At one of my client meetings, I was asked ‘How much do you charge for these photographs?’ I was speechless, I had no clue. I used to just click architectural photos for my passion and to help my clients. That moment was unexpected and emotional for me because it’s not easy to make your work significant enough for people to remember.
During my college, we went to a fest by IIT Kharagpur and I clicked a few pictures for a video competition. The pictures were so good that we won the first prize. I was so surprised! That was like a calling for me. Since then I got attracted to photography
I started my career as a graphic designer in a startup in Kolkata. Since it was a startup, a lot of work was done by a small team and everyone was there to learn. My colleague used to go to the locations and get the pictures. I always asked her the procedure and how she did that. Deep down I wanted to know how she created the pictures and since my work required a lot of time around photographs, I felt very connected to it.
After a year, I moved back to Delhi to find better opportunities and started working as a social media manager. I had a few clients who were architects and they used to take me along sometimes to show their work so that I could understand their niche better. During that process, I used to click a lot of pictures of the sites and it used to make me so happy as if I had made my day very productive or did something to feed my soul. The interest grew bigger and bigger, I was so keen to learn more about architectural photography. One of my clients had a big villa project and the pictures I clicked of it turned out so well that it blew my mind. Unfortunately, it was a private property, so I could not promote it on my page. But just looking at those pictures makes me so proud and satisfied.
I have always been a mobile photographer. I get excited to capture moments and the phone gives me instant results while I am there. I can embrace both my vision and reality at the same time but when it comes to clients, they don’t understand the concept as they want more clarity for the money they are paying. I am still learning the technical bits but I feel I can bring much better results from my phone.
I am also a sucker for aesthetics. I have maintained my Instagram profile to make it look as aesthetic as possible. My friends used to criticize it as they didn't get it initially but now they understand my concept and I get so much appreciation. It taught me that it requires a lot of patience to build something different.
Last year, I went to Japan and the whole trip was self-paid. The feeling is so wholesome! The only regret I have is that I didn’t have a good camera phone but I managed to make the most from the one that I had. I feel that what you have is enough to start with. I might have not even been a photographer if I hadn’t started with my very average phone camera during college. I might have just sat around waiting for a good camera to appear but I chose to go out and clicked what I liked and that made my journey filled with experience and not regrets.
- Shruti Kochar
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Interviewer: Shashank Joshi
Written by: Harshita Sharma