I am a dentist and a clinical research scientist by profession, and I love working in this field. For me, photography feeds positivity to my soul. Even though I never went to an institute to learn photography, I have disciplined myself into giving some time everyday into learning something about photography either via videos or analyzing other photographers work, editing my own stuff and on weekends, I try to devote as much time to my photography as I can. This routine has helped me learn photography a lot.
I did not start with a DSLR right away. I decided to use a phone camera first and bought a phone with a good camera using my first stipend earned in college. With this phone, I clicked a few pictures of Punjab University for an introduction video which later got reposted by their official Instagram account. This gesture gave me immense motivation to continue my passion for photography.
My visit to Delhi was the first time I could spread my wings as a photographer. I explored the old streets, buildings, and heritage sites of Delhi rather than going to the urban areas. After all the photo sessions, the photographs I accumulated are now one of my prized possessions.
I started my page on Instagram in 2016 while I was doing internships. In 2017, I went on my first solo trip to Udaipur. I don’t know if it was fate, but my flight had to land in Ahmedabad due to bad weather and I got to experience a road trip to Udaipur. I met great localites and documented their stories through my photographs. This trip gave me the realization that my heart is set towards street photography rather than any other genre.
I clicked some photographs for myself which meant a lot to me. I might not even post them on any social media or they might not be appealing for the public to see. In every one or two months, I go through all the photographs I have taken. This helps me understand how I have grown as a photographer and what I should improve upon. This practice has helped me as I have not taken any courses on photography.
I choose solo trips over trips with friends because I like going to unconventional places which my friends would not like going to normally. I love telling visual stories through my photographs and old cities with an old and deep-rooted culture are my favorite spots to hit. For example, while exploring Haldighati, I documented how the people of Haldighati make rosewater during a certain occasion but my friends would not be interested in visiting such places.
In 2018, I took a trip to Bhutan which was my first trip outside India. The road trip to Bhutan gave me really great memories and pictures. Quite hesitantly, I bought a DSLR as there are certain limitations in a phone camera. Then in 2019, I went on a solo trip to Varanasi, Lucknow, and Allahabad. In this 7 day trip, my love for old cities and culture grew more. I would advise every street photographer to go to Varanasi as it is a paradise for photographers. People in Varanasi do not object to being clicked whereas you get some kind of interference in other cities.
During the pandemic, I caught the coronavirus. During that time, I gave a lot of time to photography and learned how to restore damaged old photographs. I restored old pictures of my family and posted some of them on Instagram. This caught the eyes of a guy in Canada. He asked me to restore his grandfather’s photograph and I did it. I did not expect that I would be paid, but this was the first money I earned as a photographer. I can say that photography acts like a therapist when I am low
If you could calibrate yourself with social media then it could get easier to establish yourself. I know that financial stability is essential for any full-time photographer but I also believe that the art in photography is barred from blooming due to commercialization and one should maintain a balance between their client needs and your art.
- Anubhav Mehta
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Blog by: Sauvik Chattarjee and Rahul Thakkar
Editor: Harshita Sharma