838 MG Quarterly

Indian-born photographer Ash Gupta is a celebrated, internationally known photographer who has made his home in Los Angeles, but is very much in demand around the globe. He has photographed top models, celebrities, including Elizabeth Shue, Sharon Lee, Dominique Swain, and Davis Guggenheim, just to name a few. Ash came from a small town in India, and emerged from a very traditional orthodox business class family. He was very young, just 15 years old, when he got involved in commercial theater and met a group of friends who happened to paint. He tried painting, too, but realized that the soul was missing. And through this quest he found his way to photography.

“Actually my father did have an inclination toward photography and used to own some old Rolleiflex [cameras]. When my parents were vacationing, I tried to put my hands on the cameras and open them up. All the springs popped out and I was grounded. But that was my first introduction to photography. And since then, I do not think a camera has ever left my sight.”

Ash is the founder of Studio 838, a platform for talented young photographers. He realized that many photographers went through vigorous college training but were lacking certain critical elements. Many of these graduates were not prepared to handle real world experiences. The photographers were hand-picked, and would soon become a part of animportant discussion group, a group that would dissect and embrace the art form. Its main focus? Commercial photography. These photographers became part of a family, Studio 838.

“When I started shooting commercially, first assisting and interning, I met photographers who were very well trained, having the proper discipline, as well as being graduates from special schools. I realized that they had problems coping with real life. They knew how to shoot, but didn’t know what to shoot—the college didn’t teach that. We started grouping very talented photographers and concentrated on commercial fashion. This was the start of Studio 838.”

—Ash Gupta, Photographer—