MEXTURES HIGHLIGHT: @SNEHABHADRI

MEXTURES HIGHLIGHT: @SNEHABHADRI

For exquisite captures and colors we turn to the work of Sneha Bhadri (@snehabhadri)!  Here you'll find awe-inspiring scenery and gorgeous depth matched with complementary Mextures enhancements.  We had a very insightful chat with Sneha over the last few months and we've pieced it all together here to share with the entire Mextures community.  

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My name is Sneha Bhadri.  I live in San Ramon, California with my family. My husband and two kids - my daughter who is thirteen and son who is eight years old - make up my little world. I was born and raised in India but have lived half my life here in California.

WHAT WERE YOU LIKE IN HIGH SCHOOL?

I was a reserved kid in high school. Music, art and languages were my main interests at the time. I got good grades mostly and was just a normal kid I guess.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD?

My comfort food is a big bowl of Biryani (it's rice cooked with chicken/meat and spices).

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WHAT IS YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL?

My spirit animal is probably a deer.

WHAT TWO CELEBRITIES WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO BE YOUR PARENTS?

I would love to have President Barack Obama and Michele Obama as my parents. Nothing to do with politics, I just find them so much in love and so dignified.

WHAT'S THE MOST INTERESTING THING ABOUT YOU THAT WE WOULDN'T LEARN FROM YOUR INSTAGRAM ALONE?

I don't eat ice cream! Yes, I'm one of those very few people who doesn't care for a brain freeze!

I love spicy food! I think I can manage to live on bland food for just about a couple of days, but I will reach out for those chillies on the third day! I will douse my food with Sriracha or tabasco to give it that kick.

Clutter bothers me.... a lot! It clutters my mind too.

And I love to dance! I want to be an artist or a dancer in my next life!

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WHAT IS THE WORST MOVIE THAT YOU'VE SEEN?

I'm not much of a movie buff, I don't watch much television either, so I would never be able to sit through a movie if I'm not engaged in the first half an hour. I do take the kids to the movies occasionally and I remember this movie called Pixels that was torture for me to sit through! 

HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTO PHOTOGRAPHY?

As a kid I was always interested in art. I used to sketch and doodle on letterheads (Yes.  We wrote letters back in the day) and I used to make greeting cards. There was a time, I think when I was in high school, that I learned charcoal drawing and I must've gifted all my friends and relatives with a drawing!

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But photography was not something that I explored until recently. Growing up, my parents never owned a camera, so we have very few documented memories of my childhood. My journey into the world of photography began around 4 years ago when  my son was a toddler and I started going out for a walk/run just to stay fit and to get some quiet time (It seemed very important that I took some time out for myself for sanity and to just be alone during those days). It was on these walks that I started taking pictures with my iPhone of all the little things that I observed around me - the thistles and the bugs, the various types of grass and the wild flowers, the sunsets and the mountains. I then noticed a friend of mine on Facebook posting pictures on Instagram and out of curiosity I downloaded the app and started posting the random pictures that I took. It was not until a couple of years ago that I started using the Nikon D90 that we had and noticed that the photographs turned out so much better with the camera. I could get depth and capture light in a whole different way with the camera. I still don't know how to use my camera in the manual mode, as strange as this may sound! But I plan to learn the technical aspect of photography sometime soon.

Instagram and Mextures have opened a whole new world of creativity for me. For me photography is not just about capturing a moment, it is to be able to express myself or a state of mind through my edits.

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HAS SOCIAL MEDIA PLAYED A ROLE IN YOUR WORK?

Instagram is a big source of inspiration for me. There is so much talent, such great photographers and so many artists who create wonders with their edits there that I'm in awe! I love to see the work of people with different styles.  It could be portraits, minimalism, macro, or black and white.  Each and every one inspires me! It is also a very supportive community and I have come across some really nice people on Instagram. Seeing all the creativity there motivates me to do better and to try new things.

IS THERE ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR THAT YOU TRY TO COMMUNICATE THROUGH YOUR WORK?

I usually edit my pictures to create a mood or an emotion. Photography for me is a creative outlet, a way to express myself and in doing so my intention is to evoke a feeling in the person who is looking at my picture, it could be something as simple as a feeling of nostalgia, recollecting a memory, or a more complex one depending on the mental state of the person. Most of the time I pair my pictures with quotes or with lyrics of songs that have resonated with me. There are times when I edit a simple nature photograph with Mextures into something atmospheric and then find a poem or a quote that best suits it. Sometimes it's the other way around and I instantly get drawn to a quote and I have a vision of how I would want to portray it.

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HOW DO YOU UTILIZE MEXTURES IN YOUR EDITING PROCESS?

My editing process starts and ends with Mextures! There are a couple of times I have edited my pictures in VSCO before I take it to Mextures for the final editing, but those instances are very rare. Ever since I discovered Mextures I became hooked on it!

When I select a photo to edit, I usually start with my own saved formulas in Mextures to see if any one of those brings out the best in the picture in terms of enhancement of the subject or the play of light. If I am somewhat satisfied with a formula and think it might work, I usually tweak it to create the atmosphere that I'm going for. I almost always add a certain amount of fade to my pictures, turn down the exposure and sharpen it. The X-film and Atmospheric texture packs are my favorites to create a certain mood. I add Vintage Gradients and Landscape Enhancements to almost all of my pictures. In fact, if I start to create a new formula I tend to start with these two. And the times I want to add some texture to my picture I head towards Grit and Grain.  My favorites here are Cataract, Blizzard and Noise Complaint or I use Franklin or Ford from the Emulsion pack. It is amazing to see how the blending modes can change the whole look of a photo from making it soft to bold! I usually try each one of the blending modes after adding a layer and then decide on which one to keep. And finally the presets.  There are no favorites here really because I love all of them and how they can completely transform your image. Some of my formulas have just 2 layers and some have up to 7, so it really depends on a final result that I can feel satisfied with. The possibilities with Mextures are endless and I could spend hours editing!

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CAN YOU SHARE A FEW OF YOUR FORMULAS?

I am very literal when it comes to naming my formulas. They are related completely to the photo I'm editing. Now that I'm sharing them I wish I had given them more thought before naming them. So here are a few of my favorites....

HQNMERZ - Flight - This formula works well on a landscape shot and has the Franklin overlay and Azure from X-film to give it a moody feel.

EBEBPJH - Broken - This one is a five layer formula which darkens the background with more focus on the subject, hence it works well with closeup shots. It creates a darker tone than most of my other formulas.

HSKQUZV - Geothermal - This one was created for a landscape shot of a colorful hot spring. It works well for landscapes and has an atmospheric quality to it. It's just a 3 layer formula but is my absolute favorite.

FKBLEFG - Pearls - This formula has somewhat lighter tones and gives some color to macro shots. I've gone high on Somber from the Atmospheric bundle here and a tad bit of Cotton Candy from Light Leaks for color.

WHHZDGB - Reflection - I really liked the way the 5 layers in this formula worked on a lake shot. (Do you see the relation to the name of the formula?) It has more green tones to it and p-cross process film preset adds some blues so it gives depth and color to landscape captures.

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WHAT IS IT ABOUT MEXTURES THAT MAKES IT A VITAL PIECE OF YOUR EDITING PROCESS?

Mextures is THE app I use for my editing. The possibilities in which a photo can be transformed and the atmosphere that can be created are numerous and it amazes me every time! Truth be told, I edit most of my pictures in many different ways trying out different formulas and then I'm in a dilemma over which one I should post on Instagram!

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PICK TWO OF YOUR FAVORITE PHOTOS THAT YOU'VE TAKEN AND EDITED.  WHAT IS IT ABOUT THEM THAT MAKE THEM STAND OUT TO YOU?

I went through my pictures so many times because I was unable to decide but I kept returning to these two pictures....

The bird one stands out to me for a couple of reasons. One is that I've rarely been able to capture a bird on camera and this must've been one of the only instances when I have! And also because it was the first time I tried textures from the Emulsion and Grunge packs and I loved the result.

This Dandelion picture is special to me because I took this picture in Yellowstone National Park and the dandelions there were huge! I don't get to see many dandelions around where I live, just grass and thistles.  So when I saw these beautiful, huge ones in Wyoming I was so excited! And I think the transformation with this picture after Mextures was awesome.

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WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO CREATE MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE?

I find immense comfort and peace in nature. To be able to capture the beauty of the little things I observe and share it with like minded people is what keeps me going.

Also seeing the works of so many talented people on Instagram makes me step out of my comfort zone and try out something different.

IF YOU COULD STEAL CREDIT FOR ONE INSTAGRAM FEED WHOSE WOULD IT BE?

This is a difficult one.... But I think it would probably be Katja's (@katja_marian).  Her pictures have such an ethereal quality to them!

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WHO ARE THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE MOST INSPIRED YOUR WORK?

There are so many people who inspire me on Instagram. It is tough to just pick a few because each and every one whose work I see on my feed inspire me in some way or the other.

Being a part of the @rsa_mextures team has given me a chance to see the work of other Mextures users in detail and I can't thank Kevin (@takes_picture) enough for giving me that opportunity. He has been a great mentor and Charla (@charla_yvonne) is the kindest, sweetest person. They both inspire me in their own way.

I was first introduced to Mextures through the works of Sarah (@ranasabw), Katja (@katja_marian), and Andrew (@arclesscurve). They have always been so supportive. They are genuinely nice people and their work speaks volumes!

Some others whose work I admire are Kaori (@_dark_k_), Diana (@fridakitten), Patricia (@littlesquarelives), and Emilia (@emiliaarabella).  There are so many more that I could go on and on!

Check out more of Sheha's work right here!