My grandfather used to click a lot of pictures and he captured my childhood so beautifully through his photography skills. His love for photography didn’t fade away with his age, he used to click pictures from his Nikon film camera even during his last days. It was this memory of him that stayed with me and caught my interest in photography.
After I passed the school, my mother promised to buy me a good smartphone if I got into a good college and after I did, she gave me a Samsung S5. There were functions on the phone which made me wanna try it and motivated me to click pictures. Eventually, one of my college friends had a DSLR and it was just very natural for me to capture the aesthetics and experiment with photography. By the end of my 2nd year, I had convinced my family to buy me a DSLR and I got my first camera, a Canon 700D. Since then, it’s been 5 years and I have never stopped working on my photography.
By the end of my 3rd year, I started shooting short films with professionals. The satisfaction and zest, made me realize I was born for this, and working with a camera was my thing.
I started travel photography as it is not just another genre. It is a connection with places and people. You get to discover more and more places other than your own comfort zone. It will introduce you to different cultures, lifestyles, sceneries, and present you with a bundle of stories from the experience. That's what makes me so fascinated about it.
Even if I enjoy traveling the most, I haven’t restricted myself from other genres. I keep shooting weddings and festivals both for photography and cinematography. I keep looking for projects which make me travel and explore my hands into different kinds of work.
After college, I started a job and started getting a lot of free time but couldn’t travel a lot. That time duration can be called a break but then I managed the time and started my traveling again. It boosted my feed and confidence once again and I never looked back since.
During the initial phase of photography, you don’t get paid enough and there’s always a probability of not getting a new project and you get paid much lesser. Nothing is constant. It is always good to have a side job to back you up with your finances and help you in the investment for new gears. Even after working for more than 5 years I still have another job to back me up and it takes time to attain a good and constant position in the industry.
Sometimes it feels hard to manage between work and photography. As a photographer, I have an open profile and people are watching you and your activities. Some people don’t understand that there is a life beyond the job and instead of supporting and helping you to balance both, they might try to discourage you to focus on only one thing and put you in a position to make a choice but it is you who have to balance between both and that’s how the life works. I always give my 100% to work during my working hours and 100% to my photography after the working hours, I don’t let any of them suffer because of each other.
When I was just starting with my work, I didn’t have any confidence in myself. Whenever a new kind of work came across me I kept worrying whether if I would be able to do it and thoughts like that. But then I started shooting a lot on my own and experimented with my work. Practice and new projects made me gain my confidence and now I don’t get worried about things, I know I will manage it very well.
When you click a picture or shoot a video, it delivers how you see the scene, that place, and how you perceive it yourself. This is what shows in the results and that’s your introduction of a place to the audience. I shot a film called ‘Humta Pass’ and it is based on my idea of mountains and how I see them. Your results reflect your vision about things. New things attract the viewer’s eye and that’s how you gain recognition through your work.
Focus on the work is more important than income. It takes time and patience to reach your goal. Do not look for shortcuts and instant results. It will take dedicated hours to polish your skills. Many people get demotivated if they don’t get recognition or collaboration during their early stage but they need to understand that it doesn’t work that way and working on the quality of your work is more important than anything. Develop your own style and try to find your soul in your work. The camera is only the gear and your work should be connected with your soul. Art should be lively and without connecting your soul into your work, it will be lifeless. Remember that eventually, everything will fall into place and you will get the recognition you deserve. All the best to you guys.
- Mohit Naikade
Interviewer: Shashank Joshi
Written by: Harshita Sharma