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FO2 Stage | Akshat Dev

by Team FO2, 22 Jun 2023

Four years ago, when I started an ecommerce business, it was too hard to find photographers for product photoshoots.  And they were very expensive. So, I decided to buy a camera and shoot it myself. It took two months to research the most compatible camera to suit my requirements. I finally bought one and clicked more than 7000 products. Unfortunately, the business went down. But photography stayed with me.

My venture into Travel photography was also very interesting. One of my friends was traveling to Kedarnath and someone from his family couldn't make it to the trip. So he asked me if I was interested. Initially I was skeptical about it and by the time I decided and reverted, he had already finalized with someone else. I was very upset and lost my sleep over it. I somehow developed this urge to go to that place no matter what. It was 8 pm when I started packing my bag. When my mom asked, I told her that I was going to Agra (which is not very far away from home). Even though I was excited, at the same time, I was scared. It was a big move for me. So I went to sleep hoping that I would drop the plan. I woke up at midnight and just couldn't sleep after that. It was past 2 am, when I suddenly got up, with a firm mind, got onto my brother's scooty and started riding. I promised myself not to stop till I reach the mountains, lest I change my mind again.  I continuously rode for 18-19 hours that time. The feeling was incredible! The next morning I went to Badrinath and video called my father from there. He was shocked as well as amazed to see me there. They calmed down in a short while and told me to enjoy it and return home safely. I wanted to record the whole experience of my trip. I had my camera and a gimbal and I was vlogging everything in Badrinath. I met a group of photographers there. They wanted to capture the military camps of the border and I joined their photo walk. All of them had the most expensive cameras and accessories and I didn’t even have a tripod! They helped me and set my gimbal in such a way it acted as a good stand. 

I returned from the photo walk by 4 pm. I decided not to rest, just got on my scooty and left. On the way, the tyre of scooty got punctured. I was in the middle of nowhere in the dark, and there was not even a street light. The only light I had was the light of my scooty. I then saw some street lights far away, walked down, found a place to stay and then continued my journey the next morning. I eventually reached home safely and was very overwhelmed by the experience I had.

I can never forget how photography has evolved me as a person. How it has made me friendly with people. I can now hold a conversation with a complete stranger without any hesitation. Photography has done a lot of good things in my life and showered me with amazing experiences.

I have been a photographer for some time now and have been blessed and helped by members of this community. So I wanted to give something back to the community. Some time ago, I started a cafe - A studio cafe where photographers can come, discuss and share their work with each other. It is a workspace  where we promote the work of emerging photographers,  discuss their work and share different hacks, new launches etc. I believe that If a small thing can bring about a big change and it can add some value to someone’s life, it’s all worth it.

- Akshat Dev



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