My journey with photography started exactly a decade ago, in Shillong when I was on a cultural church trip with our local church community. I am now quite a successful photographer, compared to where I was, and the background that I come from. I have never been that good at academics, and now that I think about it, I tell this story with giggles and humor, but at the time it was the biggest challenge for me. I couldn’t bear the burdens of academics and constant failures but I somehow got through it, and now I am here. It's been quite a journey, and I am so proud of myself for making it till here.
I failed my 12th grade twice, and had a backlog in economics. I managed to pull through these grades, and made it out, and decided to pursue bachelors in commerce for my under graduation. Family has always been persistent about education, and wanted me to get a good education in a good background, but no matter what I studied or which exam I was giving, a small part of my heart always belonged to photography and my brain always saw visuals through the lens of a camera. A part of me always knew that whatever I do, I have to take my photography skills somewhere and be honest with my art.
One of the very first trips where I discovered my love for photography was the trip I took to Shillong along with my local church community. We stayed there for a few days, and thoroughly got to know about their culture and their lifestyle. I had the opportunity to click these local people in their natural habitat and also capture some of the most mesmerizing scenic beauty. I still remember how when we were children, we used to have a particular format for a scenery drawing. A range of mountains, a waterfall flowing from in between, a boat in the water, and a small hut or a house on the land. That was the exact picture I took in real life on this trip in Shillong, and that picture is still on my Facebook page. It got so much appreciation and attention back in the day, I was swept off of my feet with all that feedback.
I originally come from a very small town where most of the community is a tribal community and they haven’t seen much development. They lead a simple life, and my father was one of the first people to get out of the village and get further education to pursue engineering and become an engineer and then move to NFL, where I grew up. I later moved to Indore and so I continued my studies here. I have seen many frames of people, especially in vulnerability, and there is something artistic about it. It is inspiring and brings out the photographer in me.
After completing my undergraduate degree in commerce, My family wanted me to prepare for a government job but I insisted on a master's degree. I finished my MBA and as soon as they started to demand that I take a stable job, I asked for time. I asked them to give me 5 years to do what I really wanted to do all this time, and even within 5 years, if I was not able to settle my grounds with my passion, I would settle for the 9 to 5 lifestyle. But, now I am here and I have been doing quite well actually. I have good enough experience in the field, and I have learned so much that asking for time never felt more right.
I started with a pre-wedding shoot. I did that shoot for two thousand rupees only, as I was just beginning, and I wanted to explore and try different genres. I got into product photography later, and genuinely found my skills, interest and creativity being utilized into it. I personally think that product photographers don’t get paid enough and they really should, because of the amount of effort that goes into the gear, the lighting, the setting up, the background and the editing afterwards. I think a photographer, in today’s date, deserves to be paid well for all the effort that they put into making your product look desirable and tempting for your target audience.
- Aadesh Osare
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Editor: Harshita Sharma
Written by: Sayoni Walujkar