Flower Power (Jahnavi Mahalingam, Chennai)

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Jahnavi is an artist, jewelry maker, amateur Vedic-style scientist and general dabbler based out of Adyar in the peaceful city of Chennai. Over the past year or so she has developed a passion for capturing awe-inspiring moments using her phone. Jahnavi started with photography because she was going through a rather difficult creative block with painting, and phone photography emerged as an alternative medium for image-making. She describes photography as a fun way of exploration and discovery. Very few people use the iPhone camera like she does and we were glad that she accepted to have a conversation with us. 

Describe your journey since you started photography: My pictures started out being crazily edited- I was all about psychedelic coloring and lighting, inspired by music, graphic art, film making and my readings of Jung. This went through many changes and now I’m exploring filters, light and color theory, resulting in some hyper-realistic pictures. I still love editing and it’s all done on my phone, but now it’s about subtle and delicate balances. My photography is still very young, in that it is a deeply personal tool. I don’t use it to convey any message; it is purely the result of my aesthetic or creative questioning and exploring. I have been sharing a lot of it online, but that is separate from and way after the making of the image. I do hope to exhibit my art at some point in the future, whether painting, photography or new media.

What are your favorite photography subjects: Although my style in photography keeps changing, my favorite subjects continue to be cats, flowers and graphic shapes. I’ve always been drawn to flowers- they’re deeply evocative, for some reason. And I love all animals but cats are special.  I don’t have a reason why I take pictures of cats and flowers; it’s mostly an obsessive compulsive thing. In my photographs they become vehicles of whatever visual question I’m exploring at the moment.



Tips for aspiring photographers or artists: The creative process is different in everyone – get to know yours. Also, push your boundaries, find and break unconscious rules and be brutally honest in your work.

Quotes that you stand by:  “The camera makes everyone a tourist in other people’s reality, and eventually in one’s own.” – Susan Sontag

“You will always be lucky if you can make friends with strange cats.” – author unknown

“Great things will happen today if you choose not to be a miserable cow.”-  author unknown

Few places that have moved you: The Himalayas, Benares, and ancient Japan.



Small things that make you happy: Tea, stormy weather, travel, spontaneous acts of helping, driving really fast, owls, times when my art flows freely, cats and cat videos, shooting stars, FC Barcelona matches, watching kids, the smell of good sandalwood, making fun of hipsters, silent mornings, old friends, rescuing insects, piano and double bass, mean jokes, Indian dance forms, having the last laugh, handshakes, maps, feeling peaceful, glitter, and the moon, to name more than a few.

Some of her killer work follows. Just hit next on the slider. 🙂 Besides you can find more of her work on Instagram @deeperundrgrnd

2 thoughts on “Flower Power (Jahnavi Mahalingam, Chennai)

  • June 5, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    Fantastic photography.seen the real beauty of flowers.

    • June 6, 2016 at 2:04 pm

      Would definitely agree. Her work is phenomenal. 🙂


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