My quest began with wildlife photography. As a child, I used to watch National Geographic every day. My enthusiasm in wildlife grew, and I began visiting Thol and other wildlife sanctuaries. Spending time outdoors and being near to nature, as well as practicing wildlife photography, gave me enormous satisfaction and joy. I was studying BCA and was never interested in studies. It has always been photography for me.
As I grew older and took on family responsibilities, I discovered that wildlife photography was not a sustainable source of income and it was then that I chose to pursue a career in fashion photography.
Following the completion of my 12th grade, I enrolled in a short course to learn about the basics of camera operations. After a while, I went on several photo sessions with some of my photographer friends. I've approached various models for photo shoots so that I could build my portfolio.
Soon after, I launched my Instagram page, Shutter Eye Pictures and started looking for work. Initially, I faced a lot of rejections, but I learnt from them and kept working hard. Photography is a fascinating profession that allows me to capture important moments and feelings. After some good projects, I finally decided to turn my passion into a career & started working as a freelance photographer.
My parents were really supportive from the start. I am grateful to them for supporting me in achieving my dream. They have always had my back no matter what.
The idea of communicating human emotions with a single portrait drew me to portrait photography. I have worked with many models and also with several well-known Gujarati film personalities. The possibility of meeting celebrities and photographing them is an idea that intrigues me. They're famous for a reason and they have certainly worked extremely hard to get to where they are now. Capturing their photographs makes me feel really blessed.
Recently, I started working as a BTS photographer and cinematographer in Gujarati films. I have always wanted to work in films from the beginning. I was thrilled by the idea of making films. It is like a dream come true. In terms of my own experience, it's all going seemingly well. I am learning a lot. I enjoy meeting new people and shooting on sets with the entire team. It makes me feel fulfilled and ecstatic. I've worked in two films so far, Raado and Lakiro and I'm presently working on my third film.
I have been receiving compliments for my work from some well known Gujarati film personalities. Even during filming, actors frequently approach me and express their appreciation for my work. Listening to such words of praise fills me with joy and strengthens my belief that hard work does pay off.
Photography was simply a hobby at first, and I didn't expect it to evolve into an entire career, but I'm happy with the outcome of my creativity and talent! I enjoy capturing emotions and making memories through photography. And I can now manage my finances as well as some of my family bills. Certainly, it's all because of photography.
- Akshay Manglani