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FO2 Stage | Nikhil Makode

by Team FO2, 23 Jun 2023

People perceive accidents to be fatal and rightly so they are, but in my case, a fatal accident shaped my future. I might not have known about the real value of life, positive perspective, and people who love me. In  2013, I got into a fatal road accident due to a seizure and I lost the strength to take life positively for a long time. Something like this would shatter anyone from the inside, even a proactive person like me. I was depressed but with the support of my family and friends, I could find a tiny bit of zeal inside me to get up on my feet again.

Back in 2014, In a non-profit event for underprivileged kids, one of my close friend gave me his camera and asked me to shoot the event. I took pictures of those kids and something in me changed that day. I saw how those kids were happy in that moment and I was able to capture that moment forever.

Later I used my friend’s camera to learn & practice photography. It provided me an opportunity to grow in a direction  which wasn’t possible any other way. It grew on me and that’s when my journey as a professional photographer started in 2015. 

While I was working as a Graphic Designer in Pune as my day job, I started doing photography as a freelancer. One day my friend introduced me to TEDxPune which intrigued me and I wanted to tell my story there as well. Watching TED for a long time inspired me a lot! I used to tag TEDxPune on Instagram almost every time I posted something online and then eventually TEDx Pune approached me to work with them. I was so thrilled to join their team and learned a lot while working with them. Having TEDx in my portfolio led me to Mumbai in 2016 to cover other big events and individual artists. Soon I moved to Mumbai and the journey began…

Living in Mumbai was difficult for me financially and I had to hustle a lot to work and survive. Eventually, things got a bit easy as I met new people who guided me. 

Mumbai – Pune was a normal trip I had to do for shoots. Once, I was in Pune and being a part of the Instagram culture, I used to visit Instagram meets where I met awe-inspiring people. This is where I met art for the first time. They helped me learn about things which are around you. Know yourself first and appreciate every detail of happiness you get. Live the moment!

I had to figure out the riddle which was quite interesting throughout the journey. While working in the industry I understood that good communication skills help you a lot to explore. Whereas silence is equally important. 

I covered various events in Mumbai and in 2017 I started doing wedding photography. This was also the time when I covered music events for established singers and bands. I even worked for NH7 Weekender which was an experience of a lifetime for me. But in 2018, I had to return to Indore, my home city, because of some personal reasons. I had to start afresh and make new contacts. Worked as a freelancer in the beginning and with time I set up my own office to attract more audience but it was not a good idea I guess. That’s where I learned the importance of growing healthy relations with people. which helped me a lot and I started growing in my career. After some time in 2020, during the pandemic, opportunities started falling, so I decided to create a community for all types of artists. A space for them to stay and flourish. I got a large space where people could come, but things didn't turn out to be great because of the lockdown.

Currently I am working on creating a community for artists in Indore with my wife Arunima who herself is a multi-talented artist! Having a great support of her is what I require to achieve my dream.

Even after having so many talented artists in one city there is no place where these artists can practice their art in peace. It has been my dream project for years and lockdown gave me a lot of time to think and invest in it. It is still work in progress and I am very excited to launch it soon. The name is ‘Mophie Studios’ where Mophie stands for – A crazy person who is absolutely mental but hilarious with vast knowledge.

As photographers, we do get mistreated by some people but there is always appreciation and respect to balance it out. I push myself harder every time to get good results and I've learned to stay happy. After working for all these years, I’ve realized how physically demanding this job is and that I can’t always be choosy. I don’t know why people say that there isn’t enough time because as long as you’re alive, you have enough time to achieve your dream.

- Nikhil Makode

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