I wake up every morning and I think that I am living inside a dream. In my journey as a professional photographer, I’ve exceeded my own expectations in a good way, which sometimes makes me anxious as well. Ever since I was a child, I was made fun of by other children because I could not see from my left eye, which affected my confidence. I met with an accident in Udaipur when I was 4 years old. I fell from a horse and the retina of my left eye got damaged. I lost my vision at that very moment. It was tough at first but I feel proud that I could move on from that environment and build up my self-confidence again to be a professional photographer which is a work of visual art.
Right from the age of 10, I was very passionate about clicking photographs. I had a point and shoot camera with which I captured anything and everything I saw. On my 13th birthday, I got my first DSLR camera as a gift. It might seem like my parents gifted the camera out of the blue, but there was a long and tough process of persuading my parents to buy it. Getting a new device is always something special, especially when you are a 13-year-old kid. I used to click a lot of nature, landscapes, and sunsets with it.
Photography is so special to me that I could choose photography over anything, but I could only develop this type of attitude because of how my friends and family supported me. I was very disinterested in studies which resulted in bad marks in my exams. Normally, parents would not let their children do things like this, but my parents know how important that was for me and let me do it.
I started my professional career with fashion photography as I collaborated with various clubs and modelling agencies. I went to several parties just to accustom myself to this industry and get more contacts. Primarily, I love doing fashion because I love meeting new people and clicking their pictures.
It delights me when I think about how all of my hard work has provided me the chance to shoot celebrities. In 2020, I got the chance to go to Saif Ali Khan’s house and take photographs of him, who knew that was just the beginning.
My journey had ups and downs like everyone. The ever growing interest in my work has helped me turn all my downs into super high kicks. Every mistake I overcome, just grows onto me and at each step, it's helping me evolve as a photographer and as a human. I’m turning 21 this month and I already have a manager to look after my work. This was something I always dreamt about, so I was overwhelmed yet grateful when this happened to me. I personally have never given up. I believe that life's battles are not always won by the fastest or the strongest man, but sooner or later, the man who wins is the man who thinks he can.
I'm sure my 13 years old self is definitely proud to see me grow each day.
- Jalaj Mehta
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Editor: Harshita Sharma
Written by: Sauvik Chatterjee