After being in the industry for more than 12 years, I wanted to give something back to the community, and what’s better than sharing what I have learned over the years being a photographer. I started taking photography workshops with different brands and all of it became a dream come true. Being a self-taught photographer, I knew what problems budding photographers face, and that is what helped me in becoming a good mentor.
My camera was a part of all my biking trips and the real love for photography was nurtured during my college years. One of my friend had a DSLR camera and I used to shoot a lot with it. After few months, I bought a digital camera that helped me build my skills. I used to practice a lot, not because I wanted to be a professional photographer, but because I was so passionate about it that I started seeing frames wherever I went. Soon enough, my camera became my best buddy.
When I started out, Facebook was just starting to rise. I started clicking pictures of my friends in college. They motivated me to work on it even more. One of my friend’s father was working with a camera brand and he introduced me to one of the latest mirrorless cameras. It was around 2009-10 and the camera didn’t have a flash or even a viewfinder. It was four years later when more developed mirrorless cameras were introduced but I was grateful that I knew about it years ago.
I always had a vision of being independent as far as I can remember. I used to do some fun part-time jobs to take care of my expenses and when I started shooting for my college prospectus, it just ignited a spark, that I could earn something from photography! I started shooting in different clubs and gigs to build a portfolio.
While I was doing all that, I didn’t realize how much of a taboo it is to choose photography as a profession! Coming from a well-educated family where academic career choices are preferred, I was here building a career in photography!
After a few photography assignments, I realized that I am more of a documentary photographer. I love capturing the moments that are happening rather than creating one. Sometime later, I got an opportunity to travel and take workshops around the country for Sony India. It was one of the best experiences I ever had, I learned so much from it, and it made my vision of photography more clear. I have conducted many workshops with renowned photographers and sometimes there were more than 600 photographers present as an audience. It might seem easier from the other side but sometimes keeping it all interactive can be extremely hard to handle.
I started traveling to different places, a long time ago and I have traveled so much that in 2019, my google timeline said that I have covered 2.5x the world.
I feel a sense of achievement when I go to give a talk in colleges, that I once dreamt of enrolling into. All of this came to me after a long hustle and little by little I grew my skills and kept learning new things. I started out by clicking still images and in that journey, I started leaning towards videos. I think they have more power to capture the moments in detail and I can be much more creative in it.
Post this, I worked for TV shows and other commercials as a camera person/Assistant DOP in production. I am currently working with Fujifilm India and based out in Gurugram as their Product expert, content developer and to give tech support in terms of Online/Offline workshops and business development.
It doesn’t matter if you have assignments regularly. Being in an art industry is a ride filled with ups and downs but what matters the most is to develop the skill because no one can take that away from you. Understand your gear, evaluate its strengths and weaknesses; it will help you with better investments and results. Keep hustling, everything will come along eventually. Cheers.
- Sourabh Joshi
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Written by: Harshita Sharma