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FO2 Stage | 076 | Chirag Makhija

by Team FO2, 23 Jun 2023

It was after the trip to Dharavi, Mumbai, that my idea about life changed completely. I realized that there was so much to explore and so many new people to meet. I decided to click pictures of these people on the streets and travel to the rarest of places to bring these people into the limelight. I travelled and shot videos and films of various people that deepened my love for photography even further.

I never imagined that I would be so much invested in photography before coming to Mumbai for my BBA. In my leisure time, I started clicking pictures on my phone. I just loved capturing anything intriguing on the streets. It was only a while ago that I bought my first camera. Rather than enrolling in an institute, I preferred to learn photography from online videos and tutorials.

After my graduation, I decided to return to my home city, Ahmedabad. I decided not to do photography on a full time basis as I was afraid that it would be a financial struggle in the beginning. So I started working as a content writer to support my passion for photography. As a street photographer, you have to be patient and respectful to the people you’re clicking.

While doing street photography, I faced a lot of hurdles initially. One time, I went to capture the immersion of Lord Ganesha idols and I was unaware that photography with a camera is prohibited. Luckily, I was informed by a passer-by, or else I would have lost my camera. There was also a time when a man threatened to call the police on me because I was clicking pictures of his locality. Such incidents taught me to be aware of my surroundings before clicking pictures.

Family consent becomes a problem for most people who want to make photography their profession. When I started college, I used to send every single picture and video I took, to my parents. This showed them how passionate I was about photography. Though they were unsure about my future as a photographer, they gradually accepted it. Soon afterward, my father decided to buy me a camera.

While doing photography, I realized that we should take this art to the next level. Rather than copying other photographers, I believe we should take inspiration and start something of our own with our ideas. I dream of making a group with like-minded people and going on trips where photographers rarely tread upon. I want people, not only photographers, on such trips, to try and explore every crack and crevice in life. This would help them understand themselves better which would, in turn, help them in the future.

- Chirag Makhija

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