Visual Minimalism: Portraits & Landscapes

By Rick Bhatia

Model: Stevie Nixx Fox

Asymmetric Magazine: Tell us about your series.
Rick Bhatia: My submission is an overview of [some of] my work: People and Existing Environments/Landscapes. As a Visual Minimalist, you will see a very clean/defined aesthetic.

AM: What inspires you most?
RB: I would say that my biggest inspiration is my own mind. I consider myself lucky to have inherited a creative drive in the 21st century. There have been many creatives in my family but very few were actually able to create due to the pressures of societal norms at the time. My desire to create comes from within. I never create with the intention of pleasing a crowd, I create to fulfill the cravings of what I like to call my "inner creative beast”. However, receiving overwhelmingly positive responses from those who view my work is most definitely what keeps me motivated.

AM: What role does Los Angeles play in your work?
RB: The progressive nature of Los Angeles has played a major role in my lifestyle content. From the plethora of trendy coffee shops to the modern architecture of museums and buildings, I’ve had plenty to play around with. When I’m in Los Angeles, I feel limitless; I find something new to work with around every corner. Some of my favorite shooting locations include the Arts District in Downtown LA, the LA River, and anywhere along the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH).

AM: What themes and styles do you typically pursue in your work?
RB: I like to keep my work minimal regardless of who/what I’m photographing. Something about creating a visual story out of limited content really resonates with me.

AM: What is your favorite type of photography to shoot: portrait, landscape, or lifestyle?
RB: Out of the three, my favorite type of photography to shoot is portrait. Being able to interact with someone and capture their essence in a photo has always been a fascinating idea to me. Every model brings something unique to a shoot, whether it’s their overall look, personality, or past experiences. 

AM: How do you keep your style consistent between the different types you shoot?
RB: I have come to realize that my photographic style reflects my “clean-cut” lifestyle. When I go to take a photo, the contents of my frame have to be clean and defined. I tend to feel uneasy if a frame consists of more than two colors, more than one focus, etc. However, I’m starting to step out of my comfort zone and play around with styles that are foreign to me. I believe it’s important to at least understand varying photographic styles if not practice them.

AM: What can we expect to see from you next?
RB: I’m currently working on bringing together Portraits the concept behind Created Environments, while staying true to my minimal style. Stay tuned!

Rick Bhatia is a photographer back and forth between Los Angeles and Santa Cruz. Currently, at age 19, he is a student at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) pursuing a degree in Intensive Psychology. "Having been born in Dubai and raised in California with Indian roots, my mind is constantly balancing the ideals, values, and expectations of varying cultures. However, I’ve always seemed to have a creative drive. Photography, along with the application of a Critical Psychology Lens, has allowed me to realize some of my creative visions (many are still in production)." You can find more of his work at rickbhatia.com or on Instagram.

Posted on January 5, 2016 .