My photography journey started 7 years ago when me and my wife shifted to Bangalore. We started going on weekend road trips and I used to click pictures casually. I took a little more interest in photography than usual. Phone Cameras were not so good back then, so I bought a basic DSLR canon 600D to document my travels. This whole idea of travel documentation made me very close to photography and we started taking trips more often and more planned. Even when I was not traveling, I used to capture as much as I could, within the city. As I started doing photography more often, I started getting better each time. My skills improved. I developed different perspectives. Most of all I started liking it.
When you work in a different profession and are also passionate about photography, time management is everything. You need to manage both in such a way that they don’t affect each other. Sometimes it is hard but most of the time, both of them can easily be balanced by time management. At Least on weekends, I made sure that I gave most of my time to photography. For that, I had to make little sacrifices like cutting down my other leisure activities to pay more attention to photography. I think giving up on some things for the thing you love, is totally worth it. Never regret those small things because they do not matter in front of your passion.
Slowly, we started planning our trips keeping photography in mind. The weather conditions, research for the photography spots we planned everything before moving out.
Bangalore has many parks throughout the city. During the morning walks, lots of dogs used to come in as well both strays and pets. I started liking them, playing with them, and just being around them. Eventually, I started bringing my camera along with me and started clicking their pictures and shared them on social media. It spread a great deal of awareness for stray dogs. People on social media and the owners of the dogs loved the results and that’s how pet photography happened to me. It became a kind of routine because in those hours I spent my time with two things I loved, Dogs and my camera. It gave me immense satisfaction. But satisfaction isn’t the only thing you can live your whole life on, there should be some results from every action. Hence, I researched how this industry in India was. To my surprise, there were hardly any photographers who were solely working on pet photography. After my research, I realized that pet photographers were the need of the hour and that people needed photographers who were professionals in that particular segment. It’s been 2 years since I started taking it seriously. I also invested in better gears and in learning more. Also, no one in India used to teach pet photography. While many photographers outside India were doing it professionally. I started getting in touch with them and watching their work.
When I was starting out in pet photography, I started going to animal shelters to spend time with the dogs. Eventually, those pictures helped in the adoption of those dogs. Also, when I spent time with them, the kind of affection they show is very overwhelming. Visiting an animal shelter has also changed me a lot as a person, I became more compassionate, empathetic, and sensitive towards others. This is probably why I chose pet photography over other kinds of photography. I still work with the NGOs and help them with the adoption process and fundraising.
One thing I do during my shoots is that for at least half an hour I don’t take out my camera at all. I just play around with the pets and get friendly. I talk to the parents about their habits which really helps me connect with the pets and that’s how good results come in. Connectivity plays a huge part in my results.
The curiosity of learning is a huge part of human evolution. I am a self-taught photographer and there’s still so much to learn. The hunger for learning more and practice has evolved me a lot as a professional.
Social media treats you the way how you treat it. If you use it to learn and showcase your work it can do wonders for you but if you keep scrolling more and more, you might start losing your creativity and motivation from your work. Inspiration is okay but when you start copying someone else’s work, that’s when things can take a wrong turn for you as an artist. There’s also a thing between photography as an art and as a profession. When you step into the professional world, you need to maintain a certain decorum while dealing with a client.
I have learned a lot of things from all the years I have spent on my photography. You need to look for reasons to take out your camera, it can be as random as your mom cooking in the kitchen, just anything that gives you a reason to click. Don’t look for the big opportunities only, look for small reasons to click a picture. Love what you are doing, you always find time for the things you love. Connect yourself with your work, it will do wonders.
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