Monotony does take a toll on oneself; sometimes more often than one can imagine.
There came a time when I got bored of taking pictures with my camera unless I was commisioned to shoot. Exertion does creep in sometimes when your passion becomes your profession. It comes with being human.
Believe it or not, people travel to Switzerland to photograph and I went to Switzerland and came back with hardly any pictures.
It was then that I discovered the fun of shooting with my mobile phone. It didn’t feel like a shoot but pictures happened and some of them even became a part of my last exhibition.
As a kid, I remember my parents taking my sister and me on a holiday. My dad would without fail to carry his camera to photograph us and our trips. Guess, that’s when the seed of becoming a photographer took ground in my subconscious memory. It feels like not so long ago and the memories are deeply etched in my head!
Years down the line, after scoring decent marks in the university (I topped the University with 97% in the 1st year of BSc), my dad gifted me a basic SLR camera with a normal 50mm lens and two rolls of film.
After thanking my parents, I took the camera and shot pictures of the people and the places in and around me and one of the pictures from that even got published in the Times of India (Pune Edition).
From then, there was no looking back. Come what may, I just followed whatever made me happier just like clicking pictures, and luckily, more often than not, even got paid for it!
There have been several challenges, ever since; yet the undying sincerity, dedication coupled with honesty, passion and my love for art which has always won and allowed me to continue living my dreams regardless.
When we love our work, nothing can come in the way. Our passion for the work we do determines how far we will go, both professionally and personally.
A lot of effort goes into a shoot and when it doesn’t get approved there is a sense of lost hope at that point in time. Just when a situation seems to be a lost cause, a ray of hope emerges out of nowhere.
Likewise, there are moments when the best shots captured are termed “not so good enough” and then I begin to ponder again and get the shots redone. This rollercoaster ride is a part of the job getting done and is inevitable.
In one of my assignments, I got a renowned model for a campaign for a renowned Art Director from Paris. I willingly did the shoot and the entire shoot seemed to have gone well. We wrapped up and headed back to our respective destinations. The Art Director later realizes that the model looked too “sophisticated” for the brand.
He then gets a brilliant idea to go through all the shots captured. It happened to be one of the test shots captured by my assistant that made it to the billboard in France! What an imperfect, yet perfect scenario!
When shooting for hotel groups, which have of different categories under its umbrella, it becomes important to illustrate each category uniquely to establish the distinction . This can be created with difference in mood with lighting and the right approach in framing. adding element in the frame that the hotel doesn’t offer to the guests is totally a no-no. Right perspective and avoiding distortion in a must. The lens, angle and the level at which the camera is placed becomes elementary considerations at such shoots.
During the tenure of being a photographer for over a decade and a half now, I have had the fortune of meeting and interacting and experiencing different people, places and beyond, across continents.
It is this wonderful journey that has taught me to appreciate, enjoy and absorb the simple pleasures of life. My life is simple. It revolves around simple ideas and philosophies.
When I am not working I love to read, see, write, travel, listen, imbibe, blissfully take within all that life has to offer, through fiction and facts.
As a creator of art discovering the nuances in other forms of art, both visual and performing adds to the sensibilities. I seek inspiration in those who have stories that define impossible is nothing. I seek love and beauty in everything.
For me, to find a purpose for doing anything makes the doing meaningful, and the feeling matters even more.
Change is only constant and the tonic to progress. When I started photography, I learned on a film camera as I was getting used to mastering the craft. No sooner did the camera turn digital that the mobile phones became ‘cameras’.
How foolish of me it would have been to resist change! Would it not? IIIT Allahabad had invited me for a TEDx talk on the subject of change https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oo8kSKDmu7M, and it was then that I got the opportunity to share how Photography evolved from being my be all and end all of life evolved and metamorphosized into becoming another language of communication for me, to beautifully share stories and idea through my eyes sans words.
It is photography which finally made me appreciate that silence is not just golden but can sometimes say much more than words can ever do.
I have been extremely blessed to have not only one but several mentors who have been kind enough to selflessly extend their guidance and support whenever I have had the fortune of interacting with them. One such legend has been none other than the dance maestro, Astad Deboo, with whom I have had the blessings of not only photographing but even collaborating on several projects across the globe.
He is 70 plus today and I saw him perform on stage for the first time when I was only about 5. It was way beyond me to even think of dreaming to work with him, but as luck would have it, not only did I get to work with him once, but got the opportunity several times over. It was during this time that I discovered the secret to his indomitable spirit to consistently create magic through his dance in over 70 odd countries over and over again. And the secret to this lies in his honestly towards his craft, his unmovable determination and focus and most importantly his rock-solid discipline without which no matter how much talent God would have been kind enough to gift you, it is impossible to keep oneself motivated to keep on aiming for higher and higher levels of excellence for over half a century.
Indeed, there isn’t any substitute to honestly and discipline, if one wishes to live his or her dreams forever.
Thank you Astad Sir.
It is simple to be difficult and difficult to be simple. when the canvas is a large set, you are tempted to clutter the frame. in such a scenario, one needs to be focused on the purpose of shoot. And purpose in this case is to showcase the product and not the setting. Even minimal setting can make maximum impact
with metals, metals everywhere, reflections, can put even a seasoned photographer in despair. sometimes, it is these challenges that pump the profession to push the envelope. Patience and observation becomes the key and that’s what distinguishes the ordinary from the extraordinary
Sometimes the best is not good enough and to ones surprise, rejects get accepted. Got a renowned model for a campaign for a renowned Art Director from Paris. Did the shoot. The art director went back to Paris and realized that the model looked too sophisticated for the idea. Then he got an idea. He took a picture from the test shots of one of my assistant and put it up on the billboard in France. How’s that!