I think my fascination towards photography started and grew from when I was in 11th grade and I had gone on a school trip with my peers. At the time, I was not fond of cameras or photography at all, but I think it was that trip that really provoked my interest. I borrowed a friend’s camera for the trip along with my own simple Nokia phone, and went on taking pictures of everything beautiful that I could see. I mostly covered nature and my friends, but besides that I realized how much I loved doing this.
Later, when I was in college, I took a deeper interest in photography as a hobby. I worked with a wedding photographer to learn more from him. That is where my journey with photography actually began. I explored as many genres over time that I could manage along with my education. I explored wedding, street, fashion photography and travel photography. Out of these, the one that stuck with me the most is travel. I learned about my love and passion for travelling and exploration through photography. I started travelling more often to discover new places. I have covered most of Gujarat and Rajasthan so far, and learning about their culture has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
This one time when I was in Pushkar, I learnt that people charge to get photographed. Pushkar being an international destination, many photographers visit to learn the culture and the people, and that is how charging to get their pictures taken has become an alternative source of income for these people. I believe that this is equally fair and correct, and in my case, I have got some really beautiful photographs and it is totally worth it.
My parents have always supported me, in everything I wanted to pursue. My father has been extremely encouraging and supportive towards my interest in photography. He even offered to buy me a good quality professional camera for when I was just starting out. I demanded that I wanted to earn and buy it myself and they both understood my sentiments and my passion.
One of my most interesting travel stories is when I was travelling to Bhilwara. I had some free time before a scheduled assignment and decided to take a break at Ajmer. It was just a day before the Ram Mandir's final SC verdict. Even though there wasn’t anything perpetually to be scared about, I still remember being terrified whilst travelling to the destination. So, when I reached Bhilwara, the state government had decided to cut out the internet of the entire state for 3 days straight. I couldn’t even book myself a bus ticket and I remember vividly that I had to ask a friend of mine to book the ticket for me and that is how I got out, and got home again. So, yes, travelling and travel photography can be very adventurous and interesting.
The way photography has helped me evolve, is by teaching me how to communicate better. I have learnt how to make a decent conversation with any stranger from anywhere and talk about their story and understand their emotions. Having conversations is one of my favorite parts of shooting. Photography has pushed me beyond my limits at times, and forced me to try out things I never thought I would have. Surprisingly, I have loved every bit of these adventures and experiences. Communication is truly important if you’re into any genres of photography, but mainly if you’re into travel or street photography. You have to get out of your comfort zone and enter your subject’s comfort zone to be able to capture the perfect moment. That is my mantra.
- Divyanshu Jain
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Editor: Harshita Sharma
Written by: Sayoni Walujkar