“Pictures are supposed to make you feel something”
You are featured in the list of Young Photographers in India. Tell us about your journey from the day you started as a photographer.
Photography has always been in my DNA. Ever since I was a kid, I saw my father’s passion towards it. He’s been a scientist all his life with photography as his hobby. I started out with it being my hobby too, I am blessed that it now bears my bread too.
My big brother was a great influence as well. He supported me throughout. I still remember him promising me to buy me an expensive camera even out of his pocket money. What I am today is his unfettered trust in me. I will never be able to thank him enough.
The journey has been quite interesting. There were ups, there were downs but there was no looking back. Everyone has been tremendously supportive, very specially my family and friends.
Why, among the different photography fields did you choose Wedding Photography?
One of the best parts of my country is how amazingly so many different colors and cultures blend in, and what could be a better place to witness them than a big fat Indian wedding!? It’s serene. It’s my arena. Wedding photography is a challenge too. It’s like you are either going to make or break someone’s BIG day. It’s all in the field and you don’t get second chances. So I just usually take a deep breath and say “It’s a beautiful day. Now let’s shoot some people.”
Did you undergo training at a photography school or attend any workshops to become a professional photographer?
As pompous as it may sound, I am a self trained photographer. I never studied it under anyone. I just observed the works of many. I would not even say that I got ‘lucky’, because that’s like betraying that girl two years back who was struggling to turn her passionate hobby into a career. I worked. That’s how I know, the little that I know. Although I still would like to mention a workshop of Sutej Pannu here. That is when I really felt it strong that this was the thing that I was born to do. So yes, thanks to him is in order.
What is your favorite part of a shoot and what are the challenges you face?
My favorite part would definitely be when I get my desired capture. It’s not just about getting the right frame or a happy picture. Somehow it’s supposed to blend in the entire happiness of the place and then capture it in a frame forever. Pictures are supposed to make you feel something.
Challenges that I face? Well quite honestly you should ask this from my clients. They are the ones who tolerate my tantrums and act as my muses while I make them pretty for eternity. (I’m not that difficult to be with. I’m a good person. Really.) P.S. Challenges, well only two cross my mind. Firstly, when the people at the event take their phones out to capture the same frame, thereby hindering the photographers. I would love to shoot unplugged wedding someday. Secondly, when the smile is missing from bride’s/groom’s face. You have to keep reminding them that they are supposed to smile. I mean it’s your wedding! At the least pretend to be happy!
Typically, what does your camera kit contain?
My camera and stuff. (Never ask a lady what she carries in her bag.) Just Kidding.
A full frame and a crop sensor camera. Couple of speedlites, a telephoto, wide and prime lens. P.S. I am brand loyal. Everything in my bag reads Canon.
What has been your most memorable project and why?
I have been living away from my home since many years now but a part of me still continues to live there. My heart lies in the hills and so as biased it may sound my most memorable project would definitely be my first Himachali Engagement that I shot in Palampur. Also because, Candid photography is not much in trend in Himachal, and seeing my people accept my work, was achievement on its own. My career choice is pretty unconventional from where I am and so it feels great if people are appreciative of what you do, especially the faces that once frowned upon your choices.
Which photographer inspires you and what keeps you motivated to create such great imagery?
I can’t name one. That’ll be a lie. There are many who I look up to. Varun Suresh, Naman Verma, Bhumika Bhatia, Meg Bitton, Lara Zankoul, Joseph Radhik, Joel Robinson are some of them.
What are your future plans as a professional photographer?
My future plans are targeted up till what I’m going to eat for the breakfast tomorrow morning. I think that says it all.
What advice would want to give to the aspiring photographers?
Do it. And trust me, you will never regret.