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FO2 Stage | Kanika Gupta

by Team FO2, 20 Jun 2023

My father always had a thing for traveling and photography. In Himachal, the serene landscapes are such that they can awake a sense of photography in anybody. In 2014, he bought an SLR camera for his hobby but something in me made me want to capture those mountains and our beautiful town. So I started clicking pictures and posted them on Instagram. My friends appreciated them and encouraged me to click more. I didn’t know anything technical about photography. I clicked whatever I liked or felt aesthetic about, and the outcome was quite good.

Soon, I shifted to Punjab for my studies. Where I showed my pictures to the school manager who loved them. She provided me an opportunity to cover the school events. I got further motivated by that and started thinking about taking photography as a full-time career. However, I had a hard time convincing my father about it and after hours of arguments, I gave in. I agreed to take up B.com for graduation and went to the university to submit the documents for admission. There I happened to see a course for “Multimedia” in which there was a subject called ‘Photography and Videography’. I immediately saw that as an opportunity and convinced my mom to attend its counseling session. They advised her about the prospects and by the time of the admission date, we finally managed to convince my father for the course.

When I went to college, I learned the technical aspects of photography and started experimenting with my work. I soon started submitting my photographs at various exhibitions. My entries were selected and displayed at various exhibitions in Amritsar, Mumbai, and Goa. Being from a picturesque hometown, I have always been a nature lover and a wanderlust. I loved traveling as it allowed me to capture the beauty of the state.  But after I moved to Punjab for graduation, things changed. I couldn't travel much, so I started doing street photography in Amritsar,

Since the lockdown, I haven't been out so I glanced through my earlier work. It Just helped me realize that nature was my passion. People often tell me that I don’t stick to a theme and I tend to capture whatever I like. That I believe is my strength as I am not bound to any single genre. 

There’s one picture that is very close to my heart. I clicked it on the terrace of my home. A child was sleeping on a picture of his mother. It depicted the grief and sorrow of missing your loved one. It went viral, I was featured on many pages all over Instagram. Recently, a Brazilian production house contacted me to make it a cover for their film. I was very happy and overwhelmed with the result and love that it received.

Social media has provided me a platform to showcase my work and has also worked as a portfolio for me. I was introduced to many talented people through it. I have also learned a lot through social media. Initially, I was very conscious about the numbers and responses but as time passed I realized that the game was not about the numbers but about your work and how it was perceived by the people.

Recently I was approached by a group called “We are eco-buddy” for a collaborative event for “Clean Amritsar”. More than 50 people cleared plastic from the streets and raised awareness for the cleanliness of the city. It was a very proud moment for me because I realized that my photography was becoming a medium to touch different lives positively for the betterment of society. 

During my college days, I was given an assignment for a short film. I used that as an opportunity to share my wonderful journey, which I believed, would inspire other female photographers. I uploaded it on youtube. and since then, have been using the channel to convey different stories.

My college has been very helpful in this journey. It also gave me different opportunities to work in different areas. I also met many people who supported my work and ideas. Overall I have realized that I am not alone in this journey. I have the support of many people who trust me and my work. It has also taught me that Everyone has some talent and it's up to you, how much you enhance your skills, and explore your potential. Do not give up on your passion, no matter how demotivating it gets.  Keep working constantly on it and you will get through that difficult phase and shine like a Star.

Kanika Gupta



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