FO2 Stage | 070 | Khayal Dave

As a photographer, one thing I look forward to is the exhibition I do every 4 years. I travel around the country and gather my most iconic pictures from all the trips. My last exhibition was a collection of the pictures I took from 25 states in 3 years and every picture was telling a story. After the response I got in my last exhibitions, I am now building the collection for my next exhibition.

I was in engineering college and had a lot of time to explore something new. I used to walk around the city to capture street photographs and a lot of candid moments wherever I could. Ahmedabad is very famous for its culture and heritage spots and I love presenting the city from my perspective. I started sharing these pictures with different photographers on Facebook to get their feedback. I was learning all by myself through experimenting because YouTube was not so developed at that time. There were only a few photographers in the city so it was a little easier to make contacts. Soon enough, I got in touch with event companies and started shooting concerts and celebrity events. I did that for almost 3 years and later shifted to weddings.

After graduation, I was looking for some options and surprisingly I got a good score in the MBA entrance exam and got into one of the best colleges in India, so I decided to pursue that. I was doing wedding photography all along and even though I was just experimenting with weddings I was certain that I would only click candids. The candid culture in weddings was just started in our country and I used to go as a team member for different photographers. Meanwhile, I got a placement and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do photography at that time. I joined the company but after just a month, it felt very monotonous and frustrating. I just couldn't take it anymore and left the job after spending 9 months there.

I took some time to think and to set my goals and got a whole plan. I showed it to my parents and they were very supportive of the decision I made. I started taking whole wedding projects in the city and as I grew, I started getting projects from all over India.

Photography might seem a cool job on the outside but it requires a lot of hard work, creativity and patience. Whenever I go to give a talk in any college, I make them aware of all the sides of this job because it is very important to understand all the aspects before jumping into something.

Having experience of more than a decade in the industry, I have seen that a lot of people believe in competing more than supporting. I believe that if you keep your level down, the value of the whole industry will fall off with you and if you rise you will set a good example for the industry and everyone will grow along with you. Help each other out and everyone will grow eventually.

- Khayal Dave

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 Blog by: Harshita Sharma

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