An afternoon with Hattie Crane. 24 years old from Windsor, Berkshire, UK living in Kolkata since January this year working as an all-rounder volunteer for Future Hope, NGO. Assisting with all creative projects and workshops that are happening in and out of school. She is also a photographer, doodler, an explorer and absolutely loves being with children. She says ” my most favorite part of each day is my time spent with the children, during and after school, on weekends and holidays. I’ve learned so much from each one of them and their positive energy for life is truly magical”. I met this eager soul at an event, and her warm smile made me go talk to her. She is a passionate young soul who likes to discover things new and old.
The weekend we were to shoot, she was house sitting for one her friend from America. The house is owned by a couple with two kids. The entire house was filled with mini projects by the kids and by others who come to visit their makeshift library for the locals in their living room. Every corner of the apartment was occupied with crafts and recycled art. Me along with Kasturi, my photographer, completely got enthralled by the apartment.
Hattie, when she is not running around for different volunteering jobs and juggling with ten things at a time, is usually found in her own space. Reading a book, or sketching away to glory before heading out for a photo walk in the evenings.
When I approached her for the blog, she warned me about her random collection of clothes here in Kolkata. Due to her working environment and the weather challenges, she mostly sticks to cotton and handloom. But there is a pattern even in her random collection. She loves block prints and hand embroidery, and her style is completely free spirited and easy going – Just like her!
She started clicking picture as young as 12 yrs old and her first camera was a very basic point and shoot, and even remembers it to be a “metallic red in colour”. Her grandfather has been the biggest inspiration to her when It comes to her passion in photography. She says, “Whenever we use to travel to Dartmouth, (Devon, UK) to see him and my grandmother, I always loved seeing old family photographs that he shot on film before digital came into account. It was seeing him with a camera around his neck the whole time that made me curious.” He taught her a lot, and now some of her favorite film cameras are passed down from her grandfather.
“India has given me huge inspiration creatively….. I have learnt a lot about myself and I can’t emphasize enough how enriching travel can be. I feel that I have come out as a stronger person in the end, for the better. “
Her days in Kolkata are almost coming to an end with only one month left, but she wishes to come back to the City of Joy soon. Before arriving at Kolkata she was backpacking through Indian from the Himalayas to the beaches in South. From one her travel to Varkala (Kerala, India), she bought this beautiful light grey long dress. I loved the back of this dress and the vintage buttons.
Once she goes back to the UK, she will be a part of a creative project which is formed by a small team of creatives running 24-hour art and music festival, an hour away from London in a secret woodland location (Sounds exciting!). “I am in charge of decorating the woods and will be hunting through Kolkata’s bazaars for inspiration and treasures to bring home with me”
In frame: Hattie Crane
Photographer: Kasturi Mukherjee
Stylist & Blogger: Ingela Biswas
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