remember during lockdown when no one had anything better to do than type Binod again and again in live streams and such? This 'social media trend' also found a way into his pictures | (Pic: Subham Swain)
The person you see on opposite sides, both are Subham. No, this is not inception. Just good editing skills. This was shot by him for a campaign for OnePlus | (Pic: Subham Swain)
For more on him check out instagram.com/zuvamart