I have been into painting and art since my childhood and everything around that segment attracts me. It was around 7 years ago when I was going through a rough phase in my life and found photography as an escapade. We bought a very basic DSLR camera and started photography by capturing small things like flowers, fruits, and random things in my house. I had never seen photography as a career. It was just something I was enjoying.
I started putting the pictures online and one day I got a message from a photographer that they were conducting a Photowalk and requested me to join them. Honestly, at that time I didn’t even know how Photowalks worked but I agreed just to explore something new. The moment I reached the venue and clicked my first ever street portrait, I fell in love with what I had done. I started going out more and more on the streets. I just loved how a single street could be different every day. You have clicked something today and tomorrow it will be a different story on the same spot. That’s the beauty of street photography.
On one fine day my mom and I went to the mall where a boy came in to ask if he could click a picture with me. My mom was pleasantly surprised as this was something very new for her. I come from a simple family background where both my husband and father are businessmen and my mother is a homemaker. I’m lucky that even though my parents don't understand my work properly, they always support me in what I do and these small moments give me the happiness and the motivation to do better.
When I travel for photography, I always love to travel solo. I connect with at least one local from that city who helps me in planning my trip. I planned my first solo trip to Kashmir and my parents were very skeptical about it. I assured them and showed them everything I had planned and it was one of the best trips I ever had.
Workshops are one of the best ways to learn if you are a self-taught photographer. When I was conducting my first workshop, I remember being nervous in front of the audience. I have been an introvert all my life and this was a big challenge for me. I overcame my fear and took my next few workshops as a learning and to blend in with the vibe. Now I am very comfortable speaking in front of even a large crowd.
Photography is a great career choice. Just find your calling and follow it. Be comfortable on the streets and have confidence in your work. Play with lights and don’t think of it as something you need to do for money. Do it as a passion and everything else will follow.
- Shweta Malhotra
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