‘Saiyyam’ (संयम) is a word in the Indian language, Hindi, which means patience, control, temperance or perseverance, depending on the context. I have been signing all my creations with this word since I was a teenager, even before I knew the meaning of the word. My earliest memory of using this as my signature is around the year 1999. It only made perfect sense to title all my favorite images with Saiyyam as it now describes the patience needed to compose a shot, and the control required on the camera gear!

Life behind the camera drives me. My goal is to portray an image how my eyes see it. My vision could, and in most cases will, be different than yours. But, it will be real.

Life. It moves. It changes. It goes on. It’s perennial. I see it as upward, moving forward, pursuing dreams and desires, and always yearning for more. I can walk endlessly in cold or heat to capture an image that reminds me of the ever-flowing nature of life.

I believe that life leaves signs for me to find and so I look for them wherever I go. I await the upward spurt of a fountain, the gleaming rays of the rising sun, the eyes of a resting lion, the twinkling of street lights at night, the bloom of flowers, the flow of traffic, the endless moving reflection of lights in flowing water, the continuity of a Ferris wheel, the flickering of flames…

My intention is to capture these moments that define life for me. Our time with each person is glorified when we’re parting with them – at a farewell dinner or happy hour. I see my moments with landmarks, landscapes, architecture and nature as fleeting, moving and changing. No two moments are the same and no two pictures are the same. I treasure the moments I take pictures in, as they won’t be repeated. They’re my hellos and goodbyes. A butterfly about to fly away, cherry blossoms in bloom for a minute, clouds never the same shape, size or speed, a train’s tail lights, unrelenting waves, leading lines of a building, an airplane taking off…

Even when a moment dies, another begins. An end is always also a beginning. I strive to bring that out with the help of a camera and a lens!

Vanita Kataria
April 2014