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FO2 Stage | Neha Malhotra

by Team FO2, 23 Jun 2023

It might seem like life is uncertain and anything can happen anytime but some things are predetermined. I am a photographer now and from the surface it might seem that I chanced upon the profession and fell in love with it but when I look deep into it, I realize that I have groomed myself to be a photographer ever since I was in school.

My first exposure to a camera was in extracurricular photography classes in school where I joined the photography club only because I hated the other ones. So, this interaction with photography was sort of forced. Afterwards, in college, I studied mass communication where I had more exposure to photography because it was a part of my syllabus. I think this is where my interest in photography grew along with visuals. I got a job in designing after doing my post-graduation in graphic design, but after working for six months I resigned because it was not my cup of tea. I wanted something to call my own, but I was clueless about what it could be. This is when my friend in shining armor came and I went with her to travel to a few villages in Madhya Pradesh. She’s a photographer and while accompanying her I learned so much about the camera. I fell in love with capturing the raw emotions of the people in those villages and decided that I have to convert this passion into a profession.

I knew that I wanted to be a photographer, but I didn’t know how to become one. In 2010, the idea of photography was getting popularized in Delhi, and there were a lot of photo walks. I participated in some of those photo walks and met a lot of people. In those photo walks some people brought their children along with them. I started interacting with those children and took their photographs. The pictures of children laughing and playing really warmed my heart, and I realized that this is the type of photography I want to do professionally. I believe that there was nothing called child photography during that time. I started Tinylove Photography by Neha Malhotra in 2012 when there were hardly any photographers in the country working in the field of child and family photography. I participated in several exhibitions and expos to spread the word about the concept by investing a major amount of my initial earnings in those, but I am glad for it today as it really helped in popularizing the concept and I still receive inquiries from the cards I distributed back then.

I faced a lot of problems in the initial years of my 10-year journey. People were a bit skeptical at first to spend money to do a photoshoot of their child. I remember that in my first job as a child photographer, I had to work extra hard just to get the trust of my client, and eventually by word of mouth I got the recognition I wanted to continue as a child photographer. I feel proud to say that now I have become like a family photographer for most of my clients.

While doing child photography, I realized how the emotions of the parents are important as well. Sometimes, new mothers lose their confidence in themselves & want to feel young again. They want to look and feel just like they were during their 20s. I started doing portrait photography of women just to fulfill this wish. I have a team of dressers and make-up artists to give these new mothers & elderly women a makeover for the shoot. Doing this fills my soul with love and peace after I see them happy.

In my 10 years of work as a child photographer, I have documented memories of more than 1500 families, and not once I have found my job monotonous. I have realized that every child has a unique personality, and they pose a challenge for you to make them feel comfortable with you. I love that challenge, and I love interacting and conversing with them. Working with babies comes with its own set of challenges, babies have their own moods and need to be at comfort for a shoot! Lot of babies get very angsty around strangers, or are uncomfortable with new faces! As a Child photographer, one  always have to find a way to maneuver through these difficulties and make the shoot convenient and a comfortable experience for the child and parents!

Photography as a profession is very personal and is somewhat reflective of one’s own personality. My images focus on what matters the most, honest emotions and exquisite details in little everyday moments. These are the images that I relate to, fall in love with, and which bring a smile to my face and hence I can pass on these emotions to my clients as well.

- Neha Malhotra

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